Well, this was certainly a surprise! It turns out that Harry Nilsson is a very, very naughty boy.
All this time, I thought he was sort of…cuddly, but here he is, cursing like a sailor, belching, dropping sexual metaphors all over the place…he even gets a group of elderly folks to sing a lively tune about preferring death to incontinence! It’s outrageous that the same guy who wrote a loveable children’s story about a kid and his dog would suddenly behave like a smarmy wise ass, but it’s also outrageously entertaining.
The songs are strong and well-produced, his vocal performance is as incredible as we’d come to expect, and the band contains some of the best session players available. It bounces from one extreme to another with unabashed shamelessness, but the breadth of his scope, although childish at times, is remarkably fun and entertaining.
It would be easy to dismiss “Son of Schmilsson” as a self-absorbed kiss-off to his previous success and perhaps that is exactly what it is. I guess Nilsson got all of that playful vitriol out of his system on “Son of Schmilsson”, because he would never have another album that reached this level of success.
Turn on Your Radio
You’re Breakin’ My Heart
The Lottery Song
At My Front Door
I’d Rather Be Dead
The Most Beautiful World in the World
July 1972 - Billboard Charted: 12