Paul Williams - Someday Man 

The singer-songwriter's beautifully arranged 1970 release gets a fresh listen

click to enlarge 1105413.jpg

Paul Williams - Someday Man
Now Sounds

The fading mansion backdrop for bespectacled songwriter-singer Paul Williams on Someday Man's cover confuses; it suggests late '60s L.A., but is closer to Manson's creepy crawlers and dying hippie utopia than lilting melancholic pop of delicious major-minor chord and key changes.

Up from the remains of Holy Mackerel and its great but ignored Richard Perry-produced LP (which Now Sounds also recently reissued) Williams and producer-songwriter Roger Nichols recorded Someday — with Wrecking Crew assistance — as an obligation to Reprise Records. But this was hardly some contractual throwaway. (Note this is the same Williams-Nichols who later hit song lotto penning tunes covered by an unusual posse of million-sellers, from Bowie to the Carpenters.)

Beautifully arranged strings, horns, piano, guitars, and the occasional sitar support Williams' appealing tenor and wordplay, which canvass the confessional ("She's Too Good For Me"), the topical ("So Many People") and a metaphysical theme worthy of early Nilsson ("Time"). Jimmy Webb can only wish upon "To Put Up With You" and "Do You Really Have a Heart," while the title tune quells the nerdiest cravings of a hardened pop geek. Add to that a 14-page color booklet, dozen bonus tracks and audiophile mastering from original tapes.

Now Sounds head Steve Stanley authored well-researched liners — sourced with Williams and Nichols — and implies Someday Man deserves inclusion into the holy pop pantheon alongside Pet Sounds, What's Goin' On and Forever Changes. Who's to argue? Isn't it most often the case that the best you'll ever hear is something you've not heard yet?


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 14, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation