Randy Newman’s Sail Away was one of my favourite ‘adult’ pop lps from the 70’s. I say adult, as it wasn’t aimed at the same market as Grand Funk Railroad or even Don McLean. The songs were political ‘In America’ or adult sexy ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ with pointed lyrics & more than two chords. I also have his ‘Little Criminals’- more for he with a more pop sound but still rather dark lyrics.
His songs were covered by everyone at one time – much as Laura Nyro was – Three Dog Night, Nilsson, even Barbra Streisand had a go at them. His populist leanings lead him to film music, so he has received twenty-two Academy Award nominations in the Best Original Score and Best Original Song categories and has won twice.
This mp3 cd collection also includes: Harry Nilsson’s Pandemonium Shadow Show, Nilsson Sings Newman (1970 – all Newman covers & Pussy Cats (with John Lennon). Cats is a fun mess. More about Nilsson when I get to Ni. The lp of Newman covers is excellent if a bit too respectful.
I am not what you would call a Barbra Streisand fan, but I do like her 1971 Stoney End which includes songs by Newman, Nilsson & Nyro. It was considered a flop by her Broadway fan base but has since been ‘reappraised.’ Her choice of material is impeccable & the arrangements are not saturated with strings but allow the music to stand on its own. None of her over-singing for emotive milking makes this worth hunting down.
Van Dyke Parks’ Song Cycle is a legendary lp from 1967 which I finally download from iTunes in 2017. Till then I had never heard it but read it referred so often I took a chance. It is not psychedelic or even rock. After all Parks co-wrote one of Sinatra’s biggest hits. There’s also a Newman song in the set, so it fits in here. Sweet, comforting music.
Andrew Gold is one of those almost stars who produced some amazing lps but never quite caught the fame wave. His ‘Thank You For Being A Friend’ was the theme for Golden Girls – he had songs on hit lps by Linda Ronstadt ‘You’re No Good’ but never broke big himself. On this mp3 I have his What’s Wrong With This Picture. Lonely Boy is an amazing song that captures some of my own growing up fears & emotions.
Mojo: Sgt Pepper Knew My Father – is a 1988 tribute to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the original release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on 1 June 1967. A track-by-track cover by bands like Wet Wet Wet, Sonic Youth etc. Great fun. I used to buy Mojo for these special editions cds. I was so keen to being up on on the music back in the day. Today I don’t care 🙂 I can’t remember that last time I bought a music magazine & you know, I don’t miss them. But I do miss the Beatles.