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Spaceman: A Harry Nilsson Tribute Playlist


Twenty years ago today – in January 15, 1994 – the towering, thoroughly one-of-a-kind musical genius of one Harry Nilsson fizzled out for good in a home in Agoura Hills, California. At the age of just 52 years old, the New York singer-songwriter bid farewell to a plain that he documented and distilled so incisively and astutely not only via his extremely eclectic original compositions but also in his various collaborations and innumerable reworkings of music written by peers and legends alike.

Perhaps most famous for a song that he did not write – the timeless ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ from Midnight Cowboy – Nilsson’s kaleidoscopic, wide-ranging and hugely colourful output boasted the voice and unmistakable touch of a unsung musical trailblazer who is only today full reaping the acclaim and plaudits that should have been so readily bestowed upon him thirty, forty years ago. And yet, such was naturally the case for an artist that so readily overlooked success in favour of integrity.

Paying our small tribute to such a monumental talent, we have compiled a twelve-track Spotify playlist featuring some of Nilsson’s finest ever recorded material: everything from his exceptional cover of Randy Newman’s ‘Sail Away’, the introspective mastery of ‘One’ and the impossibly catchy, one chord eccentric singularity of ‘Coconut’.

is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.