Most people agree that this was the apex of Harry's career, and it is a consistently great pop LP. Producer Richard Perry brought out Harry's nutty creativity and good humor better than anyone had ever done before.
While it will always be an oddity that a songwriter as good as Harry Nilsson had his biggest hits with other people's songs, it also proves what an excellent interpreter he could be; as Mariah Carey proved despite a similar arrangement, nobody could work the magic that Harry did on "Without You". The invaluable assistance of Paul Buckmaster, surely one of the best string arrangers in pop music history, helped a lot. Such was the fertile creativity here that Harry and Richard could take three songs with no connecting thread whatsoever and make them sound like a trilogy merely by sequencing, like on the great "Gotta Get Up", "Driving Along", and "Early In The Morning", the latter capturing perfectly that bleary-eyed 6 AM after having been up all night feeling. "Coconut" is another goofy song with that infectuous three note hook, and "Down" works up a great horn-driven head of steam. I also love "The Moonbeam Song", with its nice Mellotron accompaniment...and of course, no discussion of this LP is complete without mentioning "Jump Into the Fire", one of the few times Harry Nilsson actually rocked out, and rocked out well. I've always thought it worked better in the single version, which is not as drawn-out and lacks the drum solo.
Nilsson Schmilsson was a landmark album that pretty much established Harry's image for the rest of his career. Sadly, he didn't wear his pop star clothes all that comfortably, but that doesn't take away from this otherwise excellent LP.