Harry Nilsson

Everybody's Talkin': The Very Best of Harry Nilsson [RCA]

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Released as part of the great Harry Nilsson revival of 2006 -- a year that saw an acclaimed documentary hit theaters and video as well as Legacy reissues of Son of Schmilsson and A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night -- Everybody's Talkin': The Very Best of Harry Nilsson is a good, albeit brief, overview of the basics of Nilsson's career. The big songs are here, all loaded toward the front -- "One," "Coconut," "Everybody's Talkin'," and "Without You" arrive one after another, and "Jump into the Fire" and "Me and My Arrow" follow a couple of tracks later -- which will be enough for many listeners who are only familiar with those tunes. Those very listeners will find much of the rest of this enjoyable as well, since the other eight songs are well chosen, ranging from the quirky pop of "Daybreak" to the rolling, elegiac folk-rock of "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City." So, as a simple introduction this works well, yet there are too many major songs missing -- including the baroque pop of "1941," the cute 'n' clever "Cuddly Toy," and the gleefully profane "You're Breaking My Heart" -- for this to be called definitive. These three songs are all on 2002's Greatest Hits, which provides more bang for the buck, but if it can't be found, Everybody's Talkin' is a good substitute.

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