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Album review: Nilsson, The RCA Albums Collection (Sony Legacy)


“He is It,” wrote Beatles publicist Derek Taylor in the sleevenote to Nilsson's second album, Aerial Ballet, “He is The One.” Taylor and The Beatles were already fans of Nilsson's rococo pop classicism, establishing the kind of inflated reputation it's hard to live up to, or down. Subsequent albums took him off in wildly disparate directions, from the old-time Americana of Harry to his mythopoeic kids' tale The Point!, until 1971's Nilsson Schmilsson secured a mass audience courtesy of his definitive cover of Badfinger's “Without You”. With the hindsight afforded by this monumental 17-disc career retrospective, he seems somewhat less than The One, an idiosyncratic talent undermined by MOR inclinations.

Download: Without You; Everybody's Talkin'; One; Together