Shelley Duvall :: He Needs Me (Harry Nilsson – 1979 Demo)


In 1979 Harry Nilson took a hiatus from recording what would turn out to be his final (full) album, Flash Harry, in order to act as musical director behind filmmaker Robert Altman’s 1980 film, Popeye. Co-produced by Bruce Robb, with arrangements by Van Dyke Parks, Nilsson composed all of the film’s original songs.

An inspired collaboration that almost didn’t happen, re: an Altman anecdote per Nillson’s involvement: “Nobody wanted him at first except Robin Williams. Everyone said ‘You’ll get in trouble with him — he’ll get drunk; he won’t do it; he’s all washed up.’ As a matter of fact I said all of those things about Harry to Robin myself one day. Then I went home and thought about it and said to myself, ‘Jesus, that’s what some people are saying about me!’ So I called Harry Nilsson, because I had never met him in my life, and we got along terrifically.” Glad they did.

Below is the original Nilsson demo for “He Needs Me”, as sung by Shelley Duvall

Shelley Duvall :: He Needs Me (Harry Nilsson – Demo)

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