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Disco Stu

The Official Randy Newman Thread

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Thanks for the interview!

 

I used to really dislike Randy Newman back in the day. Didn't care for his quirky songs, and I thought he was a 'one trick pony' as a film composer -- always churning out the same raw Americana and folksy, simplistic melodies. Well, I've come to embrace this particular sound of his in later years. True, he doesn't have the range as other composers, but what he does, he does so very well. So I've grown very fond of quite a bit of his film work. I think my favourite remains THE NATURAL.

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The only cue I can find from his very first film score, Cold Turkey

 

 

This film also has the first appearance of his "He Gives Us All His Love" over the main title.  The song later appeared on his 1972 masterpiece pop album, Sail Away.

 

 

 

7 minutes ago, Thor said:

I think my favourite remains THE NATURAL.

 

Pleasantville for me.

 

His true genius lies in his pop music, but I love many of his film scores.

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7 minutes ago, Steve McQueen said:

I like his Pixar scores, especially Cars.

His song Its Money That Matters is a (not) guilty pleasure.

 

 

Probably my least favorite of his pop albums, but I still have a lot of love for it.  Randy's best if he mostly ignores pop production trends, and that's his most "of its time" sounding album.  It certainly has nothing up to the par of his first 4 or 5 albums, which are the foundation of his reputation.

 

I have some affection for "Falling in Love" a very simple but irresistible little love song he recorded with Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty.

 

 

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Randy actually says nothing has given him greater professional pride than being appreciated by the LA session musicians.

 

Of course he has been surrounded by them since he was a small boy with his musical family.  Makes sense.

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5 hours ago, Alexcremers said:

Of Randy Newman I have 

 

Ragtime

The Natural

Avalon

Awakenings

Pleasantville

 

 

Then he became a composer for cartoons ... Sigh ...

 

No Seabiscuit?  It's his last dramatic score at this point (20 minutes of piano noodling for The Meyerowitz Stories doesn't count) and it's pretty good!  Not as great as Pleasantville, his previous collaboration with the director, but still pretty good.  Although, as he mentions in the interview, he had severe disagreements with the director and William Ross wrote two cues as a consequence of that.

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I thought those sketches were funny when I first saw them, but now I think they actively detract from his legacy as a true songwriting genius.  It'd be one thing if people of my generation widely recognized him as such, but for many the Family Guy bit is the main thing they seem to know about him.

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The Family Guy one is funny but not especially apt.  He's an incredibly precise lyricist, his songs are often very short because of how good he is at communicating in few words

 

Like in "Old Man" in under 3 minutes he communicates what seems like 100 different conflicting emotions of a son saying goodbye to his dying father.

 

Quote

Everyone has gone away
Can you hear me? Can you hear me?
No one cared enough to stay
Can you hear me? Can you hear me?
You must remember me old man
I know that you can if you try
So just open up your eyes, old man
Look who's come to say goodbye

 

The sun has left the sky, old man
The birds have flown away
And no one came to cry, old man
Goodbye, old man, goodbye
You want to stay, I know you do
But it ain't no use to try
'Cause I'll be here and I'm just like you
Goodbye, old man, goodbye

Won't be no God to comfort you
You taught me not to believe that lie
You don't need anybody, nobody needs you
Don't cry, old man, don't cry
Everybody dies

 

 

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