Saturday, June 28, 2014


#249 WITHOUT YOU Harry Nilsson
New Yorker Harry Nilsson was born in 1941. He started writing songs at a young age and was eventually signed to Mercury Records. Nilsson's debut single "Donna" (using the monicker Johnny Niles) flopped in 1964, but his fortunes changed when Phil Spector used some of his songs for The Ronettes. The young songwriter was now in demand. His compositions were recorded by the likes of The Monkees, Lulu, The Turtles and Mary Hopkin. His song "One" became a #5 hit in the USA for Three Dog Night in 1969. That same year, Nilsson scored his own Top 10 hit in "Everybody's Talkin'", a song he recorded for the film 'Midnight Cowboy'. 
When it came to record his 'Nilsson Schmilsson' album, he gathered songs he liked. He had stumbled upon a Badfinger track named "Without You". The song had been written by that group's Pete Ham and Tom Evans. Richard Perry produced Nilsson's remake for the 1971 LP. 
The single reached #1 in America, Britain, Australia, Canada and Ireland in 1972. Sadly, both of its writers met a tragic end. Badfinger had endured litigation and financial problems. Ham was due to become a father but desperately in need of money. He hanged himself in 1975. The remaining members persevered. Legal issues and money problems resurfaced and, this time, Evans hanged himself in 1983 after an argument with band member Joey Molland. 
Nilsson suffered ill health caused by diabetes, culminating in a heart attack in early 1993. Despite his poor condition, he continued working. He completed his 1st album of new material for 18 years in mid-January 1994, but died in his sleep 2 days later. That same year, Mariah Carey scored a global hit with her cover of "Without You".

This is a list made up of the songs I enjoy the most, ranked in order of preference: the higher we go, the more I cherish them. Some were released as singles, others as album tracks. Some are obscure; others were worldwide hits or have universal appeal. They aren't always the most famous or popular, but simply a personal choice. I have excluded songs from the last few years in order to get a better idea of a song's lasting impression. I hope you find some new tracks to love, or re-discover some past favourites.
2 new instalments are added each day (every 12 hours) with 1 of the remaining 300 songs as well as moving down from #1201 to 1500, with 5 of those songs added daily.

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