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Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him)?

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Review

When Lennon and McCartney were quizzed about their favourite group at a press conference in 1968, they replied in unison: “Nilsson.”

Lennon was so enamoured of this multifaceted singer-songwriter, he later produced one of his albums and spent a notorious “lost weekend” (in reality, months of rudderless LA hedonism) in his permanently boozy company. And yet to the man in the street, Harry Nilsson is remembered today only for his two biggest hits, neither of which he wrote.

If skyscraping 70s power ballad Without You and Midnight Cowboy theme song Everybody's Talkin'  aren't indicative of his singular talent, that's only because he was impossible to pigeon-hole. An eccentric studio perfectionist with a heavenly vocal range, Nilsson was one of pop's true originals. But he was also beset by demons. Dead at the tragically early age of 55, he ravaged his genius with drink and drugs.

With contributions from the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Randy Newman and Eric Idle, this charming documentary recounts the colourful saga of a lovable bon viveur who left behind an extraordinary musical legacy.

Summary

Documentary about the tumultuous life and career of the American singer-songwriter, examining everything from his success at the Grammy awards and his friendship with John Lennon to his substance abuse and divorces. With contributions by Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Jon Voight, Randy Newman, Micky Dolenz and Eric Idle.

Arts

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