Song of the Day #5,296: ‘Don’t Forget Me’ – Harry Nilsson

The title cut from Lana Del Rey’s upcoming album, featured yesterday, includes this verse:

“Harry Nilsson has a song, his voice breaks at 2:05 / Something about the way he says “Don’t forget me” makes me feel like / I just wish I had a friend like him, someone to get me by / Lennon in the back, whisperin’ in my ear / “Come on, baby, you can thrive” / But I can’t”

The song she’s referencing is Nilsson’s ‘Don’t Forget Me,’ which appeared on the John Lennon-produced 1974 album Pussy Cats.

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Song of the Day #4,992: ‘The Beehive State’ – Harry Nilsson

This is the second appearance of ‘The Beehive State’ on the blog. The first was by the song’s writer, Randy Newman, and was posted without comment during a week when my family was on vacation in Utah.

Today’s version is from Harry Nilsson’s 1970 album Nilsson Sings Newman, which found the successful singer-songwriter covering songs by a then relatively unknown Randy Newman.

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Song of the Day #4,495: ‘The Lottery Song’ – Harry Nilsson

Here’s a delightful track from Harry Nilsson, from his 1972 album Son of Schmilsson. This album was the follow-up to 1971’s Nilsson Schmilsson, his most successful release.

While the former album contained a few hits (including ‘Coconut’ and ‘Without You’), this one was a bit more eccentric and produced just one single (‘Spaceman’).

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Song of the Day #3,684: ‘You’re Breakin’ My Heart’ – Harry Nilsson

Harry Nilsson’s Son of Schmilsson was released in 1972, a follow-up to the prior year’s Nilsson Schmilsson, his biggest commercial hit. This album was more experimental and risky than its predecessor.

A case in point is today’s jaunty SOTD, ‘You’re Breakin’ My Heart,’ which could have been a hit had it not opened with the lines “You’re breaking my heart, you’re tearing it apart, so fuck you.” Nearly 40 years later, in a much different era, Cee-Lo Green found success with a similar sentiment.

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Song of the Day #3,635: ‘I’ll Be Home’ – Harry Nilsson

Before I get to my random SOTD, let me wish a Happy Father’s Day to my dear father and to all fathers across the land.

Harry Nilsson was a moderately successful singer-songwriter with five studio albums under his belt in 1970, when he decided to record an album of songs written by Randy Newman.

At the time, Newman was a prolific writer of songs for other people but had released only one album — a major flop — under his own name. He was nothing close to a household name, which made Nilsson Sings Newman a bizarre detour for the ascendant Nilsson.

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