Follow TV Tropes


Trivia / Harry Nilsson

Go To

  • Actor-Shared Background: Nilsson was born in 1941 and had a Disappeared Dad, just like the protagonist of "1941", though most of the rest of the song is fictional (Nilsson didn't get married until 1964, didn't have any children in his first marriage, and his first son was born in 1971).
  • Author Existence Failure: 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.
  • Advertisement:
  • Breakthrough Hit: "Everybody's Talkin'". However, it actually flopped when it first came out in 1968. It was re-released after being featured in Midnight Cowboy the next year.
  • Colbert Bump: He benefitted from several of these in the 1967-69 period. The Monkees recorded "Cuddly Toy" and "Daddy's Song", Three Dog Night had their Breakthrough Hit with "One", John Lennon and Paul McCartney touted him, and "Everybody's Talkin'" was included in Midnight Cowboy.
  • Doing It for the Art: A Little Touch of Schmilsson in The Night
  • Follow Up Failure: Son of Schmilsson wasn't a flop by most standards, but after the huge success of Nilsson Schmilsson and "Without You", the fact that it only could climb to #12 in Billboard, and none of its three singles could even make the Top 20, was viewed as a big disappointment.
  • Advertisement:
  • He Also Did: Conceptualized the basic story of animated film The Point, and also contributed the songs.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Though the general listening audience are mostly split between Aerial Ballet, Nilsson Schmilsson, and Pandemonium Shadow Show as being Nilsson's best, 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.
  • Reclusive Artist: At least when it came to live performances, i.e. he never played a single formal concert for a paying audience. At all. Closest he came was a BBC TV special (but even that wasn't "live", as such) and a few appearances at Beatles conventions where he sang a song or two.
  • Screwed By The Label: Knnillsonn, his attempt to Win Back the Crowd by re-creating his classic 60s style, was released in July 1977. A few weeks later Elvis Presley died, giving RCA Records an excuse to ignore Nilsson while pushing the lucrative Presley catalogue. A year later they released a Greatest Hits Album against his wishes, prompting Nilsson to ask to be released from his contract.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Shelf of Album Languishment/Short Run in Peru: Flash Harry was recorded after he left RCA and didn't have a recording contract. Mercury picked up the album in 1980, but their American division passed on it. It ended up just being released in Europe, Australia and Japan. In 2013 it finally received an official US release.
  • Technology Marches On: "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.
  • What Could Have Been: Robert Altman approached Nilsson about doing the music for That Cold Day in the Park in 1969. Harry said no, but he worked with Altman 11 years later on Popeye.
  • Working Title: He wanted to call his first album for RCA Something Wicked This Way Comes, as a Shout-Out to the Ray Bradbury novel, but ran into legal trouble with Bradbury's publishers. He retitled it Pandemonium Shadow Show, after the traveling carnival in the novel.
    • Duit on Mon Dei was originally called God's Greatest Hits, but RCA rejected that title.

Example of: