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Thread: The Harum Scarum soundtrack

  1. #1

    The Harum Scarum soundtrack

    When I was growing up I was never into the Harum Scarum soundtrack. But as I have gotten older there's something about it that stand out and that has grown on me. It's actually a masterpiece to an extent. For one thing, the whole album has a Middle Eastern theme to it. What's so amazing about it is that it's basically taken Middle Eastern musical influences and added American (English) lyrics to the songs. It's by far the most unique album in the Elvis catalog and now I understand why it was such a huge hit in the 60's, peaking at #7 on Billboard. Now this isn't Elvis, the rocker, but it is Elvis the versatile artist, broadening his horizons and taking chances.

    If for some reason you have never heard this album I would recommend it as I think you will find it impressive and enjoyable. And if you are into Middle Eastern music then you will appreciate the artistry delivered by Elvis on this.

    Songs that stand out to me the most:

    Wisdom Of The Ages
    Animal Instinct
    So Close, Yet So Far
    Shake That Tambourine
    Hey Little Girl
    Kismet
    Harum Holiday
    Check out my new blog about Elvis Presley @ http://elvis21century.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    TCB Mafia Raised on Rock's Avatar
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    Re: The Harum Scarum soundtrack

    I still don't like it much, although I don't consider it the worst and find it sometimes enjoyable.

    But one thing always hit me when I play that one, which is not very often: Elvis voice at those particular sessions, was just so deep and perfect. Something right in the middle of the way between the younger Elvis voice and the more mature post '66 Elvis voice. Elvis voice, that wonderful instrument of his, was perfectly tuned and tempered, so rich, despite I don't find what you see in that album, I must say his voice was fantastic at those sessions and that's the reason I sometimes play that thing.

  3. #3
    International Level rickb's Avatar
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    Re: The Harum Scarum soundtrack

    Unique...yes.
    Good...no.

    Apart from So Close Yet So Far I don't really like any songs on this album, though I do appreicate the attempt to make an `eastern' sound.
    The movie was awful, I can't sit through it, which probably influences my opinion

  4. #4
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    Re: The Harum Scarum soundtrack

    Elvis didn't sound like he was interested in singing these songs. He sounds committed, but that's about it. Barely passable album in my opinion.

  5. #5
    TCB Mafia ForeverTheKing's Avatar
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    Re: The Harum Scarum soundtrack

    I reallt like this soundtrack although the movie is not one of my favourites.

    Lovely songs like So Close Yet So Far (From Paradise) and Kismet and Wisdom Of The Ages

  6. #6
    TCB Mafia Raised on Rock's Avatar
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    Re: The Harum Scarum soundtrack

    Quote Originally Posted by rocknroll View Post
    Elvis didn't sound like he was interested in singing these songs. He sounds committed, but that's about it. Barely passable album in my opinion.
    I know, agree, and its such a shame, as Elvis voice was better than ever at that point. He had finally achieved certain maturity but still retaining the flexibility of his early 60's voice.

  7. #7
    TCB Mafia cibetty's Avatar
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    Re: The Harum Scarum soundtrack

    I don't like the movie too much either, but this song was really beautiful!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5H8I...eature=related


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  8. #8
    Cadillac King Trelane P's Avatar
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    Re: The Harum Scarum soundtrack

    Pretty bad but for one track....Animal Instinct. Listen and enjoy...

    http://youtu.be/2OhGaZG4etY

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  9. #9
    TCB Mafia hounddog's Avatar
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    Re: The Harum Scarum soundtrack

    I've read somewhere but i can't remember where that he didn't like the way Hey Little Girl was filmed that it made him cringe, that they had him sing that song to a child. He thought it was very wrong.

    But as for the soundtrack i only really like a couple of songs, So Close Yet So Far From Paradise is the standout by a long long way.

    I agree his voice is fab in the era but i would rather listen to Love Letters, Indesrcibably Blue, Where No One Stands Alone, Down In The Alley, Tomorrow Is A Long Time, Could I ffall In Love, Beyond The Reef, Somebody Bigger Than You And I etc from the 1966 sessions as I think his voice is just beautiful on these tracks
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  10. #10
    Backstage Pass 1100ccRider's Avatar
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    Re: The Harum Scarum soundtrack

    I used to name this as probably the worst of Elvis' soundtracks and the worst film, but lately a new part of my life is modifying that stance: my fiancée has taken a real liking to this film and soundtrack. It started with her hearing a local singer (sometimes goes all the way as an ETA, but is more often an all-around entertainer who can sing just about anything, sans jumpsuit) doing "So Close Yet So Far" at my birthday party this year. She didn't know it was an Elvis song. She's watched a few Elvis movies with me since we got together and one night she asked to see "Harum Scarum." Well, that's where it really took off. I mean, the love of my life getting all enthralled with my least favorite movie and soundtrack. Oh, boy.

    Actually, I do have to admit that I've always found "Hey, Little Girl" and "Shake That Tambourine" terminally catchy, the kind of stupid soundtrack songs that really appeal, despite your better judgment, and can get inside your head for weeks at a time. I thought the rejects -- "Animal Instinct" and "Wisdom Of The Ages" were better and more interesting than most of what made it into the movie, too. And, yeah, Elvis looked utterly perfect around this time, a thing I always thought a pity 'cos it was wasted on such celluloid excrement. He had some pretty decent fighting action going on, too.

    Now I'm starting to revise my opinion a bit. My fiancée has watched the film a few times in the last little while and has pretty much commandeered my FTD disc of the soundtrack, that I may never see again, and I have to say that when I watched the film with her (I think it's only the second time I've seen it...I think I've only seen "Clambake" once, too, so THAT might very well be my real least favorite Elvis film if I could only remember it) that it wasn't nearly as bad as I recall. And, yes, the recycled costumes and sets really are of a very high standard, way beyond what the film's budget could otherwise have delivered. It's really not the total dross I recall, and some of the songs are even staged somewhat thoughtfully, a rarity for '60s Elvis films other than a few ("Viva Las Vegas," mostly). And, yeah, "So Close Yet So Far" is a really great song. I never thought terribly much of it, seeing it as a sort of pleasant throwaway bit of Hollywood business, but that dude who sang it at my party and my having heard snippets of it a couple of places earlier this year really started to get me into the song a bit more. It's actually quite nice. Joy Byers strikes again.

    It's never going to be my favorite film or soundtrack, but I do like it more than I used to. My fiancée tolerates my grumpiness toward it, that I definitely plays up. She knows why she likes it so much, apart from the fact of just really 'clicking' with that one song: she was for years a showgirl here in Las Vegas and so the costumes and the lushness of the production really registers with her in a big way, because the whole movie plays almost like one of those big Vegas stage productions that used to rule here, like the Folies Bergere and so on.
    I'm a roving roustabout...

  11. #11
    TCB Mafia debtdbruno's Avatar
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    Re: The Harum Scarum soundtrack

    ..........It's the only dvd I don't have of his films.........
    "NO-ONE, BUT NO-ONE,IS HIS EQUAL, OR EVER WILL BE. HE WAS, AND IS SUPREME".Mick Jagger

  12. #12
    TCB Mafia Awickedreigndrop's Avatar
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    Re: The Harum Scarum soundtrack

    After reading the lyrics from Animal Instinct I thought that I would like it because I actually liked the lyrics. Then I heard it, and it was cheesy. Far from what I'd thought it would be. I think they could've arranged it better.

  13. #13
    International Level spanish eyes's Avatar
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    Re: The Harum Scarum soundtrack

    My fave song from this soundtrack is So Close Yet So Far followed by Kismet and then My Desert Serenade
    You ask how long I love you, I'll tell you true,
    until the Twelfth of Never, I'll still be loving you

    LIF

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