Inspired by an acid trip in which singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson realized that trees and houses and more or less everything in some form or another has a point, this soundtrack to ABC Television’s 1971 animated movie is presented as a children’s bedtime story. Although the narrator-father’s voice was originally supplied on TV by Dustin Hoffman (and Ringo Starr for home video), Nilsson here tells his own story about how even apparent outsiders all fit into nature’s plan: At one point, you can even hear him turning a page. Despite the running, punning theme, there are few hard edges to be heard: Whether speaking or singing, Nilsson is as gentle as any dad could be with his child, and the music – deftly arranged by early Nilsson collaborator George Tipton and executed by such studio session greats as Carol Kaye – ranks among his most melodious. That’s a high standard indeed.
By Ben Fong-Torres on 06.30.09 in Icons
Born in Brooklyn in 1941 and raised in Los Angeles, Harry Edward Nelson III became Nilsson in the mid '60s, when he began writing and performing - singing and playing piano and guitar. He recorded for RCA, an American...
By Glenn Kenny on 12.12.14 in Features
The prolific director discusses seminal music moments in his films and the art of selecting the right song.
By Ami Armstrong on 10.23.14 in News
Every week, Wondering Sound contributor Ami Armstrong recommends a music film available to stream. The title of this documentary is apt: You might not know Harry Nilsson by name, but you've heard his songs in countles...
By Wondering Sound Staff on 02.19.13 in Lists
Though it's often taken for granted, scoring a film is no easy task. Go too minimal and you risk killing dramatic tension. Too grandiose, and an entire film can become ham-handed. Striking the perfect balance is a feat f...