Nilsson – Aerial Pandemonium Ballet (RCA SF 8326) (1972)


Glynnis hitched up her green plaid skirt, loosed her knickers down around her ankles and squatted awkwardly adjacent a seldom-used public footpath to urinate on the home pregnancy test stick. The 17-year old sixth-former had come deep in the southern woods outlying her East Kent village to avoid any possibility of being interrupted by her mother and the uncomfortable questions that would inevitably follow. There would by time for that later. Meanwhile, accompanying her was best friend Vicky, who, with a steady hand, simultaneously helped her classmate stay balanced and held the skirt well away from the warm jet of pee Glynnis was now producing.

“Now we wait,” she said finally.

“And you still won’t tell me who the father is?” asked Vicky sheepishly.

“No, I can’t,” replied Glynnis. “Not ever.”

“If you won’t give a clue about who he is,” Vicky persisted, “can you at least tell me what he’s like?”

“He’s a talented singer/songwriter, for a start,” began Glynnis slowly.

“He’s cute, funny and whimsical (sometimes too whimsical for his own good),” she was smiling now. “My baby’s father is sensitive and knows how to tell a good story with a moral. He’s delicate, soft, has great taste and is a bit old-fashioned. I think he knows what it’s like to be lonely and he tries to communicate that in a kind of ironic way.”

“But, please,” Glynnis begged, “Don’t make me reveal his name.”

“Well, have you thought of a name for the baby?”

“Yes, I was thinking of calling it Harry Nilsson, Jr.”

EDITOR: Aerial Pandemonium Ballet is an odd compilation of edited, remixed and, in some cases, re-sung tracks from Nilsson’s first two RCA albums (1967 and 1968). It’s quite good, actually.

Published in: on January 13, 2012 at 10:32 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. if you play that old parlour game and ask someone to name three nilsson hits, most would probably only be able to come up with two (and that includes me!)… and the irony is that although the guy has a reputation as a singer-songwriter he didn’t actually write either of them himself!

    in my opinion he is one of those people that was fortunate to be around when a certain trend was in fashion (and when people were less discriminating with their musical acquisitions) – as a result most of his albums are freely available on the second-hand market these days… also in accordance with those times he became as famous (if not more so) for his decadent lifestyle than his musical talent (for which he paid the ultimate price) and can now be considered at best a minor act whose memory is rapidly being eroded by the tides of time…

    the above comments may seem harsh, but has anyone ever met somebody who claims to be a nilsson devotee in the same way others proclaim the talents of dylan or joni mitchell (or even james taylor for that matter)?- i certainly haven’t!

  2. True, Nilsson didn’t write his two biggest hits, but he wrote a few that were hits for others (“One” by 3 Dog Night, for example). That he’s a very good singer should not be in doubt, though it’s also true that an overindulgent life did for his larnyx and muse. Think of this as a cautionary tale of talent wasted rather than Emperor’s New Clothes, as you imply. And I’m sure, if you trawl the interweb you will find plenty of people who are devoted to Haz. Of course he’s not Dylan or Mitchell, but who is?

    A Little Touch of Schmilsson is one of the most seen Chaz records for sure, but I’ve only ever seen Aerial once.

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