Monday, April 22, 2024

Tennis Fans: That IBM Cloud Commercial Song is “Jump into the Fire” by Harry Nilsson, Produced by Richard Perry with All Star Musicians


Tennis fans: the most constant commercial playing during the US Open seems to be the IBM Cloud spot. And that insistent rock music playing on it is worth nothing.

The song is “Jump into the Fire,” written and sung by the late Harry Nilsson in 1972. It was the third hit single from his “Nilsson Schmilsson” album produced by Richard Perry. The album was a smash, and nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys. Other recognizable hits from the album are “Without You” (covered years later by Mariah Carey) and “Coconut.”

Perry– the most successful pop producer of the 70s– had an an all star lineup for “Schmilsson.” You’re hearing Beatles sideman Klaus Voormann on bass, Chris Spedding on guitar, John Uribe on guitar, Herbie Flowers on bass, and Jim Gordon on drums. Gordon’s incredible solo is featured on the long version below of “Jump into the Fire.”

Gordon, of course, also wrote the piano part of “Layla.” A few years later he killed his own mother. He was crazy. But also a good composer (although Rita Coolidge claims she wrote the piano part of “Layla” and he just put his name on it).

Anyway. “Nilsson Schmilsson,” like Richard Perry productions with Carly Simon, Ringo Starr and the Pointer Sisters, is among the high water marks of pop music. So a tip of the hat. Forty five years later, “Jump into the Fire” sounds brand new.

PS The pair also made a hit sequel, “Son of Schmilsson,” which had the hits “Space Man” and “You’re Breaking My Heart.” It also featured my guilty pleasure Nilsson song, “The Lottery Song.” Nicky Hopkins plays piano. Absolute perfection.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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