Mastered from the original master tapes, pressed on premium vinyl at RTI, and housed in an old-school Stoughton gatefold jacket, Mobile Fidelity's numbered 180g 45RPM 2LP set of Son of Schmilsson presents the music with full-range dynamics and astute clarity. Recording with producer Richard Perry and at London's Trident Studios for the second time, the singer again captures a natural sound marked by lively tonalities, generous air, and stellar presence. All these aspects come to the fore with unprecedented degrees on this first-ever audiophile reissue of Nilsson's most controversial (and self-sabotaging) turn.
Listeners who prize separation and spaciousness are in for a treat. While Nilsson and Perry juggled everything from unusual percussion to horn sections to choirs and an orchestra, Mobile Fidelity's version of Son of Schmilsson never seems muddled or congested. The versatile array of instruments have room to breathe, while notes emerge with palpable immediacy and fade with realistic decay. It goes without saying that Nilsson's elastic voice projects with you-are-there resolution and transparency. Make no mistake: You'll hear exactly why the 1972 work continues to spark debate and persist as a fan favorite to this day.
Just look at the invited guests – the "cast," to quote text from the back cover – who participated in the merriment. George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Lowell George, Nicky Hopkins, Peter Frampton, and Bobby Keys join session pros such as Klaus Voorman, Ray Cooper, and Milt Holland stitching together arrangements that encompass rock, torch, country, pop, blues, and old-world European-styled sing-a-longs. Indulgent, certainly, yet always in the service of a singer-songwriter whose multifaceted aims and daring versatility speak to the lasting appeal, wit, and melodicism of the primarily upbeat fare.