Randy Newman - The Randy Newman Songbook, Volume 1Randy Newman - The Best of Randy Newman

Randy Newman
The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1

(Nonesuch)

Randy Newman
The Best of Randy Newman

(Rhino)

First Appeared at The Music Box, November 2003, Volume 10, #11

Written by T.J. Simon

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In 2000, Dwight Yoakam released a different kind of greatest hits collection titled dwightyoakamaccoustic.net in which he re-recorded his most beloved songs, accompanied by nothing but his acoustic guitar, thus shifting the albumís focus to the strength of his raw songwriting. Now, at the age of 59, equally beloved songwriter and composer Randy Newman has released a stripped-down collection of his own that captures 18 of his most acclaimed songs, accompanied by nothing but a grand piano.

Fans who have seen Newman in concert over the last 10 years are accustomed to hearing his music performed as a solo set, and much of that spirit shines throughout Songbook. His humor and knack for distinct (if politically incorrect) characterizations are highlighted on the tongue-in-cheek numbers Rednecks, Itís Money that I Love, and Political Science. His love of history is on display during new recordings of Louisiana 1927 and In Germany Before the War, and his his penchant for heartbreak is spotlighted on Living without You and When She Loved Me. The only tune that suffers from the lack of accompaniment is the strip club anthem You Can Leave Your Hat On (previously popularized by Joe Cocker), but itís a forgivable moment among a suitcase of gems.

Final note: those who prefer to hear many of the same songs (and more) in their original glory should check out the 2001 Rhino Records collection: The Best of Randy Newman.

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The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1 ó starstarstarstar

The Best of Randy Newman ó starstarstarstarstar

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The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1 is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!

The Best of Randy Newman is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!

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Ratings

1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!

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Copyright © 2003 The Music Box