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Sail Away (Remastered)

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Editors’ Notes

Randy Newman's early ambitions to be a songwriter in the Tin Pan Alley mold were essentially a bust. No matter how hard he tried, he once explained, a simple little ditty about a girl named Mary would somehow end up as "Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear" -- and allow Diane Warren years of restful sleep. Backed by wistful string arrangements that variously evoke placid 19th century Americana, the laconic soul of New Orleans and the classical savvy of Aaron Copland, Newman's 1972 album remains one of his most musically cohesive and satisfying albums -- especially for the cynical at heart. Slipping into the guise of slave-trader, Newman's title track lures his chattel to a promised life of ease in the New World via bittersweet lullaby. Elsewhere, the angry American jingoist of "Political Science" proffers a thermonuclear final solution while antagonists from the almighty ("God's Song") to a tortured performer that might just be tongue-in-cheek Newman himself ("It's Lonely At the Top") express their malcontent. This expanded edition features the standout, unreleased studio version of Live's "Maybe I'm Doing It Wrong," the less successful outtake "Let It Shine," and three album demos.


Born: 28 November 1943 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An anomaly among early-'70s singer/songwriters, Randy Newman may have been slightly influenced by Bob Dylan, but his music owed more to New Orleans R&B and traditional pop than folk. Newman developed an idiosyncratic style that alternated between sweeping, cinematic pop and rolling R&B, which were tied together by his nasty sense of humor. Where his peers concentrated on confessional songwriting, Newman drew characters, creating a world filled with misfits, outcasts, charlatans, and con men. Though...
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Sail Away (Remastered), Randy Newman
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