Friday

Harry Nilsson

Pussy Cats - 1974

Listening to this album is the musical equivilent of watching a prize fighter in the decline of his career. Famously produced by John Lennon during his "Lost Weekend" period in 1974, Pussy Cats is often regarded as one of Nilsson's weaker albums due to the fact that he lost his voice halfway through the recording of it. Keeping the news from Lennon out of fear he'd abandon the project, Nilsson forged ahead, recording a slew of rock n' roll classics and engaging in drunken revelry with a huge cast of backing musicians that included Ringo, Keith Moon, Bobby Keys and Sneeky Pete Kleinow. While it's entertaining to hear Nilsson run through these oldies (each coated in a layer of Phil Spector glaze), the real treat here are his originals, which stack up as some of the most engaging in his entire catalogue--namely "Don't Forget Me" and "All My Life". My favorite of the bunch is "Old Forgotten Soldier", where his ragged voice fits the song's context so well you'd think he's putting you on. The four bonus tracks on this one include a great solo version of "Save the Last Dance for Me", with Nilsson accompanying himself on Fender Rhodes.

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