Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Randy Newman Creates Something New Under the Sun (1968)

Stage One Randy

Randy Newman (a back-cover subhead brags, our champ "Creates Something New Under the Sun," which, for once, isn't an idle boast) was near impossible to find shortly after it first came out, though it was a critical pet. The Southern California songsmith went on to score a few less-than-representative hits (it's so hard to deal with people who equate Newman with Jimmy Buffett because of novelty singles like "Short People"). He also created some masterful concept albums, foremost among them Good Old Boys. But the basic Newman template was laid down with this first full recording: elegant Copeland-esque arrangements soaring over morose though frequently hysterical lyrics delivered with a conversational mumble that owes a lot to Sonny Boy (Rice Miller) Williamson. The best track: "Love Story (You and Me)," which summarizes a lifelong relationship in three demeaning verses. --Steven Stolder

1. Love Story (You And Me)
2. Bet No One Ever Hurt This Bad
3. Living Without You
4. So Long Dad
5. I Think He's Hiding
6. Linda
7. Laughing Boy
8. Cowboy
9. The Beehive State
10. I Think It's Going To Rain Today
11. Davy The Fat Boy


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