Harry Nilsson – The Voice Behind The Face

This second Nilsson What-If album of the month could be seen as a companion piece to the previous ‘Singles’ compilation, but instead of focusing on material that was released under his own name, this includes recordings recorded as part of a group or under pseudonyms or for one release, no mention of the recording artist was made at all. More on that later.

The first songs are ‘Donna’ and ‘Wig Job’. Eagled eyed reader will notice that these songs were listed on the previous post. However, these have been re-rerecorded. They were released under the name of Johnny Niles. There are also a couple of singles that were released under the name of Bo-Pete, including ‘Baa Baa Blacksheep. These are the same songs as the ones that Nilsson released under his own name. I have included them here for completeness. The final songs on Side A are a slab of Bo Diddley mixed with novelty combined with a massive jump onto The Beatles bandwagon. The original single came with a 8mm film with clips of The Beatles which, according to a note found on the single, could be synched up to play at the same time. Needless to say, none of these records were hits. I have also never seen the film and so far, it has eluded a posting on YouTube. Someone must have this somewhere.

Side B starts off with another Tower single that was released under the name of The New Salvation Singers (featuring Harry Nilsson). The rest of this album includes songs that were recorded by Nilsson that were released on the ‘New Nilsson Songs’ promo album. This record was released to promote the songs Nilsson had written for his publishing company, Rock Music Co. There were also a couple of songs on there from Perry Botkin and Gil Garfield who just happened to own the publishing company. The reason these songs are included here is because when the record came out, none of the people singing the songs were listed. All that was put onto the label was the name of the songs, the publishers name and their contact details. 

These 60s releases were not the last time that Nilsson would release music that was not under his own name. As a bonus 7” single, this release would include the single ‘Joy’ and its B-Side ‘I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City’. This was released under he name of Buck Earl in an attempt to get played on country music radio. It didn’t work and this is one of the more obscure releases connected to Harry Nilsson. It does not end there though as Nilsson had one more pseudonym up his sleeve. This additional cheeky bonus is ‘Party From Outer Space’ Albert Brooks’ comedy album ‘A Star Is Bought’. Nilsson recorded under the name of Lassie.

The sleeve is an adaptation of the the late 1960s reissue of ‘Spotlight Of Nilsson’ with the new title added. 

Side A

  1. Donna, I Understand – Johnny Niles
  2. Wig Job – Johnny Niles
  3. Do You Wanna (Have Some Fun) – Bo-Pete
  4. Groovy Little Suzie – Bo-Pete
  5. Baa Baa Blacksheep – Bo-Pete
  6. Baa Baa Blacksheep (Part 2) – Bo-Pete
  7. Stand Up & Holler (Film Side) – Foto-Fi Four
  8. Stand Up & Holler – Foto-Fi Four

Side B

  1. The Path That Leeds To Trouble – New Salvation Singes (feat. Harry Nilsson)
  2. Good Times – New Salvation Singes (feat. Harry Nilsson)
  3. 1941 – Harry Nilsson 
  4. The Boy From The City – Harry Nilsson 
  5. The La LA Song – Harry Nilsson
  6. There Will Never Be – Harry Nilsson 
  7. Without Her – Harry Nilsson 
  8. The Story Of Rock & Roll – Harry Nilsson

Bonus 7” Single

  1. Joy – Buck Earl
  2. I Guess the Lord Must Be In New York City – Buck Earl
  3. Party From Outer Space – Albert Brooks (feat Lassie)

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the wonderful book ‘Harry & Me’, in which yours truly briefly appears in.

Harry & Me

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