Vermilion Sands

Nilsson SchmilssonHarry Nilsson

released: 1971-11
on label: RCA Victor
artist: Harry Nilsson
with some: Baroque PopPiano Rock

“Blessed with a tenor that could make angels weep and the smarts to know how to use it, Nilsson nevertheless failed to ignite the album charts until 1971’s Nilsson Schmilsson. The hit single was Nilsson’s powerful cover of “Without You,” a previously overlooked cut written and first recorded by Badfinger. The rest of the album established Nilsson as a talent of unusual depth and scope.” - Barry Walters, Rolling Stone

“This is an album that begins by pining for the reckless days of youth, then segues into a snapshot of suburban disconnectedness before winding through a salute to and covers of old R&B tunes (“Early in the Morning” and “Let the Good Times Roll,” respectively), druggie humor (“Coconut”), and surging hard rock (“Jump Into the Fire”). There are certainly hints of the Nilsson of old, particularly in his fondness for Tin Pan Alley and McCartney melodicism – as well as his impish wit – yet he hadn’t made a record as cohesive as this since his first time out, nor had he ever made something as shiny and appealing as this. In short, it’s a near-perfect summary of everything Nilsson could do; he could be craftier and stranger, but never did he achieve the perfect balance as he did here.” - Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic