Harold & Maude: The Re-Imagined Soundtrack
But the movie did go a long way to redeeming Cat Stevens for me. As a kid, he was on my list of must-avoid artists, largely owing to being an inescapable presence at overnight camp sing-alongs as well as one of the artists found in my dad's small stash of 8-track tapes (alongside Herb Alpert, Barbra Streisand, the Carpenters, and a lot of Ennio Morricone soundtracks). But the prominent placement of his music in such a bizarre cult hit gave him a stamp of coolness. (Alas, a few years later the whole Salman Rushdie controversy again rendered him musical persona non grata, and it was many more years before I once again re-discovered his music.)
Anyway, it's on my mind because, a half-century after the film's release, they've finally gotten around to releasing an official soundtrack (and, coincidentally, the movie popped up on cable the other night and I watched for a little bit, though I didn't make it that far). It's not something I plan to buy--most tracks are on his proper albums (Mona Bone Jakon and Tea For The Tillerman, both released in 1970), and the two originals in the movie later surfaced on a 1984 greatest hits collection, so it's not like I don't already have the songs elsewhere.
But it did inspire me to create a new imaginary soundtrack (as I'm wont to do on occasion). I interspersed the Cat Stevens songs with more contemporary covers of songs that somehow, for inexplicable reasons, just feel like they belong here. They include a couple Stevens covers (both Kristin Hersh & Elliott Smith covering "Trouble," and William Fitzsimmons covering "The Wind"), and a random assortment of others (both Susanna Hoffs and, once again, Kristin Hersh covering Nick Drake; Golden Smog covering the Kinks; and so on). So it ends up sounding more like a Wes Anderson soundtrack, which is kinda cool.