Pussy Cats

Pussy Cats

by Harry Nilsson

CD

Overview

The relationship between Harry Nilsson and John Lennon is legendary. They were notorious booze hounds and carousers, getting kicked out of clubs for misbehavior and generally terrorizing L.A. during Lennon's "lost weekend" of 1974. They wanted to make an album together -- hell, anyone working at such a peak would -- and the result was Pussy Cats, a Nilsson album produced by Lennon. Almost immediately, Nilsson got sick, resulting in a ruptured vocal cord. Not wanting Lennon to stop the sessions, Nilsson never told his friend, stubbornly working his way through the sessions until he lost his voice entirely. These are the sessions that make up Pussy Cats, an utterly bewildering record that's more baffling than entertaining. Like many superstar projects of its time, this is studded with contributions from friends and studio musicians, all intent on having a good time in the studio -- which usually means hammering out rock & roll oldies. In this case, it meant both Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and the children's song "Loop de Loop," which gives a good idea where Nilsson was at. Through its messiness, Pussy Cats winds up showing how he and Lennon violently careened between hedonism and self-loathing. Of the new songs, the inadvertently revealing "All My Life" is the strongest, followed by the sweet "Don't Forget Me," yet this is more about tone than substance. It's about hearing Nilsson's voice getting progressively harsher, as the backing remains appealingly professional and slick. It doesn't quite jibe, and it's certainly incoherent, but that's its charm. It may not be as wild as the lost weekend itself, but it couldn't have been recorded at any other time and remains a fascinating aural snapshot of the early days of 1974.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/17/2002
Label: Camden International
UPC: 0743219502520
catalogNumber: 195025

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Harry Nilsson   Primary Artist,Piano,Electric Piano,Vocals,Track Performer
David Steinberg   Choir, Chorus,Children's Chorus
Ringo Starr   Drums,Maracas
Jesse Ed Davis   Guitar
Keith Moon   Conga,Drums,Wood Block
Jim Keltner   Drums
Jane Getz   Piano
Sneaky Pete Kleinow   Pedal Steel Guitar
Kenny Ascher   Piano,Conductor
Gene Cipriano   Saxophone
Chuck Findley   Trombone
Jim Horn   Saxophone
Bobby Keys   Saxophone
Danny Kortchmar   Guitar
Trevor Lawrence   Saxophone
Willie "The Lion" Smith   Organ
Klaus Voormann   Bass
Cynthia Webb   Marimbas
Nathalie Altman   Choir, Chorus,Children's Chorus
Susie Bell   Choir, Chorus,Children's Chorus
Troy Germano   Choir, Chorus,Children's Chorus
Erik Mueller   Choir, Chorus,Children's Chorus
Rachel Mueller   Choir, Chorus,Children's Chorus
Phylida Paterson   Choir, Chorus,Children's Chorus
Peri Prestopino   Choir, Chorus,Children's Chorus
Cantey Turner   Choir, Chorus,Children's Chorus
Kristin Turner   Choir, Chorus,Children's Chorus
Damon Vigiano   Choir, Chorus,Children's Chorus
Sneeky Pete   Pedal Steel Guitar

Technical Credits

John Lennon   Producer
Harry Nilsson   Author,Adaptation
Kenny Ascher   Orchestration
Roy Cicala   Engineer
Jimmy DeKnight   Composer
Derek Taylor   Liner Notes
Paul Williams   Tape Research
Acy Lehman   Art Direction
Max Freedman   Composer
Andrea T. Sheridan   Liner Notes
Cally   Artwork
Keith Munro   Producer
Curtis Armstrong   Liner Notes

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Pussy Cats 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Nepomuk More than 1 year ago
It's worth it for the stellar version of Doc Pomus and Mort Shumer's "Save The Last Dance For Me." With John Lennon producing (and, from what my ears tell me, harmonizing -- although Nilsson seems also to be harmonizing with himself) this is a song sung by a world-weary man. The piano is played slowly, heavily and Ringo -- I do believe it's him, with those signature hesitating beats and final thump at the end of the track -- drives the old boy to the end of his tale of woe. This is one version of this song where the guy is probably not going to get the girl. The song is almost over the top, but the harmonies are sincere. There is beauty in this pain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago