March 03, 2021 2 min read

Vinyl-a-Day 37: *GUEST ENTRY* Gilbert O’Sullivan - “Himself” (MAM, 1971)

Gilbert O’Sullivan - “Himself” (MAM, 1971)

I was going to do this one myself, but then thought the friend who introduced me to Gilbert O’Sullivan would be better suited to do the write up, and Mike Jackman obliged! From Mike:

One of the great under the radar artists of the 70's (who is still around and INTACT) in my view is the Irish singing/songwriting piano playing sensation Gilbert O'Sullivan! Whenever I meet someone who is from Ireland my first question is not about Bono but about Gilbert. His debut album "Himself" is a treat and provides the kind of wit and humor only a cloth cap hat wearing Irishman could give us.
The US release of this album features his biggest song "Alone Again (Naturally)” which has appeared in many films like The Virgin Suicides and the show Weeds, peaked at number 9 on the billboard 200 and features different cover art (both US and UK versions are featured in this post). The music throughout has a bouncy and clever vibe, but can also be rather maudlin and introspective like the most devastating cut, "Nothing Rhymed," which is my favorite. Gilbert penned this piano ballad while watching a documentary that showed people who were literally starving to death in a poor country.
 Gilbert O’Sullivan - “Himself” (MAM, 1971) US

"Permissive Twit" recalls Pet Sounds era Beach Boys and "Matrimony" is an adventurous and romantic jaunt about a rushed marriage and impending meeting with the registrar. I once wrote Gilbert a letter requesting an autograph which he obliged while also pointedly telling me he was still writing new music! Everything rhymned on that day!

Mike Jackman is a musician, writer and host of the podcast Jackman Radio.

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