Friday, April 1, 2011

321. Sail Away. Randy Newman Yet again.

Album: Sail Away
Artist: Randy Newman
Genre: Pop
Year: 1972


  1. Sail Away
  2. Lonely at the Top
  3. He Gives Us All His Love
  4. Last Night I Had a Dream
  5. Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear
  6. Old Man
  7. Political Science
  8. Burn On
  9. Memo to My Son
  10. Dayton, Ohio - 1903
  11. You Can Leave Your Hat On
  12. God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind)

At 322 we saw the last appearance by the Police and 321 sees Randy Newman’s final offering which I have to say is a relief. Randy doesn’t really vary his musical style much so I was dreading writing another Randy Newman review but the good news is that he’s definitely saved the best for last.

Sail Away has some definite highlights, one of which is the 500 Horizons Mark of Instant Respect -a Muppets connection. I had no idea that Simon Smith and his Amazing Dancing Bear was originally a Randy Newman song. I know and love it from it’s appearance on the Muppets when Scooter sings it with Fozzie Bear, a performance which never fails to reduce me to helpless giggles. I know they’re bits of foam with hands up them but dammit I can’t help but think Fozzie Bear is one of the great comic creations of all time. Newman’s original version isn’t nearly as good but there aren’t many people who can outdo a Muppet version.

Musically he might not be breaking any new ground or causing revolutions but as a satirist Newman is great fun. The singer in Political Science wants to drop atom bombs on the entire world for not being American enough...
“Asia’s crowded
and Europe’s too old
Africa is far too hot
And Canada’s too cold
And South America stole our name
Let’s drop the big one
There’ll be no one left to blame us
We’ll save Australia
Don’t wanna hurt no kangaroo
We’ll build an All American amusement park there
They got surfin’, too”

Individual Randy Newman albums start to get a bit predictable after a while but a compilation album would make for entertaining listening. Personally I wish everyone who voted for a Randy Newman album gave their vote to Lonely at the Top his 1987 best of album which has all the highlights and not a dud track over it’s 22 songs.

Highlight: Simon Smith and and his amazing dancing bear
Lowlight: Old Man

Influenced by: A keen ear for social change.
Influenced: Other great satirists.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote:  "This is the best rap album ever, it has an excellent mix of DMX and Swizz Beats, I also like lil' kim on track 1. The production on this album is great, I recommend you buy this album cuz the artist wears cool hats and pants"

-The writer is either a) a satirist or b) confused. Witty or baffled? You decide.

So does Randy make you feel like a New Man or is he just old hat? Let me know below.

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