Top 10 Harry Nilsson Songs

Harry Nilsson Songs

Photo: RCA Records / Public domain via Creative Commons

Our Top 10 Harry Nilsson Songs List takes a look at one of the most treasured artists in Rock and Roll History. Harry Nilsson was a songwriter and a song interpreter. He had tremendous success on both fronts. He was the songwriter behind Three Dog Night’s massive hit “One.” He was a song interpreter behind Badfinger’s beautiful song “Without You.” Harry Nilsson won multiple Grammy Awards. He was incredibly respected in the music industry. Harry Nilsson was great friends with some of rock and roll’s biggest legends like John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon,  and many others. Nilsson worked hard and partied hard. He was tremendously successful.

Harry Nilsson released his first album in 1966 entitled Spotlight on Nilsson. He would continue to release one or two albums a year until his final studio album Flash Harry in 1980. Our Top 10 Harry Nilsson songs barely touch on the songs from his wonderful catalog. Nilsson was one of the most gifted musical artists of the 20th Century. We hope you enjoy taking a listen to some of these great Harry Nilsson songs. Make sure to check out his entire musical catalog.

# 10 – Jump Into The Fire

We open up out top 10 Harry Nilsson Songs list with the great track “Jump Into The Fire.” With the song’s great guitar riffs and smoking Harry Nilsson vocals this one stands as a great way to open up our Nilsson songs list. The song was released on the Harry Nilsson album titled Nilsson Schmilsson. The album was released in 1971. The song “Jump Into The Fire.” was the second single released from the album. It stood in stark contrast to the album’s huge first single “Without You.”

# 9 – Mucho Mungo/Mt. Elga

The great piece of music “Mucho Mungo/Mt Elga,” was released on the album Pussy Cats. The record was released in 1974. The album was produced by John Lennon. The song “Mucho Mungo/Mt Elga,” was written by John Lennon and Harry Nilsson. There were singles released from the album but “Mucho Mungo/Mt Elga,” was not one of them. Nonetheless, I still think this was the album’s best and most creative track.

# 8 – Spaceman

Continuing with top 10 Nilsson songs list we turn to the great bang bang beat em up tune “Spaceman.” This classic Nilsson song was released on the great Son of Schmilsson album. The album featured an all star cats of famous rock and roll musicians including Peter Frampton, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Bobby Keys, Lowell George, Nicky Hopkins and many other great players. The legendary Paul Buckmaster who many rock fans knew from all the great work he did arranging string arrangements for Elton John also did the string arrangements on this great track.

# 7 – Coconut

The great Nilsson song “Coconut was one of those great novelty songs of the early 1970s that actually has stood the test of time unlike most novelty songs. The song was released on the Nilsson Schmilsson album. The song broke into the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 10 peaking at number eight. It’s one of the songs that always finds its way back into pop culture over the years usually appearing in motion pictures such as Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. Nilsson’s vocals performance on this one is hysterical.

# 6 – Old Dirt Road

This great track “Old Dirt Road,” was released on the album Flash Harry. The album was released in 1980. The song was written by John Lennon and Harry Nilsson. It first appeared on John Lennon’s album Walls and Bridges  which was released in 1974 and stood as Lennon’s fifth solo album.

# 5 – Something True

This beautiful song is just simply sensational. It was released on Nilsson’s 1976 album entitled Sandman. That fabulous voice, those sweet strings, the brilliant arrangement; it’s almost overwhelming to listen to now. The Sandman album also featured Joe Cocker on backing vocals and many of the great session players of the classic rock era including Jim Keltner, Danny Kortchmar, and Klaus Voormann.  It’s so sad that music like this is not written any more.

# 4 – You’re Breakin’ My Heart

How many times have you played this songs to make you feel better about that one person who constantly stabbed you in the heart? This blew me away when I first heard it. I used to drive my parents crazy playing this song real loud back in the 1970’s. Now I drive my wife crazy playing it. The song really ticks her off, That’s great rock and roll. The song was released on the album Son of Schmilsson in 1972. Peter Frampton played guitar in the track. The legendary Nicky Hopkins played the piano part.

# 3 – Everybody’s Talking

These next three Nilsson songs still knock me out every time I hear any one of them. These are such gorgeous pieces of music that defines the storyline of so many lives. Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talking,” was written by Fred Neil in 1966. Nilsson’s version was placed in the film Midnight Cowboy. The song won a Grammy Award. It stands as one of the most covered songs in history being recorded by a wide variety of musical artists from all musical genres including Crosby, Stills & Nash, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Neil Diamond, Iggy Pop, Stevie Wonder and many more.

# 2 – One

Most classic rock fans relate the song “One,” to the band Three Dog Night who had a massive hit with it. There’s no denying that Three Dog Night did indeed release a spectacular version of the song. The song was a huge success reaching the number five position on the Billboard top 100 in 1968. However, this great song was written by Harry Nilsson. It was released on Harry Nilsson’s third album entitled Aerial Ballet. The album was released in 1968.

# 1 – Without You

Harry Nilsson songs tremendous ballad without you remains one of the most beautiful and explosive rock and roll Ballads of all time. The songs melody, arrangement, production and incredible vocal performance defines one of the greatest moments in recorded history. The song has been covered many times but none of them compare to Harry Nilsson’s cover version.

The song “Without You,” was originally a Badfinger song written by Peter Hamm and Tom Evans. Nilsson’s version of “Without You,” went to number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 as well as many other charts around the world. Harry Nilsson won a Grammy award for his vocal performance on the song.

Harry Nilsson Studio Albums

Spotlight on Nilsson 

Released in 1966

Pandemonium Shadow Show 

Released in 1967

Aerial Ballet 

Released in 1968

Skidoo 

Released in 1968

Harry 

Released in 1969

Nilsson Sings Newman 

Released in 1970

The Point! 

Released in 1971

Nilsson Schmilsson 

Released in 1971

Son of Schmilsson

Released in 1972

A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night 

Released in 1973

Son of Dracula

Released in 1974

Pussy Cats 

Released in 1974

Duit on Mon Dei 

Released in 1975

Sandman 

Released in 1976

..That’s the Way It Is 

Released in 1976

Knnillssonn 

Released in 1977

Flash Harry 

Released in 1980

Popeye 

Released in 1980

Losst and Founnd 

Released in 2019

Updated July 22, 2021

Top 10 Harry Nilsson Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2020

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