CD The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1 (CD 398465),
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The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1

  • 1. It's Lonely at the Top
    2. God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind)
    3. Louisiana 1927
    4. Let Me Go
    5. Rednecks
    6. Avalon (Piano Solo)
    7. Living Without You
    8. I Think It's Going to Rain Today
    9. You Can Leave Your Hat On
    10. It's Money That I Love
    11. Marie
    12. When She Loved Me
    13. Sail Away
    14. World Isn't Fair, The
    15. Political Science
    16. Great Nations of Europe, The
    17. In Germany Before the War
    18. Ragtime (Piano Solo)
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 79689

  • Credits
    ProducerMitchell Froom

    Solo performer: Randy Newman (vocals, piano).
    Recorded at Conway Recording Studios, Hollywood, California between January and February 2003.
    In 2003, when Randy Newman released his first new recording for the Nonesuch label, longtime fans eager for fresh material from the iconic songwriter might have been initially surprised and/or crestfallen to discover that SONGBOOK VOL. 1 contained no new compositions. Instead, the album features solo piano-and-vocal versions of some of Newman's finest work. Even those most eager for new Newman, however, couldn't help but be moved by these spare, striking recordings.
    Stripped to the bare bones, these songs stand up as some of the most ingenious ever to emerge from the singer/songwriter world. The coal-black humor that merges with cold-eyed existentialism on "God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind)" and "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" is worthy of Melville, while "You Can Leave Your Hat On" manages to be simultaneously randy and self-deflating. Lesser-known songs "In Germany Before the War" and "The World Isn't Fair," which might have fallen through the cracks on their respective studio albums, shine as brightly here as their more popular brethren. SONGBOOK VOL. 1 is one for the time capsule.

  • Critic Reviews
    Entertainment Weekly (10/3/03, p.72) - "Like its creator...SONGBOOK is uncategorizable....the deepened blues of his aged-whiskey croak sear the dust off classics..." - Rating: A-
    Q (10/03, p.111) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...The solo piano setting - Newman's playing is a revelation - plus more comfortable vocal arrangements work incredibly well..."
    Uncut (01/04, pp.84-7) - Ranked #39 in Uncut's "Albums Of The Year 2003" - "Newman has been writing acerbic, smart, satirical and outrageous songs for over 30 years."
    Mojo (Publisher) (10/03, p.126) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...For listeners who get it, these are some of the most powerful songs the rock era has thrown up..."
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