Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Guilty: 30 Years of Randy Newman
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Randy Newman's three-decades-plus career proves at least one thing: an articulate, bespectacled fellow seated at a piano--a Southern Californian, no less!--can be damn dangerous. In a civil sort of way. This four-disc ove... more »
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Randy Newman's three-decades-plus career proves at least one thing: an articulate, bespectacled fellow seated at a piano--a Southern Californian, no less!--can be damn dangerous. In a civil sort of way. This four-disc overview of Newman's fitful but ultimately brilliant career offers a portal into Newman the solo artist, the film composer, and the for-hire songwriter. Discs 1 and 2 (for old fans, the least rewarding of the lot) serve as a greatest hits package--greatest hits being a relative term ("Short People," "I Love L.A.," "Mama Told Me Not to Come," and a few others qualify as commercial successes). Newman's trademark style--mouthing the skewed views of twisted protagonists (including God and Satan)--surfaces in songs old and new. The guardian of an obese boy who puts his charge to work as a freak narrates "Davy the Fat Boy." "Let's Burn Down the Cornfield," "Suzanne," and "You Can Leave Your Hat On" explore perversion; "Rednecks" and "Sail Away" deal with bigotry; "Real Emotional Girl" and "I Want You to Hurt Like I Do" explore wanton cruelty. Disc 3 is littered with fascinating flotsam, beginning with 1962's bewilderingly boyish "Golden Gridiron Boy" (coproduced by Pat Boone!) and tailing into a slew of brooding but truly extraordinary solo demos. Despite his sardonic nature, the Newman of "Gainesville," "Feels Like Home," and "My Name Is James" summons true pathos. Disc 4 samples nine Newman soundtracks, including the orchestral scores to Ragtime, The Natural ("heromuzik," opines the composer), and Toy Story. Guilty is an appreciation of an artist who defies admiration. Here, however, the evidence is overwhelming. --Steven Stolder
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Satire, sympathy, misogyny, love: Randy's music is rich,real
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Randy Newman has been writing and performing his own unique style of pop/folk/rock/country/art music for nearly forty years. His influences are eclectic. His family has roots in the Deep South as well as Hollywood. His background and musical history is detailed in a biography included in this set. The first two CD's represent a chronological presentation of selections from his albums. You will hear the original versions of several cover hits by artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Three Dog Night, Bonnie Raitt, and Joe Cocker. Songs of love, rage, dementia, desperation, and desire expressed in styles ranging from heartaching simplicity to throbbing complexity tell tales of common experience and outrageous depravity.One of the last songs John Belushi performed on Saturday Night Live is the desperate self-pitying "Guilty." Juxtapose this with Grammy-nominated "I Love to See You Smile," from the movie "Parenthood," and his symphonic film scores. It is obvious why Randy Newman is uncategorizable and unendingly entertaining. This is an indispensable collection of music from the creative genius of an influential and truly original American artist."
Eclectic collection from an eclectic composer
W. E. Weinman | Phoenix, AZ USA | 02/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Randy Newman is one of the most versatile composers of all time, able to write witty parodies (Short People; I Love L.A.); touching ballads (When She Loved Me); award-winning theatrical scores (Ragtime, Toy Story, etc.) and a lot of great stuff that just doesn't pigeonhole very easily. A lot, but not all, of it is here in this compilation; and given the fact that this is four packed-to-capicity CDs, it's remarkable that so much of what was left out is also great (Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Pleasantville, etc.). For those of us who really love Newman's music this compilation is a must-have. The third disc is filled with demos and unreleased songs that are not available elsewhere. The other three discs are more than just a "greatest hits", they are a sort of a musical biography -- a chance to see how Newman has changed and grown as a composer and performer over the years."
snlkidsinhall | Topeka, Kansas United States | 12/27/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Randy Newman is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. I spent 60 bucks on this set. And even though I don't like all his music, it grows on you. His unique voice and look at the world open up to you. The music itself is odd. I bought this CD because of a few of his songs I enjoyed like "Sail Away", "I love LA", and "You've Got a Friend". And as I listened to it I found some awesome tracks, like "Political Science" "Rednecks", "Short People", "My Life is Good," and "I Love to see You Smile." I'm sure in time I'll learn to enjoy more of these songs (I better, because for a teenager 60 bucks is a lot). Randy Newman sings about the daily things America has seen, heard or experience. What a genius he is! He tell is plain, simple and blunt. Not afraid to speak (or should I say sing) his mind. God bless you Mr. Newman!"