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1412 tracks from USA have been recommended.
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The Cast and Crew  performed by Harry Nilsson  1968
Recommended by agnamaracs [profile]

Otto Preminger's "Skidoo," starring Jackie Gleason, Carol Channing, and Groucho Marx, among others, is best described as a psychedelic gangster film. While the film itself is mostly forgotten, Harry Nilsson gave it a memorable soundtrack, including "The Cast and Crew," which was played over the credits.

Wait. Did I say "played over?" This song IS the credits. The COMPLETE credits. Yes, going as far as mentioning the copyright line ("Copyright MCMLXVIII/By Sigma Productions Incorporated/Your seat's on fire") and people such as negative cutters, set directors, etc. And he puts in every little detail:

--"Photographed in Panavision and Technicolor/Director of Photography: Leon Shamroy, A.S.C. Hmph."

--"It's a Paramount (TM) release, a Gulf + Western company." (Yes, he sings "TM" and "plus.")

So, it's the movie credits. But he sings them, and he sings them in an interesting and humorous way. You have to pity the poor guy: he had to take all these names and occupations, fit them into a song, and make it interesting. And he even performed it live on television once, on "Playboy After Dark" in 1968.

from Skidoo (RCA LSO-1152)
available on CD - Skidoo / The Point! (BMG Camden)


The music played  performed by Matt Monro  1968
Recommended by mattias [profile]

Woe, these string arrangements is way too much wich make this song lovely song amazing, very close to pathetic and still great. The sentimental lyrics "when I lost you love the music playd..." sung with Monros deep sinatra-like voice is thrilling, and again, the strings, the strings...




Itzcuintli-Totzli Days  performed by the Mountain Goats  1994
Recommended by agnamaracs [profile]

"Itzcuintli-Totzli Days" is one of the many Mountain Goats songs that displays John Darnielle's fixation on ancient Aztec culture: "Itzcuintli" (or "Itzquintli," the dog) is the tenth day of the Aztec calendar, and "Totzli" (or "Tochtli," the rabbit) is the eighth. Apparently, Tochtli symbolized drunkenness, something looked down upon by the Aztecs. So when Darnielle sings "I know he's coming, let him come / Let the big, big rabbit come out," he's singing a good old-fashioned drinking song, albeit with Aztec imagery. It can never be said that Darnielle writes straightforwardly.

(It also makes me think of the film "Harvey," and the relationship between the alcoholic Elwood P. Dowd and an invisible rabbit; the line "Let him cast his shadow on the bright face of our little house" brings to mind the promotional artwork.)

Like many Mountain Goats songs, every element comes together: the words, the melody, the vocals (lead and harmony), and the guitar playing. (I emphasize the guitar playing because a friend of mine says that Darnielle's not a particularly good guitar player. He's wrong.) it's only 1:24, so there's not much to it, but it's (short and) sharp. And at the end, there's applause. where it's coming from, I don't know, but it just as well might be coming from us.

from Beautiful Rat Sunset, available on CD


Female of the Species  performed by Meg Myles  1961
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

I can just imagine people sitting in a seedy New York movie theatre on 42nd Street back in 1961 watching a b-movie called "Satan in High Heels". The film is in its last reel and suddenly the main female character comes out on the nightclub stage wearing a leather outfit complete with 6-inch dominitrix boots and a riding crop! The music swells and she starts to sing:
---
i'm the kind of woman, not hard to understand,
i'm the one who cracks the whip and holds the upper hand
I'll beat you, mistreat you, til you quiver and quail,
the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
---
This little film isn't likely to have ever had a soundtrack album which in a way is sad because in addition to this camply little gem there are a couple of other cute vocals by Meg Myles and the other actresses in the film and some great jazz instrumentals sprinkled throughout as well. The fine folks at Something Weird Video have kindly put this little film out on DVD. You can also catch the scene containing this song on their compilation of movie trailers (where I first discovered this film) released to inform people of their DVD catalog.

from from the film "Satan in High Heels" (Something Weird Video www.somethingweird.com)


Sweet Talking Candyman  performed by Lynn Carey (visually performed by ’The Carrie Nations’)  1970
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

From the film that saved Twentieth Century Fox from one of it's many brushes with bankruptcy... This song is very much a product of it's time and has only become more campy as the years pass by. It tells the story of a 17 year-old runaway who hitches a ride with a drug dealer and shacks up with him in New Orleans only to be hardened by his neglect and abuse. Talk of a DVD release of this film thru Criterion is running rampant on the internet, I do hope it is true!

from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls - Original Soundtrack, available on CD



  22 Jun 04 ·n-jeff: Is it camp? Am I just too out of touch with my taste? To me its a great song off one of my favourite Soundtracks. I may have chosen "in the long run" over it, but not necessarily. Maybe Lynn Careys vocal performance is a little powerful for modern tastes. Dunno still don't get camp.
Great choice anyway!

  27 Jun 04 ·jeanette: Both the song and the film are amazing, in my opinion. I think the only reason it gets tarred with that 'camp' brush is the movie is one of those all-but-the-kitchen-sink storylines and the songs get lumped in too. I hope that DVD rumour is true. BTW, struck very lucky at a record fair today and got the 7" of Come With The Gentle People for a mere 50p, surely worth miles more than that??!
  10 Apr 06 ·FlyingDutchman1971: "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" 2-Disc DVD will be released on June 13, 2006.
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