From the archive
Nilsson often reminds the listener that he is listening to the recording of a studio album. Nilsson’s voice in the control room is heard on several songs, instructing the recording engineer to add more echo or remove a voice. On the album’s final song “So Long Dad”, amid a multi-Nilsson chorus of voices, Nilsson softly asks for “more first voice.” Louder, he counters himself by saying “actually I need more current voice. Forget the one that’s saying ‘more first voice.‘“
Besides piano, other instruments were sometimes used in the studio, including bass drum, tambourine and various electronic keyboards. On the song “Cowboy”, Nilsson used electronic harpsichord to bring in a different concluding theme, quoting John Barry’s theme from the film Midnight Cowboy, an inside joke that referenced Fred Neil‘s “Everybody’s Talkin’“ from the same film, a major success for Nilsson earlier that year.