Despite limited critical and commercial success upon release, Hal Ashby’s 1971 movie, Harold and Maude, went on to achieve cult status amongst audiences and within the film industry. Its unusual mix of dark humour, romance, and existential drama is beautifully enhanced by the collection of Cat’s songs that were used for the soundtrack. All but two of the songs used were from either Mona Bone Jakon or Tea for the Tillerman. Both “Don’t Be Shy” and “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out” were written specifically for the film.
It is widely recognised that the dynamic emotional range of Cat’s songs and their quirky charm have contributed immensely to the movie’s enduring appeal.
In that the vast majority of the songs were already on pre-existing albums, a complete soundtrack for Harold and Maude was not released at the time. A Japanese version did come out in 1972, however, it was more of a compilation album which included five songs that weren’t used for the film and omitted the two songs written specifically for it. A full official soundtrack was only released in 2007 and was limited to 2,500 vinyl copies. It came with a 7″ single of “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out” and “Don’t Be Shy”, and an extensive booklet containing accounts and interviews about the making of the film.