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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.

Customer Reviews

“Sail Away” Randy Newman's Masterpiece

Let’s be honest: This album came out in 1972 and there’s little sense in pretending someone born since then could quickly preview this album and press the “buy now” button. BUT, if they were riding up an elevator or in a mall sipping a coffee with a companion and “You can leave your hat on" came over the sound system I bet you five bucks to one, they’d find themselves grabbed by the tune and lyrics and wonder who it was they were hearing. I could say the same for “It’s Lonely at the Top.” Personally I would rate this album as one of my 10 choices for taking to a desert island and to prove it, I have just bought it off iTunes because I miss my Vinyl copy. Why? Cos’ it is a tour de force of songwriting, melody and grey matter. Randy Newman isn’t the world’s greatest singer, true, but his voice suits the songs he writes and his delivery is unforgettable and grows on you. Take “Political Science”, (The cynicism is restrained but the point is still rapier sharp behind the faux naivety of the lyrics.) All in all the man’s genius is vouched for by the artists who have had huge success covering his songs. Joe Cocker to name but one.
So, to sum up, if you are all at sea with the music of today, and desperate to find an album you’ll want to listen too or give to someone, take a chance with “Sail Away”.


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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