So RCA's just released a 17 CD box-set collecting all 14 of Harry Nilsson's RCA albums + 3 discs of extras, all in cool cardboard "LP" sleeves. Having all of Nilsson's material in one handy little box is great news unto itself, but what makes this set "must have" are the three CDs of (mostly) unreleased demos, unreleased tracks and etc. If you're not familiar with Harry Nilsson -- well you should be! The album "Nilsson Schmilsson" is a flat out classic, one of those 100 albums you must hear before you die. Nilsson's songs range from rockers to tin-pan alley to spine-tingling ballads. Mostly, you need to hear this guy for his voice, which will send chills down your spine (in all the good ways).
Nilsson had his ups and downs -- sadly more downs as the 70's wound into the 80's. His story is well told in the excellent documentary "Who Is Harry Nilsson and Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?", but I'm focusing on the music here. Which is mostly great. I'm still plowing through the collection, but the solo piano demos for Nilsson Schmilsson (most of which were released in the U.K. a few years ago) are stunning and practically worth the $99-ish price for the set on their own. Good stuff worth supporting!