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Pussy Cats {US Deluxe CD Reissue}

Pussy Cats {US Deluxe CD Reissue}
United States
CD
BMG Buddha
99615
June 15, 1999
Produced by John Lennon, Pussy Cats was recorded during John's "Lost Weekend" in Los Angeles, California.

Harry injured his vocal cords during the recording sessions.

After recording A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night Harry announced that he would record an album of songs by Allen Toussaint. Instead, he and John recorded Pussy Cats.


Curtis Armstrong told us of the reissue of Pussy Cats in May of 1999. The following is how the announcement was released in the Harry Nilsson web pages.

May 1999

RCA, Nilsson's label for most of his recording career, has announced a 25th Anniversary reissue of the John Lennon-produced Nilsson album, Pussy Cats.

The announcement came just months after RCA deleted virtually all Nilsson albums from its catalog.

The re-release will be available on RCA's new Special Products label, Buddha Records, headed by Alex Miller with support and encouragement from RCA archivist Glenn Korman. Both men are avowed Nilsson fans and hope that this re-issue will just be the first in a larger re-release series.

is scheduled for release on Harry Nilsson's birthday, June 15, 1999. The album will include all the original art work, new liner notes and bonus tracks. Curtis Armstrong has been assisting RCA in the selection of bonus tracks.

The four bonus tracks have already been selected:

  • "Turn Out The Lights" - Harry's stripped down demo of a song which finally appeared on the Duit on Mon Dei album. Far from the exuberant, steel-drum-laden version we know, the demo is more of a quirky lullaby. This version is from the two-inch tapes of these sessions. On the multi-tracks, "Turn Out The Lights" was one of five songs from this period from which Harry's vocal had been mysteriously wiped.
  • "The Flying Saucer Song" - Of at least three unreleased versions of Harry's infamous shaggy-drunk story, this appears to be the only one produced by John Lennon. Among other arrangement differences, the song-within-a-song is more produced, with multi-tracked harmonies.
  • "Down By the Sea" - Another song which surfaced on the Duit on Mon Dei album. A totally different take on the song, complete with "Island"-style pedal guitar from Sneaky Pete, piano by Jane Getz, Ringo Starr on drums, Keith Moon on percussion and a host of other regulars. A really fun track.
  • "Save the Last Dance for Me" - Arguably the gem of this collection. Harry's keyboard/vocal demo was done early in the sessions, before his vocal chords ruptured. The result is one of his best vocals from this period. His electric piano playing leaves a little to be desired, but his singing is spine-tingling.
A fifth bonus track, "Many Rivers to Cross" was considered but dropped at the last minute. It is an early mix of the Jimmy Cliff tune. No strings, no horns, no echo - like many of Harry's demos from the archives, this version is, in some respects, superior to the final version. The lead vocal is the same, but the sparce arrangement allows the listener to really hear it for the first time.

If all goes as planned (i.e. if Pussy Cats sells well enough), the next albums being considered for the deluxe re-issue treatment will be, in no particular order, Nilsson Sings Newman, Pandemonium Shadow Show, Aerial Ballet, and Aerial Pandemonium Ballet. The last three albums are particularly rich in unreleased material, while Nilsson Sings Newman could at least boast "Snow", possibly the greatest unreleased Nilsson track from any period.

Alex Miller maintains that the main object of Buddha records will be "to get these albums out and keep them out. None of this making them available for 18 months and then pulling them."

On June 1, 1999, we received some updated news from Curtis Armstrong.

Update - June 1, 1999

A message from Curtis Armstrong:
Got some happy news from Buddha records this morning. The pre-orders for the upcoming re-release of Pussy Cats have exceeded the company's expectations. For an artist of Harry's stature, pre-orders averaging 5000 units is considered doing very well indeed. With the re-release of Pussy Cats still a couple of weeks away, pre-orders are already at 6500. Alex Miller, the head of Buddha records said that this makes his job easier, and we are beginning preliminary work on the next two titles to receive the deluxe treatment: Nilsson Sings Newman and Aerial Pandemonium Ballet. In addition, Barnes and Noble will be featuring a Pussy Cats display in their stores during the month of June. Also, Warner/Chappell is publishing a Nilsson Song Book, called The Nilsson Anthology, which will feature music and lyrics of 25 of Nilsson's best songs.

Downloads:

Pussy Cats MP3 Download

Credits:

Bass: Klaus Voormann
Choir, Chorus: Damon Vigiano
Choir, Chorus: Kristin Turner
Choir, Chorus: Cantey Turner
Choir, Chorus: David Steinberg
Choir, Chorus: Peri Prestopino
Choir, Chorus: Phylida Paterson
Choir, Chorus: Rachel Mueller
Choir, Chorus: Erik Mueller
Choir, Chorus: Troy Germano
Choir, Chorus: Susie Bell
Choir, Chorus: Nathalie Altman
Drums: Ringo Starr
Drums: Keith Moon
Drums: Jim Keltner
Guitar: Jesse Ed Davis
Guitar: Danny Kootch
Marimbas: Cynthia Webb
Pedal Steel Guitar: Sneaky Pete Kleinow
Piano: Jane Getz
Saxophone: Gene Cipriano
Saxophone: Jim Horn
Saxophone: Bobby Keys
Saxophone: Trevor Lawrence
Trombone: Chuck Findley

Tracks:

1-"Many Rivers to Cross"
2-"Subterranean Homesick Blues"
3-"Don't Forget Me"
4-"All My Life"
5-"Old Forgotten Soldier"
6-"Save the Last Dance for Me"
7-"Mucho Mungo-Mt. Elga"
8-"Loop de Loop"
9-"Black Sails In The Moonlight"
10-"Rock Around the Clock"
11-"Down By the Sea {Demo}"
12-"The Flying Saucer Song {Demo}"
13-"Turn Out The Lights {Demo}"
14-"Save the Last Dance for Me {Demo}"

Variations:

Pussy Cats (Edsel CD)
Pussy Cats (Japanese CD Reissue)
Pussy Cats (Quad LP)
Pussy Cats (Stereophonic LP)
Pussy Cats (US CD Reissue)
Pussy Cats (US Deluxe CD Reissue)

Links:

Purchase from Amazon.com
Purchase from Amazon.co.uk
Purchase from Amazon.ca (Canada)
Search eBay (UK) for Pussy Cats
Search eBay (Canada) for Pussy Cats
Search GEMM for Pussy Cats

Album Ratings/Reviews
Pussy Cats
(3.0 / 4.0)
Timothy Craig
(2.0 / 4.0)
The bonus tracks are interesting variations of the later productions, but it is still not one of my favorite Nilsson albums.
Raymond Rehayem
(4.0 / 4.0)
I only registered on this site to offer an alternate, glowing opinion of this album! Sure, it may be limited by Harry's disturbingly close imitation of Lennon, but that beats him doing "Mother Nature's Son"! Seriously, Harry's particular blend of beauty and cynicism reaches an apex with "Don't Forget Me" perhaps his finest moment. The pairing with Lennon (in many ways this is more like a Lennon lp) is only natural and the fantastic 1999 BMG issue bonus cuts show Harry with voice intact- The alt. take of "Save the Last Dance" shreds the lp version because Harry's voice ain't shredded! It is stunningly lovely. Lots of covers, but surely Harry's most rock and roll album. If you love John's work and Harry's work you'll either love this or be miffed. The bonus tracks are a must- don't get an older issue unless, of course, you find the lp. It sounds great and the cover's a winner.

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