My son just got DJ turntables and was looking through my old vinyl, hoping for interesting things to sample....and we put "Pussy Cats" on, just out of curiosity.
It was recorded---as most probably know---when Lennon and Yoko had split for a period, and Lennon was pretty much a mess. He was at loose ends, staying in Los Angeles, and wallowing in a miserably depressive phase. During that time, Lennon and Nillsson were hanging out together a lot, drugging and drinking a LOT more than was healthy....and this record was the result.
I hadn't played "Pussy Cats" for...well...decades... and remembered it as a chaotic muddle. But hearing it now, all these years later, I'm captured by its heartbreaking, ragged, untidy beauty. First of all, in addition to John and Harry---both music makers of staggering talent---it features an array of that era's best session musicians: Jim Keltner on drums (with Ringo sitting in), Klaus Voorman on bass, Bobby Keys on piano, Jesse Ed Davis on lead guitar....with the amazing Sneaky Pete Kleinow on pedal steel. Take a minute and listen to "Save the Last Dance.."...."Don't Forget Me.."...and, especially... "Many Rivers to Cross..."... all are laced with an incredible range of unfiltered but artful emotion.
People who are reviewing this as a Nilsson album are completely missing the point. This record is a strange and astonishing moment in time. In playing it, you're sitting in on an extended lost weekend, listening to two truly amazing men jamming messily, wonderfully, badly, brilliantly with their friends. Is it sloppy and uneven? Oh, sure. Heck, yeah. And we're very, VERY fortunate to have it at all.