[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Harry_Nilsson_3935.png]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"Everybody's talkin' at me..."]]

->''Well in 1941 a happy father had a son''\\
''and by 1944 the father walked right out the door''\\
''And in '45 the mom and son were still alive''\\
''but who could tell in '46 if the two were to survive''\\
''Well the years were passing quickly''\\
''but not fast enough for him''\\
''So he closed his eyes through '55''\\
''and he opened them up again''\\
''When he looked around he saw a clown''\\
''and the clown seemed very gay''\\
''And he set that night to join that circus clown and run away''
-->-- "1941"

'''Harry Nilsson''' (June 15, 1941 January 15, 1994) was a popular American [[SingerSongwriter singer/songwriter]] during TheSeventies. When a relative newcomer, Nilsson earned the attention of Music/TheBeatles, in turn [[ColbertBump garnering]] him some public notoriety of his own.

His big break came when his cover of the Fred Neil song, "Everybody's Talkin'", was featured in the film ''Film/MidnightCowboy''; earning him a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in the process. He would win the same award again a few years later for his performance of "Without You".

As time went on, Nilsson's continuing drug and alcohol abuse took a toll on both his voice and career, and he released his last album in 1980. His untimely death of heart failure in 1994 occurred just as he was aiming for a musical comeback.

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!!Discography:
* ''Spotlight on Nilsson'' (1966)
* ''Pandemonium Shadow Show'' (1967)
* ''Film/{{Skidoo}}'' (1968)
* ''Aerial Ballet'' (1968)
* ''Harry'' (1969)
* ''Nilsson Sings Newman'' (1970)
* ''The Point!'' (1971)
* ''Nilsson Schmilsson'' (1971)
* ''Son of Schmilsson'' (1972)
* ''A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night'' (1973)
* ''Son of Dracula'' (1974)
* ''Pussy Cats'' [with JohnLennon] (1974)
* ''Duit on Mon Dei'' (1975)
* ''Sandman'' (1976)
* ''...That's the Way It Is'' (1976)
* ''Early Tymes'' (1977)
* ''Knnillssonn'' (1977)
* ''Flash Harry'' (1980)

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!!Tropes associated with Harry Nilsson:

* ACappella: "The Ivy Covered Walls"
* AgeProgressionSong: "1941".
* AlbumIntroTrack: ''Pandemonium Shadow Show'' opens with Nilsson attempting a circus ringmaster-type introduction. ''Aerial Ballet'' has him doing a tap-dancing routine. ''Duit on Mon Dei'' starts off with a rough demo version of "Jesus Christ You're Tall", which he recorded a finished version of on the next album, ''Sandman''. ''Flash Harry'' opens with a song ''about'' Nilsson, written and performed by [[MontyPython Eric Idle]].
* AntiLoveSong: "You're Breaking My Heart"
* ArtisticStimulation: Not beneficial in any way if you ask most people.
* AuthorExistenceFailure: Nilsson began recording a comeback album starting in 1993. It's been reported that he managed to finish the album a few days before his death. A few tracks have been leaked, but there's never been any indication that the album, provisionally titled ''Papa's Got a Brown New Robe'', will ever be released.
* BadassBeard: His pride and joy since the early '70s.
* TheBeatles: A presence in Nilsson's career dating all the way back to 1964, when he wrote and recorded a tribute song to them called "Stand Up and Holler" (credited to the non-existent Foto-Fi Four when it was released). ''Pandemonium Shadow Show'' featured his version of "You Can't Do That" that skillfully wove in lines from other Beatles songs, plus a cover of "She's Leaving Home". This attracted attention from The Beatles themselves, most famously when Lennon and [=McCartney=] cited Nilsson as their "favorite band" in the press conference announcing the formation of Apple Records. He covered "Mother Nature's Son" on ''Harry'' (the original may well have been influenced by Nilsson in the first place), and did a version of "Blackbird" around the same time that wouldn't be released for several decades. He hung out with Ringo and John constantly in the early 1970s. Ringo played drums on a few Nilsson sessions. John produced ''Pussy Cats''. Harry starred in the Apple Films production ''Son of Dracula''. He covered George's "That Is All". John's murder led Harry to become a gun control advocate, and he made a few appearances at Beatles fan conventions in the 1980s.
* BigApplesauce: "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City".
* BookEnds: ''A Little Touch of Schmilsson in The Night'' opens with a snippet of "As Time Goes By" and closes with the whole song.
* BreakupSong: Oh, so many... "Without You" being the most obvious example.
** It was a cover of a song by Badfinger, but their version doesn't have a fraction of Nilsson's emotional oomph.
* BreakthroughHit: "Everybody's Talkin'". However, it actually flopped when it first came out in 1968. It was re-released after being featured in ''MidnightCowboy'' the next year.
* ChristmasSongs: "Remember (Christmas)" is a perennial selection on Christmas compilations... despite having no Christmas connotations whatsoever in its lyrics (there ''are'' some sleigh bells in the instrumental bridge, though).
* CoverAlbum: ''Nilsson Sings Newman''. ''...That's The Way It Is'' (all but two songs are covers), ''Pussy Cats'' (five of ten) and ''Pandemonium Shadow Show'' (six of twelve) come close.
** And on the receiving end too, with the tribute album ''For The Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson'', and The Walkmen did a track-for-track version of ''Pussy Cats''.
* CoverVersion:
** His two biggest hits were covers. And pretty obviously, ''Nilsson Sings Newman'' is nothing covers of Music/RandyNewman songs.
** Music/TheBeatles uniformly agreed that his cover of "Mother Nature's Son" is their favourite Beatles cover song.
** Out of 18 albums, only 4 (''Skidoo'', ''The Point!'', ''Duit on Mon Dei'', ''Knnillssonn'') contain all original songs.
* CloudCuckoolander: Part of his brand of humor. "Coconut" is pretty much one of the all-time party tunes of CloudCuckooland.
* CreditsGag: The 1968 film ''Skidoo'' has Nilsson [[ListSong singing the entire end credits sequence]]: actors, crew members, and legal disclaimers. All of it. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4IMX26xF9Q Seriously.]]
* DaysOfTheWeekSong: "(Thursday) Here's Why I Did Not Go To Work Today"
* DenserAndWackier: His evolution from the clean-cut, angelic-voiced orchestral pop prodigy of the late 60s to the bearded, throaty, often profane barfly of the 70s.
* DisappearedDad: Messed him up, but good. He attributes his own self-admitted flaws as a father to this. This also becomes the subject of at least two of his songs.
** Even worse, his mother tried to protect his feelings by telling him that his father died heroically in World War II. After gaining notice as a singer, he learned that his dad was alive and well and was remarried with children.
* DoingItForTheArt: ''A Little Touch of Schmilsson...''
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Nilsson's first releases, under the name "Bo-Pete", were rockabilly songs.
* EpicInstrumentalOpener: The intro for "Salmon Falls" clocks in at a full 1:40 (the entire song is a little over four minutes). Even more unusually, the main instrument in that intro is a steel drum.
* EpicRocking: "Jump Into the Fire". That is, the album version.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: "Mr. Richland's Favorite Song" was exactly that; the favorite Nilsson song of one Mr. Richland, a music publisher.
** ''Nilsson Sings [[RandyNewman Newman]]''
* FunWithAcronyms: "'''G'''ood '''O'''ld '''D'''esk".
* GenerationXerox: "1941".
* GodIsLoveSongs: "Good Old Desk" (see FunWithAcronyms above), though it's pretty much admitted to be a joke. Not that it doesn't make a little bit of sense.
* GreenAesop: "Cowboy", "Pretty Soon There'll Be Nothing Left for Everybody"
* GrowOldWithMe: "Down By The Sea" tackles this trope with a bit of irreverence:
-->Now it's forty years after the laughs at the wedding
-->And I'm dreading retirement, what would I do?
-->The children are married and now the big question
-->Is "Was it all worth it?" and who buries who?
-->You bury me or I bury you?
* HealingPotion: Apparently, if you put a lime in a coconut and drink 'em both up, your belly-ache should be gone in the morning. [[HereWeGoAgain Only, not]].
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With [[Music/RingoStarr Ringo Starr]]. Ringo still refrains from answering questions about Harry... for perspective, he doesn't have anywhere near the same trouble talking about [[Music/GeorgeHarrison George]] or [[Music/JohnLennon John]].
* HeAlsoDid: Conceptualized the basic story of animated film ''ThePoint''!, and also contributed the songs.
* JukeboxMusical: The 1977 London stage production of ''The Point!'' (starring [[TheMonkees Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz]]) was a quasi-example. It was an AdaptationExpansion, with various songs from other Nilsson albums added, rewritten to fit the plot.
* JustLikeRobinHood: "Moonshine Bandit"
* LongTitle: "Nobody Cares About the Railroads Anymore", "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City", "Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear"... all on the same album, even!
** "Pretty Soon There'll Be Nothing Left for Everybody" from ''Sandman''.
* LyricalColdOpen: Most of the songs on ''The Point!'', "Remember (Christmas)", "(Thursday) Here's Why I Did Not Go To Work Today".
* LyricalDissonance: "Marchin' Down Broadway" is a super-cheery number about... celebrating America's victory over Japan in WorldWarII.
** The bouncy and wholesome-sounding "Cuddly Toy" was an obvious choice for Davy Jones to sing when TheMonkees covered it. As for the lyrics, they're vague enough to be interpreted in different ways (some quite sinister), but they're plainly about some sort of unwholesome sexual encounter.
* MagnumOpusDissonance: Though the general listening audience are mostly split between ''Aerial Ballet'', ''Nilsson Schmilsson'', and ''Pandemonium Shadow Show'' as being Nilsson's MagnumOpus, the man's own opinion was that ''A Little Touch of Schmilsson...'' was his best work.
** He was also very proud of ''Knnillssonn'' and its commercial failure led to his disillusionment with the music business.
* MeaningfulName: ''Aerial Ballet'' was named after the highwire circus act of his Swedish grandparents.
* NewSoundAlbum: ''A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night''. Standards and traditional pop.
* NonActorVehicle: ''Son of Dracula''. The consensus is that Nilsson actually acquitted himself fairly well as an actor and is the ''only'' worthwhile thing in the whole movie.
* OnlyOneName: On many of his albums, he was credited as "Nilsson". (Which would make ''Harry'' a PunBasedTitle.)
* PleaseDontLeaveMe: "[[CaptainObvious Don't Leave Me]]".
* PopStarComposer: Of ''ThePoint'' and ''Film/{{Popeye}}''.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: "Me and My Arrow".
* PrecisionFStrike: "You're breakin' my heart... you're tearin' it apart... so FUCK YOU!" Possibly the most commercial song on the album, and the least likely to see airplay!
** There's some swearing in "The Flying Saucer Song", which gets {{Lampshaded}}.
* PunBasedTitle: ''Duit on Mon Dei'' is a riff on the motto of the British Monarchy, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieu_et_mon_droit "Dieu et mon droit"]]. Apparently this began as an inside joke among TheBeatles during the Apple Corps era, then Ringo put it on the cover of his ''Ringo'' album.
* ReclusiveArtist: At least when it came to live performances, i.e. he never made any. At all.
* RepurposedPopSong: "Coconut" was nothing less than a ''shoe-in'' for ads for Coke Lime.
* RevengeOfTheSequel: ''Son of Schmilsson''.
* RuleOfThree: His studio albums divide neatly into informal trilogies: ''Pandemonium Shadow Show''/''Aerial Ballet''/''Harry'' (early virtuoso pop); ''Nilsson Sings Newman''/''The Point!''/''Aerial Pandemonium Ballet'' (concept albums); The ''Schmilsson'' albums; ''Pussy Cats''/''Duit on Mon Dei''/''Sandman'' (the Hollywood party animal period); ''...That's the Way It Is''/''Knnillssonn''/''Flash Harry'' (late period RevisitingTheRoots).
* {{Scatting}}: An indelible part of his vocal style.
* SelfBackingVocalist: One of the masters, due to his (then) uncanny vocal range. When he was first starting out, record executives were more interested in signing his "backup singers."
* SelfPlagiarism: His version of "I Don't Need You" (not the original, but released before the KennyRogers version) has an arrangement that blatantly copies "Without You".
** His beloved theme song for the TV series ''The Courtship of Eddie's Father'', "Best Friend". He rewrote the lyrics of an album outtake song called "Girlfriend", took the backing track of the rhythmically similar "Daddy's Song", and combined them into a "new" piece.
* SelfTitledAlbum: ''Harry''.
* SillyLoveSongs: Though not as abundant as you'd believe.
* TheSomethingSong: A few more than a few; "Daddy's Song", "The Lottery Song", "The Puppy Song" being a mere three examples.
* SongOfSongTitles: Nilsson's cover of "You Can't Do That" features backing vocals singing the titles of various Beatles songs during the verses.
* SopranoAndGravel: Invoked in "Coconut".
* StatuesqueStunner: "Jesus Christ You're Tall"
* TechnologyMarchesOn: "Kojak Columbo". 19 inches was in fact "a real good size" for a TV in 1974. Today, you can get ''tablets'' with bigger screens than that.
* TenLittleMurderVictims: "Who Done It?" is a quirky take on this.
** Also "Ten Little Indians", where each Indian dies after violating one of the Ten Commandments.
* ThemeNaming: Notice all the albums with variations of "Nilsson" up there?
* ThisIsASong: "How To Write a Song"
* ValuesDissonance: Invoked for parody with several songs on ''Harry''... a kind of super-sanitized chipper '50s worldview in the face of war, social changes, and more.
* VocalEvolution: Unfortunately, not the positive kind.
* WeUsedToBeFriends: George Aliceson Tipton was Nilsson's arranger up until ''Nilsson Schmilsson'', when he abruptly quit after recordng just one song. More than just an arranger, though, Tipton was a musical mentor and cohort for Nilsson (more than one person has compared the Nilsson/Tipton partnership to George Martin and TheBeatles). To this day Tipton steadfastly refuses to discuss his work with Nilsson or why they split up. The best guess is that there was some dispute over credits and money, plus Nilsson's dissolute lifestyle making him harder to work with.
* WelcomeToTheCaribbeanMon: A suprising number of his songs have a Caribbean feel, even if the lyrics don't reflect it. "Coconut" is the most famous, but the albums ''Duit on Mon Dei'' and ''Sandman'' prominently feature steel drums and marimbas in their instrumental mixes. He also later covered the calypso standard "Zombie Jamboree".
* [[WhiteDwarfStarlet White Dwarf Star]]: The subject of "Mr. Richland's Favorite Song".
* WordSaladLyrics: "Puget Sound"
* WordSchmord: This should be pretty obvious by now...
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