John Lennon take up the producing duties of the Nilsson’s tenth studio album Pussy Cats, a record released in 1974. One particular highlight, was the appropriate cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’.
The front cover included an inside joke with the children’s letter blocks ‘D’ and ‘S’ on either side of a rug under a table as a rebus.
The album was started in Los Angeles but John ultimately finished producing it in New York.During recording, Nilsson ruptured one of his vocal cords but chose to keep this from Lennon, a factor which caused his voice so much strain that many believed it never quite recovered. Half of the album’s original ten tracks were covers while the rest were written by John and Harry.
Nilsson’s Lennon-assisted cover of ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ is a furious three minutes that sees John get to unleash some of his rockier side and provides the perfect soundtrack for a period of the former Beatle genius’ life. The track references the widespread use of recreational drugs which had spiralled throughout the ’60s amid the turmoil surrounding the Vietnam War.
Dylan was a figure of influence over quite a large chunk of John’s career. He said: “That’s me in my Dylan period,” laughed Lennon when speaking to David Sheff about the song ‘I’m A Loser’. “Part of me suspects I’m a loser and part of me thinks I’m God Almighty. [Laughs]” Prior to this in 1974, John also recognised the song’s strong links back to Dylan, “‘I’m A Loser’ is me in my Dylan period, because the word ‘clown’ is in it. I objected to the word ‘clown’, because that was always artsy-fartsy, but Dylan had used it so I thought it was all right, and it rhymed with whatever I was doing.”
Listen ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’.. H E R E .