On this day in music history: July 10, 1972 – …

On this day in music history: July 10, 1972 – “Son Of Schmilsson”, the eighth album by Harry Nilsson is released. Produced by Richard Perry, it is the recorded at Trident Studios and Apple Studios in London from March – April 1972. Coming off of the hugely successful “Nilsson Schmilsson” album, Harry Nilsson finds himself under pressure from his record label RCA and producer Richard Perry to repeat that success with the follow up. True to form, Nilsson chooses to go in the opposite direction creatively, following his muse and writing songs to suit his own eclectic tastes and sardonic sense of humor. At the time, he is in the process of divorcing his second wife Diane and writes the very catchy, funny and bluntly sarcastic “You’re Breaking My Heart”. The choruses end with the singer dropping the F-bomb throughout, to drive the point home.

The albums next to last track “I’d Rather Be Dead” features a chorus of elderly men and women singing along, also reflects his state of mind at the time. The album features many of the same musicians who played on the previous album including Klaus Voorman (bass), Chris Spedding, John Uribe (guitars), and Bobby Keys (saxophone), as well as George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Peter Frampton, Lowell George, and Ray Cooper. The recording sessions are filmed for a documentary titled “Did Somebody Drop His Mouse?”, but is not released. Some of this footage is later featured in the Nilsson documentary “Who Is Harry Nilsson, And Why Is Everybody Talking About Him?”. Though not as commercially successful as its predecessor, it is well received by the public. It spins off two singles including “Spaceman” (#23 Pop) and “Daybreak” (#39 Pop). The albums cover feature a black and white photo of Nilsson dressed as Count Dracula at the top of a staircase, with the image being staged at George Harrison’s home Friar Park in Henley On Thames, Oxfordshire, UK. Original vinyl LP copies were pressed with custom labels utilizing vintage Victor 78 RPM styled labels. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2013 as part of the box set “Nilsson – The RCA Albums Collection”, containing six additional bonus tracks. “Son Of Schmilsson” peaks at number twelve on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.