|Harry Nilsson, 15th June 1941 - 15th January 1994|
Nilsson is one of my biggest influences as a singer and songwriter. When he was in his prime, his voice was just beyond compare; and his best songs wouldn't have disgraced Lennon & McCartney. Even if you've not heard of him, you'll have heard him - "Can't live, if living is without you..."; "Everybody's talkin' at me. I don't hear a word they're sayin..."; "One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do..."; "You put de lime in de coconut you drink em both up..." and so on and on.
For the uninitiated, I recommend you check out the albums Nilsson Schmilsson and Harry. The former was the biggie that made him a star, beautifully produced by Richard Perry; the latter is a slightly earlier album that sounds like what music might have sounded like had Rock n Roll not come along - it's one of my 5 favourite records, and if you don't absolutely adore at least one track on there, you simply have no heart.
He was a flawed man, bent for whatever reason on sabotaging his own career, and could be a bit of a bastard when he wanted to be... but he was also capable of this.