Friday, April 2, 2010

Nilsson: One

Three Dog Night was known for recording a number of great tunes; however, unlike most popular bands in the late 60s and early 70s, they didn’t write any of their hits. While some of their songs were composed by singer-songwriters who were unfamiliar to mainstream pop radio listeners, many of their top songs were composed by artists and songwriters of some notoriety.

For instance, “Eli’s Coming” was a Laura Nyro tune. Randy Newman penned “Mama Told Me Not to Come.” Russ Ballard, the lead singer of Argent, contributed “Liar.” Country legend Hoyt Axton wrote their signature “Joy to the World,” as well as “Never Been to Spain.” Although not known for his singing talent, Paul Williams authored “An Old Fashioned Love Song” and coauthored “Out in the Country.” Known for “Please Come to Boston,” Dave Loggins’ “Pieces of April” charted for the band in 1972. Other hits written by others included Allen Toussaint’s “Brickyard Blues” and Leo Sayer’s “The Show Must Go on.”

Today’s Friday’s First recording was penned by Harry Nilsson and appeared on his 1968 album “Aerial Ballet.” The very next year, Three Dog Night covered the tune for their debut album. It was the third single from this album it proved to be the hit, as “One” peaked at #5. Chuck Negron, one of the band’s three lead vocalists, was featured on their rendition.

Three Dog Night’s Hit Version

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