For the Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson

Various Artists

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For the Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson Review

by Steven McDonald

Tribute albums are difficult things to pull off at the best of times, so it's no surprise that not quite everything works on this 23-track set. Part of the problem is that Harry Nilsson wrote some amazing songs in his time -- but he also wrote some that were not quite so amazing. Another part of the problem is that some of these songs don't lend themselves easily to interpretation -- thus we have Fred Schneider destroying "Coconut" with a loud, crunchy treatment, and LaVern Baker turning "Jump into the Fire" into a wimpy R&B outing. On the other hand, "Spaceman" is even more interestingly quirky in the hands of the Roches and Mark Johnson, Aimee Mann brings out the sweet side of "One," Adrian Belew does a fine "Me and My Arrow," and Steve Forbert turns in a supremely cute take on "The Moonbeam Song." Overall a nice project (with money going to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence), though it does not replace the original Nilsson performances by a long chalk.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Randy Newman 02:22 SpotifyAmazon
2 Marc Cohn 03:55 SpotifyAmazon
Aimee Mann 03:01 SpotifyAmazon
4 Fred Schneider 05:06 SpotifyAmazon
Joe Ely 03:58 SpotifyAmazon
6 Stevie Nicks / Ringo Starr 03:25 SpotifyAmazon
7 Gerry Beckley / Robert Lamm / Carl Wilson 04:28 SpotifyAmazon
8 LaVern Baker 03:36 SpotifyAmazon
9 Steve Forbert 03:30 SpotifyAmazon
10 Peter Wolf & The Houseparty / Peter Wolf 01:53 SpotifyAmazon
11 Jennifer Trynin 02:55 SpotifyAmazon
12 Al Kooper 04:42 SpotifyAmazon
13 Victoria Williams 03:20 SpotifyAmazon
14 Marshall Crenshaw 03:31 SpotifyAmazon
15 Brian Wilson 02:30 SpotifyAmazon
16 Jellyfish 02:42 SpotifyAmazon
17 Bill Lloyd 02:25 SpotifyAmazon
18 Ron Sexsmith 02:06 SpotifyAmazon
19 Adrian Belew 03:12 SpotifyAmazon
20 Richard Barone 02:40 SpotifyAmazon
21 Mark Johnson / The Roches 03:41 SpotifyAmazon
22 John Cowan 03:56 SpotifyAmazon
23 Jimmy Webb 04:02 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick