Ten Favorite Rock Songwriters: Randy Newman (#10)

@FourWalls (13770)
United States
April 2, 2017 8:09pm CST
Continuing with a theme that Scott (@teamfreak16 ) came up with, highlighting favorite songwriters (and accepting the invitation to make my own list), I'm counting down my favorite songwriters in three categories. Here's the first person on the list of my favorite rock songwriters. #10: Randy Newman Can you say, "sarcasm"? Randy is full of it. I remember reading a review of an album (not a Newman album, someone else) that said, "If Randy Newman sang 'God Bless America' straight you wouldn't believe him." That is a reputation! And he has earned it so, so well. His biggest hit, "Short People," caused an outrage among people who were shorter stature, based solely on the title and not the lyrics. There was also his great "The Story of a Rock and Roll Band," about ELO. Most ELO fans didn't realize it was hardly complimentary (he did a similar thing to Bruce Springsteen in "My Life is Good": claiming Springsteen told him, "Rand, I'm tired, how about you be The Boss for awhile?"). Even when he is serious (such as "Louisiana 1927," about the flood) he can't help but throw in a dig or two ("President said, 'Little fat man isn't it a shame what the river has done to this poor cracker's land?'"). That's part of the brilliance of sarcasm: it's presented in a dead serious light, with tongue so firmly in cheek that it's a wonder he can sing around it. And Randy Newman is a master of it. Randy Newman Born Randall Stuart Newman, November 28, 1943, Los Angeles, CA Songwriters Hall of Fame, 2002 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 2013 Two-time Oscar winner Three-time Emmy winner Six-time Grammy winner Best-known songs: "Short People," "I Love L.A.," "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)" (by Three Dog Night), 70s Dr. Pepper jingle (no kidding!); "We Belong Together" (from Toy Story 3) My favorite Randy Newman song is "Rider in the Rain," and here's a terrific version from the Live at the Odeon show featuring Linda Ronstadt:
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3 responses
@Telynor (1285)
• United States
3 Apr 17
I am very much a fan of Randy Newman -- he has just that right touch of bitterness to his humour that makes you think. Especially in that song "Sail Away."
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@FourWalls (13770)
• United States
3 Apr 17
Oh, absolutely. I posted "Sail Away" as an alternate to a song that makes me cringe and I thought it better to use Etta James' rendition so as to not stir up controversy by using Newman's original.
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@teamfreak16 (41181)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
3 Apr 17
I should have seen this coming. And yet, I didn't.
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@JohnRoberts (57142)
• Los Angeles, California
3 Apr 17
Definitely a no brainer selection!
1 person likes this