After compiling Volume 2 earlier, this month, I found that I had enough songs to complete another set. Like Volume 2, this kicks off with a cover of “Gotta Get Up’. After that, there is a mix of songs Nilsson wrote but didn’t always record a version of himself. These include songs from before he signed his contract with RCA such as ‘A Travellin’ Man’ and ‘Paradise’ as wells many recorded afterwards. There is the other side of the single that Kenny Everett released (with the first being included on Vol.2) as well as more performances by The Turtles and Jimmy Cross. George Tipton, Nilsson’s arranger on his early records makes another appearance but there is also room for a novelty recording such as the version of ‘Without Her’ by Telly Savalas. The disc finishes with a special bonus in that it contains the song ‘Little More Rain’ from the ‘New Nilsson Songs’ demo album. As of now, no one has been able to find out who the singer is.
Once again, unlike Ace Record, I do not have access to the original tapes so some of these have been taken from vinyl transfers, so please excuse the pops etc. The sleeve is similar in style to the Ace Records volume. The differences being that I could not match the original font and there are no dates under the title. I decided that that was unnecessary as this was meant to highlight Nilsson songs throughout the years. Its not really the covers you are here for though, but the music. Well, that is top notch. Enjoy!
Gotta Get Up – Marty Finkel
Everybody Philly – The Citations
Maybe – Labi Siffre
1941 – Joel Grey
It’s Been So Long – Kenny Everett
Me & My Arrow – Davy Jones
Wailing Of The Willow – Liza Minnelli
Remember (Christmas) – Johnny Mathis
Countin’ – Mike Clifford
Don’t Leave Me – Robert John
I Guess The Lord Must be In New York City – The New Yorkers
Chicken Track – Jimmie Cross
The Story Of Rock ’n’ Roll – The Turtles
The Puppy Song – David Cassidy
Open Your Window – George Tipton
One – Chris Clark
All My Life – The Walkmen (feat. Allesanora Mario)
Back in 2017, Ace Records released a wonderful collection dedicated to Harry Nilsson, the songwriter, not the performer. The collection was a curious mix of the well known (The Monkees), the family member (his daughter Annie Nilsson) and the down right obscure (Jimmie Cross). The album sleeve said that all of the songs came from 1965-1972, and then opened with a song recorded in 2013. Oh well. That is a bit of nit picking on my part, but Ace Records did a really good job with this compilation as it made some of the pre fame singles that I had only ever heard on scratchy vinyl transfer, available in crystal clear sound for what could have been the first time.
As Nilsson has had his songs covered by a myriad of artists that were not covered by this compilation, I thought I would see if there was enough material to make a volume 2. What I found is there was indeed enough for not only a second volume, but a third as well. I decided to try and follow the template of the original compilation as close as I can, starting the disc with a cover of the song ‘Gotta Get Up’. This is not one of Nilsson’s most covered songs but luckily there were two additional covers I could use. Both discs contain 24 songs and once again, they feature a mix of well known artists as well as the obscure. These include Hugo Montenegros’s rather bizarre cover of ‘Me & My Arrow’; a song from The Walkman, who decided to cover the entire ‘Pussy Cats’ album and are a couple of novelty covers from The Muppets and British DJ Kenny Everett (who on this occasion, plays it quite straight).
Unlike Ace Record, I do not have access to the original tapes so some of these have been taken from vinyl transfers, so please excuse the pops etc. The sleeve is similar in style to the Ace Records volume. The differences being that I could not match the original font and there are no dates under the title. I decided that that was unnecessary as this was meant to highlight Nilsson songs throughout the years. Its not really the covers you are here for though, but the music. Well, that is top notch. Enjoy!
Gotta Get Up – Davy Jones & Mickey Dolenz
Rainmaker – Bobbie Gentry
All For The Beatles (Stand Up & Holler) – The Originals
The Battle Of The Bands – The Turtles
Daddy’s Song – The Casuals
Baby, It’s Over – Debbie Burton
Wailing Of The Willow – Astrid Gilberto
Me & My Arrow – Hugo Montenegro
Super-Dupa Man – Jimmie Cross
Nobody Cares About The Railroads Anymore – George Tipton
Sister Sue – The Soul Men
So Proud Of You – Vivian Roberts
I’d Do It All Again – Dore Alpert
Readin’ Ridin’ & Racin’ – The Super Stocks
Open Your Window – Ella Fitzgerald
Don’t Leave Me – Griffin
One – Three Dog Night
Coconut – The Muppets
Without Her – Kenny Everett
Maybe – Barbra Streisand
Chicago – The Citations
Headlines – The Sunday Funnies
Paradise – The Ronettes
I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City – Sagittarius
I thought that as Deutschland 89, last series of this rather fine German TV programme was finally airing in the UK from 5th March 2021, I would revisit the second series to produce a soundtrack for it. Unlike the soundtracks to Deutschland 83, there will only be one and it will be a mix of both German and English speaking artists. I also felt that this album, if it had been released in 1986, would have come out once agin on the K-Tel label, so their logo is included in the top left of the sleeve.
With the previous compilation for Deutschland 83, I felt that the record label would have wanted to have squeezed on as many songs as they could so went for the shorter version where available. That includes the single versions for the Level 42 and Evelyn Thomas songs. That was also the reason for concluding the 1985 version of Howard Jones’ ‘No-One Is To Blame’, regardless if this was the version used in the show or not. Record companies have not always been the best at releasing the correct versions of songs in tie in compilations. As the song ‘Major Tom (Coming Home)’ by Peter Schilling was once again used as the theme tune in the UK, it would also be the opening song to this collection. However, I selected another Schilling track which is included on the flip side of the LP.
Other than Peter Schilling, the two other German speaking artists are a pre ‘Rock Me Amadeus’ Falco and Klaus Nomi. The Falco song, ‘Der Kommissar’ is seen as an influential German language rap song which was later a bigger hit for the British band, After The Fire. Klaus Nomi on the other hand was a one off. With a counter tenor vocal range which meant he had the vocal range equivalent to a female contralto of mezzo-soprano, this is the one obscure artist per compilation. Nomi is known for appearing on Saturday Night Live with David Bowie in 1979 as well as being one of the first people connected to the arts to die from AIDS. I cannot give his back story justice here, but if you are interested to find out more, the internet is your friend. The man was a true one off and his back catalogue is also well worth checking out.
Being as this is 1986 and all that, I felt that the record label would be interested in appealing to the CD buyer. This was the year of ‘Brothers In Arms’, the first CD album to not only sell a million copies but to outsell its vinyl equivalent. One way of appealing to the CD buyer was to offer them something not available on another format. With ‘Brothers In Arms’ there wasn’t any bonus tracks on the CD version of the album, but the songs were longer. They had to be edited to fit onto a single LP. Queen on the 1986 CD edition of ‘A Kind Of Magic’ put three exclusive mixes of songs at the end of the disc. With this soundtrack album, I have added two additional songs in the shape of ‘Such A Shame’ by Talk Talk, and ‘I Want You’ by Elvis Costello & The Attractions. These songs are both quite long and would have been a doubt for the LP, unless edited. Enjoy.