Performers include: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, Jean Seberg.
Audio Mixers: Kevin Cleary; Thorne Nogar.
Recording information: 1969.
Illustrator: David Stone Martin.
The movie Paint Your Wagon was an attempt to update the plot of an old stage musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, with new songs by Andr‚ Previn and Lerner. The soundtrack is a peculiar release; in purely musical terms, it would only be of interest to dedicated fans of Harve Presnell (who performs "They Call the Wind Maria") and Anita Gordon, who acquits herself well singing Jean Seberg's part on "A Million Miles Away Behind the Door." It is Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin, however, who do more of the singing here, and while they might not be of much interest musically, there is a certain "Golden Throats"-type allure to their songs. Neither reveals any hidden musical talents, though Eastwood does the better job of the two on his songs, particularly "I Still See Elisa." The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band also spent time working on the movie, both on camera and on the soundtrack, but their major surviving contribution is "Hand Me Down That Can O' Beans," in which they share the spotlight vocally with Lee Marvin and a male chorus; it adds nothing to their output. Harve Presnell's rendition of "They Call the Wind Maria" brings a suitably operatic approach to the piece, but it is marred by Nelson Riddle's overly busy orchestral arrangement. The original LP came with a souvenir booklet that made it an expensive release but didn't enhance its sales -- Paint Your Wagon was a perennial cutout album. The MCA CD sounds OK, but the souvenir booklet has been consigned to history. ~ Bruce Eder