The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
If anyone's entitled to revisit his past work, it's Randy Newman. After all, over the course of the past three decades, he's evolved from acid-tongued social commentator to family-friendly soundtrack maestro see Toy Story, with plenty of stops along the way. On this 18-song set, Newman cycles back to the beginning of his career and reimagines some favorites in stark, solo fashion, stripping away everything but voice and piano. On some songs, like the eerie slave-trade commentary "Sail Away," that's not such a major reinvention, but on more rollicking songs -- the hedonistic smirkfest "Mama Told Me Not to Come," for one -- the change is vast. The disc is nicely balanced...
See more details below
CD
$19.24
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$21.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (CD)
  • All (10) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $10.92   
  • Used (7) from $1.99   

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
If anyone's entitled to revisit his past work, it's Randy Newman. After all, over the course of the past three decades, he's evolved from acid-tongued social commentator to family-friendly soundtrack maestro see Toy Story, with plenty of stops along the way. On this 18-song set, Newman cycles back to the beginning of his career and reimagines some favorites in stark, solo fashion, stripping away everything but voice and piano. On some songs, like the eerie slave-trade commentary "Sail Away," that's not such a major reinvention, but on more rollicking songs -- the hedonistic smirkfest "Mama Told Me Not to Come," for one -- the change is vast. The disc is nicely balanced between Newman's most provocative work, such as the fretfully agnostic "God's Song," and his more wistful side, vividly displayed on "Marie." Newman's voice has grown more weather-beaten over the years, which adds an extra layer of poignancy to the more reflective numbers and a wizened tenor to the more doctrinaire tracks. Interestingly, even the set's most topical tunes have withstood the test of time remarkably well: The Vietnam-era "Political Science" can be transposed to modern-day war without a single tweak, while "Lonely at the Top" is every bit as relevant in its lampooning of celebrity status. Through his more recent work, Newman has proven his accessibility to the masses, making this easy-on-the-ears set an ideal vehicle to drive his more acerbic points into the heart of the mainstream.
All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Between 1977 and 1988, Randy Newman seemed bound and determined to prove he could be a pop star, which is no small task when your voice is froggy, wear glasses, and your favorite themes are racism and insensitivity. While Newman managed to make some very good albums during that span of time -- most notably 1983's Trouble in Paradise -- his desire to wrap a harsh message in a pretty package didn't always serve his art especially well, with one side seemingly compromising the other. But Newman's late-career success as a composer of film scores complete with an Oscar seems to have satiated his desire for fame and fortune, and he's been willing to take on a less cluttered approach in his own recordings. 1999's Bad Love was the leanest and most direct Newman album since Sail Away in 1972, and in 2003 he revisited his back catalog with The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1. Here, Newman sits at the piano and, with no other accompaniment, sings 15 songs he wrote between 1966 and 1999 and plays short extracts from three his film scores, and the simplicity of this presentation makes this a superb showcase for the intelligence, grace, and craft of Newman's songs. There's plenty of venom in Newman's humor, but more than a little compassion as well, and he doesn't pick easy or simple targets. Here Newman does a masterful job of portraying his rogues' gallery, from a cynical God "God's Song [That's Why I Love Mankind]" and a pathetic would-be ladies' man "You Can Leave Your Hat On" to a slave trader looking to convince Africans to give up their freedom "Sail Away" and a casually genocidal world leader "Political Science", and in each performance he makes his characters sound sadly, hilariously human and easily recognizable. And while there's little flash in Newman's piano style, the easy elegance and understated New Orleans roll of his touch at the keyboard is at once beautifully subtle and subtly beautiful. There isn't much to The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1 -- just a guy playing piano and singing his songs -- but it's just enough to make you laugh, wince, and almost cry; it's the work of one of the few people in pop music who merits the description "genius," and it's a remarkable summation of his singular talent.
Entertainment Weekly - Brian Hiatt
The deepened blues of [Newman's] aged-whiskey croak sear the dust off classics like the all-too-timely "Political Science." (A-)

The deepened blues of [Newman's] aged-whiskey croak sear the dust off classics like the all-too-timely "Political Science." (A-)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/30/2003
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • UPC: 075597968927
  • Catalog Number: 79689
  • Sales rank: 74,416

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Randy Newman Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Randy Newman Composer
Mitchell Froom Producer
Robert Hurwitz Executive Producer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
David Boucher Engineer
Cathy Kerr Executive Producer
Gregg Schaufeld Editorial Coordinator
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Randy Newman Songbook is the best

    I am amazed every time I listen to this album at the great lyrics and the great musical talent of Randy Newman. Each of the songs could relate to various phases of my life and some of my life experiences. I came away from listening to this album with the notion that simple musical tones and lyrics are still the best. I look forward to patterning my musical studies using this album as the basis.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    This is a great collection. I hope there will be a continuation of this. Not only does this show the artistry of Randy's song writing skills, it also show how well he can tickle the keys. This will give hours and hours of pleasure to the ears.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews