The Best of Randy Newman

The Best of Randy Newman

by Randy NewmanRandy Newman


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Randy Newman has been beloved of critics, record geeks, and music fans for years, so much so that Rhino's 2001 compilation The Best of Randy Newman may seem like a case of preaching to the converted, at least to those who worship Newman. After all, anybody who's been paying attention realizes his sly genius, not just as a songwriter, but as a musician and record-maker -- 12 Songs, Sail Away, Good Old Boys, and Trouble in Paradise are hailed as masterpieces because the records are as carefully constructed and engaging as the songs. Proof of that sentiment arrives immediately with the collection's opening cut, "Mama Told Me Not to Come," which may be better known in Three Dog Night's bombastic rendition, but is better and funnier in this wry telling. That's also true for other Newman songs that have become standards -- "You Can Leave Your Hat On," "Sail Away," "Louisiana 1927," and "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" are enhanced by Newman's delivery, which emphasizes not just his humor but also the underlying emotion of his songs. Then there are the songs that the general public associates with Randy Newman -- the novelty tune "Short People," the cynical faux-anthem "I Love L.A.," the reaffirming Toy Story theme "You've Got a Friend in Me." These two sides prove that Randy Newman is a songwriter of exceptional talent and that he can reach a wide audience, but the wonderful, bewildering thing about him is that his recordings obstinately fall between these two extremes -- he's simply too willful to play to a mass audience but, even at his most obscure and ornery, his music is open and accessible. Because of this mercurial talent, it can be hard for a neophyte to get a handle on his recordings, which is why a collection like The Best of Randy Newman isn't simply welcome, it's necessary. This may not be every longtime fan's choice for the very best of Randy Newman, but it does give a good sense of his genius and how far-reaching it is by featuring all those previously mentioned songs, along with many others that confirm the depth of his talent -- "Political Science," "Rednecks," "Marie," "Miami," and "Dixie Flyer," among others. There are certainly other songs in his catalog that could have easily been showcased here, and 12 Songs and Sail Away certainly had their own logic that, in their own way, make them a more effective introduction. But as a far-reaching sampler for neophytes and casual fans, this does the job handsomely.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/18/2001
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0081227436421
catalogNumber: 74364
Rank: 2558

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Randy Newman   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Piano,Conductor,Keyboards
Clarence White   Guitar
Lindsey Buckingham   Background Vocals
Don Henley   Background Vocals
Rickie Lee Jones   Background Vocals
Joe Walsh   Slide Guitar
Victor Feldman   Percussion
Bruce Fowler   Trombone
Marty Krystall   Saxophone
Lyle Ritz   Bass
Gene Parsons   Drums
Valerie Carter   Background Vocals
Christine McVie   Background Vocals
Ralph Grierson   Piano
Jim Keltner   Drums
Sid Page   Concert Master
Stewart Blumberg   Trumpet
Michael Boddicker   Organ,Synthesizer
Oscar Brashear   Trumpet
Red Callender   Bass
Carmen Carter   Background Vocals
Lenny Castro   Percussion
Paulinho Da Costa   Percussion
Donna Davidson   Background Vocals
Nick DeCaro   Conductor
Nathan East   Bass
Chris Ethridge   Bass
Brandon Fields   Saxophone
Chuck Findley   Horn
Michael Fisher   Percussion
Guy Fletcher   Synclavier
Glenn Frey   Background Vocals
Mitchell Froom   Keyboards
John Goux   Guitar
Linda Harmon   Background Vocals
Scottie Haskell   Background Vocals
Milt Holland   Percussion
Luana Jackman   Background Vocals
Teresa James   Background Vocals
Randy Kerber   Keyboards,Hammond Organ
Mark Knopfler   Guitar,Mandolin
Bernie Leadon   Background Vocals
Arno Lucas   Background Vocals
Steve Lukather   Guitar
Melissa MacKay   Background Vocals
Steve Madaio   Horn
Kate Markowitz   Background Vocals
Rick Marotta   Drums
Andy Newmark   Drums
Jack Nimitz   Saxophone
Bobbi Page   Background Vocals
David Paich   farfisa organ,fender rhodes
Jeff Porcaro   Drums
Dean Parks   Guitar,Mandolin
Timothy B. Schmit   Background Vocals
Bob Seger   Background Vocals
Jim Self   Tuba
Leslie Smith   Background Vocals
J.D. Souther   Background Vocals
George Thatcher   Trombone
Russ Titelman   Bass
Carmen Twillie   Background Vocals
Carlos Vega   Percussion
Klaus Voormann   Bass
Ernie Watts   Horn
Willie Weeks   Bass
Yvonne Williams   Background Vocals
Terry Wood   Background Vocals
Emil Newman   Conductor
Jimmy Bond   Bass
Waddy Wachtel   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Steve Donnelly   Guitar
Brian Scanlon   Saxophone
Leland Sklar   Bass
Larry Williams   Horn
Jimmy Johnson   Bass
Thomas Scott   Saxophone

Technical Credits

Rickie Lee Jones   Vocal Arrangements
Randy Newman   Arranger,Producer,Liner Notes,Orchestration
Van Dyke Parks   Producer
Peter Asher   Producer
Tchad Blake   Producer
Hugh Brown   Art Direction
Nick DeCaro   String Arrangements
Mitchell Froom   Producer
Mark Knopfler   Producer
David McLees   Liner Notes
Russ Titelman   Producer
Lenny Waronker   Producer
Frank Wolf   Producer
John E. Walker   Producer
Jim Flamberg   Producer
Shawn Amos   Liner Note Coordination
Cathy Kerr   Executive Producer

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