Although his two biggest and most famous hits (Everybody's talking, Without you) are by other songwriters, Nilsson (born Harry Nelson) wrote a number of songs that became successful for others.
The Yardbirds were the first major act to record one of Nilsson's songs (Ten little Indians) but Nilsson didn't give up his day job (at a bank) until he heard another of his songs (Cuddly toy) on the radio, performed by the Monkees. More recordings followed including Story of rock'n'roll (Turtles), Without her (Blood sweat and tears) and - most important of all - One (Three Dog Night), which became a huge American hit.
Nilsson finally got his break as a recording artist with Everybody's talking, a cover of a Fred Neil Song that was adopted as a movie theme (Midnight cowboy). Puppy love (David Cassidy) became yet another success for a different singer with one of Nilsson's songs.
Nilsson's biggest success as a singer was the international number one hit, Without you, which was written by two members of Badfinger, both of whom eventually committed suicide. This classic song has subsequently been a top ten country hit for T G Sheppard and a number one UK pop hit in the nineties for Mariah Carey. Many other singers have also covered the song, but Nilsson recorded the definitive version.
Nilsson also recorded an album of standards (represented here by As time goes by) and many other great songs. This compilations includes Nilsson's versions of all the songs made famous by others mentioned above except Ten little Indians, plus those two classic hits as well as Me and my arrow, Coconut, I guess the Lord must be in New York City and a few other wonderful songs.