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Nilsson (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 4. Oktober 2013

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Despite the sadness at the heart of Shipton's biography, it rarely feels like a lament... Impressive and meticulously researched. The Lady Bravo to Shipton for not only giving us the first Nilsson biography but, really, the only one we ever may need. PopMatters Shipton, a U.K. academic, balances Nilsson's tragic story with exacting analysis of his talents and similarly detailed accounts of bacchanalian exploits with ex-Beatles and other bons vivants. Barry Walters, Rolling Stone [This] detailed biography doesn't miss a single fact from the birth of Harry Nilsson in 1941 to his death, aged 52 ... Shipton chronicles the fascinating and equally heart-breaking life of this maverick musician. It's all here, warts and all ... [It] catches the very essence of Nilsson Jon 'Mojo' Mills, Shindig [Shipton] gives us the definitive take on an American original Jeremy Shatan, An Earful He was once described by his producer Richard Perry as the finest white male singer on the planet. Drawing on exclusive access to Nilsson's papers, Alyn Shipton's biography offers readers an intimate portrait of a man who has seemed both famous and unknowable-until now. Goodreads

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Alyn Shipton is the author of several award winning books on music including A New History of Jazz, Groovin' High: the Life of Dizzy Gillespie, and Hi-De-Ho: The Life of Cab Calloway. He is jazz critic for The Times in London and has presented jazz programs on BBC radio since 1989. He is also an accomplished double bassist and has played with many traditional and mainstream jazz bands.

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31 von 31 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von EMC - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
"Nilsson: The Life Of A Singer-Songwriter" by Alyn Shipton will take you on a wild ride that you won't soon forget. It will charm you and at the same time will rip your heart to shreads with sadness. This in depth book about the late great Harry Nilsson covers Harry's life from sad beginning to tragic end. Harry was a complete party animal who knew no boundries when it came to drink and drugs and it slowly ate away at his health until there was nothing left of him. He lived his life the way he wanted and nobody could stand in his way except himself. He lived hard and had many wonderful friends like John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Micky Dolenz, Jimmy Webb, Keith Moon, Eric Idle and many others who loved to hang out with him at many a wild party which sometimes lasted for several days. They all idolized Harry and said that there was never a more caring and giving friend. Some of them even contributed to his downfall when they knew it was the wrong thing to do but they would do anything he wanted. He had that kind of power over them. Despite his wild lifestyle Harry was a wonderful father and husband who always put his family before all else. The only downside to the book is the skimpy discography and there are a handful of typos and the misspelling of "Klaatu" several times and the information regarding Tiny Tim's early years which was mainly in New York not in Cambridge Massachusetts. Harry was a big fan of Tiny's and first met the great producer Richard Perry at Tiny's concert at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. From there they became close friends with Richard going on to produce Harry's two finest albums "Nilsson Schmilsson" and "Son Of Schmilsson". The author worked closely with Harry's family since 2004 so there is plenty of new information that nobody has ever known before. There are also some wonderful photos of Harry and friends and early photos from his childhood. If you love Nilsson don't miss this book on a fantastic singer-songwriter and musical genius.
18 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Astonishing on multiple levels. 9. August 2013
Von Offshore B - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This book had me riveted from cover to cover.
A great story, expertly told with extensive supporting notes and bibliography.

For me, what takes this book strongly into the 5 star realm is the detailed accounts revealing how the music was made.
Best case, you own the 17 CD RCA Albums collections (I don't) , worst case you hear the music on youtube & your personal collection (I did)
As I read the stories describing how the various albums came together, and a detail was mentioned about a specific track, vocal, technique, or instrument. I put the book down, and listened to the track on my phone via youtube or itunes. Songs that I have heard many times before surprised me with new life as I listened with new intent.

Most notably, this technique of keeping the music at my fingertips paid off when the book lays praise on Nilsson's voice. Cue up the song in question and realize, wow, he really was as good as all the recent press keeps saying he is/was. ( Examples "Perfect Day" or "All I think About Is You" )

An emotional read, recommended for anyone with the slightest interest in music, or biographies. Essential read for even the most casual fan of Harry Nilsson.
21 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Hooray for Harry 28. Juli 2013
Von Suzinne Barrett - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Harry's voice was considered by many (including the author) to be the greatest male tenor in the the 70s. This biography starts off very strong, and that's not often the case with biographies, even the good ones. It really surprised me that Harry Nilsson's life actually began in Bushwick, Brooklyn. There, it was tough going for Harry and family. The father basically abandoned them, and one day Harry and his mother got attacked by a gang of girls near their home. After that, the mother picked up and split, but Harry decided to stick it out a bit in Brooklyn, and then eventually traveled to California to meet up with mum and siblings. Having no money, he hitchhiked cross country. It's during those hard scrabble early years that the book really takes flight. Living a hand to mouth existence for quite a while, the reader experiences the full arc of a life truly ranging from rags to riches (and rags again.) No joke, Harry Nilsson was one self made man. For sure, no silver spoon or even the most basic support was ever provided to him. He did have an uncle in California that gave him a job however.

Nilsson was blessed with a keen mind, and there he was at the forefront of the computer revolution. He worked his way to the top at a bank where he specialized in computer systems, even though he didn't even have a high school diploma. Was even known to wash the windows at his job. And for quite a while, Harry hung onto this very position even though his songwriting career was taking off. His character's kind of nebulous and hard to pin down though, making it rather difficult for any biographer. Harry Nilsson lived below the radar, and the author emphasizes that he never played before a live audience. That's an overstatement because he did play short set(s) before a small crowd of people, but surely he never went on any kind of tour. And that's the way he wanted it, and that restriction kept a certain pressure at bay. Harry controlled his career, not the music industry. The surprise here is all the songs that I was very familiar with from the 1970s that were indeed Harry Nilsson's. Here's a tasty sample: "Everybody's Talking" (from film "Midnight Cowboy"), "The Lime in the Coconut," "Without You" and "Jump into the Fire" (utilized to great affect in Scorcese's "Goodfellas").

The story loses some momentum half way through, and then, as one would expect, things pick way up when Nilsson connects with the Beatles. Notoriously, Nilsson clicked immediately with John Lennon and also enjoyed a long friendship with Ringo Starr as well. Nilsson and Lennon's exploits in California are legendary, and most would agree that was an out of control part of Lennon's life. Drinking, drugging, smoking and most likely fornicating. You get the picture. Additionally, Harry bought a flat in London where he lived on and off for several years. He would lend out his place to his famous friends when he wasn't in town. Both Mama Cass and Keith Moon in fact died in that very apartment. In this same regard, Nilsson died way too young also, having suffered a major heart attack at 53. This happened a mere six months after losing his life savings via money mismanagement by a trusted associate.

Definitely a well written book that shines a light on a writer/performer who is somewhat forgotten, but whose songbook certainly deserves a revival.

Full disclosure: was granted advance reader's copy via
13 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Wonderful Insight to a long overlooked star 17. Juli 2013
Von Chester Cannon - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Nilsson- the guy with one name who never did live gigs. The Beatles favorite singer and group. The guy who hung with John Lennon during his Lost Weekend from Yoko. Although this sometimes gets into the nuts and bolts of record production a little too deeply (my opinion only), this was a really good read I'd been waiting for since its publication was announced. If you are a Nilsson fan you should get this and read it.
22 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Finally, the Nilsson bio we've been waiting for 30. Juni 2013
Von rstamberg - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Finally, FINALLY, a thorough and well-written tome on one of the greatest musical talents of the 20th century. Harry was a monster, a creative force of nature, and this -- the first-ever book on the man -- does his legacy justice.

Highly recommended.
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