Harry Nilsson

Skidoo

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Harry Nilsson's soundtrack to Otto Preminger's cheerfully "anti-establishment" film Skidoo is more memorable than the film itself, but that's a bit of a relative statement. The film has been almost entirely forgotten, and the soundtrack is remembered only by Nilsson cultists, primarily for the absolutely brilliant opener, "The Cast and Crew," where all the credits are sung, with a really nifty tune on top of that. Nothing tops that, even though "I Will Take You There" is nice, "Garbage Can Ballet" feels like a pleasant holdover from Aerial Ballet, and the main theme slips and slides memorably. The remainder of the record is pretty good, brass-heavy soundtrack work, quite clearly of its time yet relatively charming because of it. It's not all that striking -- it's just agreeable background music -- except for the end, when Carol Channing sings "Skidoo," a moment that's utterly jarring after nearly a half hour of lulling mood music. And not in a good way.

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