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Randy Newman

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 he occasionally showed sympathy for his characters, he became well known for his biting sense of satire, highlighted by his fluke 1978 hit "Short People" and his parody of '80s yuppies, "I Love L.A." While Newman's records consistently received strongly positive reviews, he made his money through composing film scores for films like Ragtime and The Natural. His albums may never have sold in large amounts, but his work influenced several generations of songwriters, including Lyle Lovett and Mark Knopfler.

Born into a musical family -- his uncles Alfred and Lionel were both noted film composers -- Randy Newman had become a professional songwriter by the time he was 17, working for a California publishing house. Newman pursued a B.A. in music from UCLA, but he dropped out of college when his friend Lenny Waronker landed him a record contract with Reprise Records. His eponymous debut album received little attention upon its 1968 release, but over the next few years, his reputation as a songwriter grew as Judy Collins, Dusty Springfield, and Peggy Lee recorded his songs. Three Dog Night took his "Mama Told Me Not to Come" to number one in 1970, the same year Harry Nilsson recorded an entire album of Randy's songs, Nilsson Sings Newman.

Newman's second album, 1970's 12 Songs, was widely praised upon its release, but the record failed to sell. Live repeated the same pattern in 1971, but 1972's Sail Away became a moderate hit, due to positive reviews and Newman's constant touring. He followed the record album in 1974 with Good Old Boys, an ambitious concept album about the South that received considerable controversy over its song "Rednecks," whose ironic sense of humor was misunderstood by many. The song set the stage for 1977's "Short People," a simple satire of bigotry and prejudice taken from Little Criminals. While the irony in "Short People" was barely hidden, the song offended many listeners, and the ensuing furor helped the single reach number two on the charts. Newman supported the album with his first tour since 1974.

In 1979, he returned with Born Again, which received mixed reviews, and Newman began a career as a film composer two years after its release. His first score was for Milos Forman's Ragtime, and his work was nominated for two Academy Awards. Newman released Trouble in Paradise to strong reviews in 1983, and the album spawned "I Love L.A.," a parody of shallow yuppie culture that was misinterpreted and became an anthem for '80s greed. Newman didn't release another album until 1988's Land of Dreams, which contained his first attempts at personal songwriting. Like most of his records, the album was greeted warmly by the critics, yet it failed to sell; "It's Money That Matters," a rewrite of "I Love L.A.," did become a minor hit.

Newman spent most of the '90s composing film scores and working on a musical adaptation of Dr. Faust. The resulting musical, Faust, was initially released as a concept album in the fall of 1995 to mixed reviews. A stage version of Faust opened the same month as the album's release, and it received better reviews. Newman garnered another Oscar nomination in 1996 for "You've Got a Friend," which was featured in the Disney computer-animated film Toy Story. His career was celebrated in 1998 with the release of the four-disc box set Guilty: 30 Years of Randy Newman.

Newman split with his longtime record company Reprise in early 1999. He signed with DreamWorks and released Bad Love, his first proper album since 1988's Land of Dreams, in the summer of 1999. A number of film projects followed, and Newman once again put his solo career on hiatus while composing music for several movies. In 2003, Newman signed with the artist-friendly Nonesuch label, and that year he released his label debut, The Randy Newman Songbook, in which he performed new solo piano and vocal arrangements of some of his most celebrated songs. (A second Songbook album was released in 2011, and Vol. 3 appeared in 2016.) Newman returned in 2008 with Harps and Angels, an album that revisited the biographical approach first attempted with Land of Dreams. In 2009 and 2010, Newman focused his creative energies on film music, scoring The Princess and the Frog and Toy Story 3; both earned Oscar and Grammy nods, and in the case of Toy Story 3, wins. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Monsters University

Title: Monsters, Inc., Film Score

1. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: I. Main Title

2. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: II. Young Michael

3. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: I. Day At Mu

4. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: IV. Dean Hardscrabble

5. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: V. Sulley

6. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: VI. Scare Pig

7. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: VII. Wasted Potential

8. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: VIII. Oozma Kappa

9. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: IX. Stinging Glow Urchin

10. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: X. Field Trip

11. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: XI. Rise And Shine

12. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: XII. The Library

14. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: XIV. The Scare Games

15. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: XV. Did You Do This?

16. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: XVI. Human World

17. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: XVII. The Big Scare

18. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: XVIII. Goodbyes

19. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: XIX. Mike And Sulley

20. Monsters, Inc., Film Score: XX. Monsters University

x

Track List: The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 2

1. Dixie Flyer (2011 Version)

2. Yellow Man (2011 Version)

3. Suzanne (2011 Version)

4. The Girls In My Life (Part 1) (2011 Version)

5. Kingfish (2011 Version)

6. Losing You (2011 Version)

7. Sandman's Coming (2011 Version)

8. My Life Is Good (2011 Version)

9. Birmingham (2011 Version)

10. Last Night I Had A Dream (2011 Version)

11. Same Girl (2011 Version)

12. Baltimore (2011 Version)

13. Laugh And Be Happy (2011 Version)

14. Lucinda (2011 Version)

15. Dayton, Ohio (2011 Version)

16. Cowboy (2011 Version)

x

Track List: The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 1

1. It's Lonely At The Top (Solo Version)

2. God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind) (Solo Version)

3. Louisiana 1927 (Solo Version)

4. Let Me Go (Solo Version)

5. Rednecks (Solo Version)

6. Avalon (Solo Version)

7. Living Without You (Solo Version)

8. I Think It's Going To Rain Today (Solo Version)

9. You Can Leave Your Hat On (Solo Version)

10. It's Money That I Love (Solo Version)

11. Marie (Solo Version)

12. When She Loved Me (Solo Version)

13. Sail Away (Solo Version)

14. The World Isn't Fair (Solo Version)

15. Political Science (Solo Version)

16. The Great Nations Of Europe (Solo Version)

17. In Germany Before The War (Solo Version)

18. Ragtime (Solo Version)

x

Track List: Seabiscuit (Original Soundtrack)

Title: Seabiscuit, Film Score

1. Seabiscuit, Film Score: Main Title

2. Seabiscuit, Film Score: Idea

3. Seabiscuit, Film Score: The Crash

5. Seabiscuit, Film Score: Call Me Red

6. Seabiscuit, Film Score: Frankie

8. Seabiscuit, Film Score: Marcela / Agua Caliente

9. Seabiscuit, Film Score: Campfire

10. Seabiscuit, Film Score: Red's First Win

11. Seabiscuit, Film Score: Tanforan

12. Seabiscuit, Film Score: Infield Folks

13. Seabiscuit, Film Score: Pumpkin

14. Seabiscuit, Film Score: The Derby

15. Seabiscuit, Film Score: Wedding

16. Seabiscuit, Film Score: Night Ride / Accident

17. Seabiscuit, Film Score: To The Line

18. Seabiscuit, Film Score: The Unkindest Cut

19. Seabiscuit, Film Score: Ready

20. Seabiscuit, Film Score: A Nice Ride

x

Track List: Bad Love

1. My Country

2. Shame

3. I'm Dead (But I Don't Know It)

4. Every Time It Rains

5. The Great Nations of Europe

6. The One You Love

7. The World Isn't Fair

8. Big Hat, No Cattle

9. Better Off Dead

10. I Miss You

11. Going Home

12. I Want Everyone To Like Me

x

Track List: Land Of Dreams

1. Dixie Flyer

2. New Orleans Wins The War

3. Four Eyes

4. Falling In Love

5. Something Special

6. Bad News From Home

7. Roll With The Punches

8. Masterman And Baby J

9. Red Bandana

10. Follow The Flag

11. It's Money That Matters

12. I Want You To Hurt Like I Do

x

Track List: Trouble In Paradise

1. I Love L.A.

2. Christmas In Cape Town

3. The Blues

4. Same Girl

5. Mikey's

6. My Life Is Good

7. Miami

8. Real Emotional Girl

9. Take Me Back

10. There's A Party At My House

11. I'm Different

12. Song For The Dead

x

Track List: Born Again

1. It's Money That I Love

2. The Story Of A Rock And Roll Band

3. Pretty Boy

4. Mr. Sheep

5. Ghosts

6. They Just Got Married

7. Spies

8. The Girls In My Life (Part 1)

9. Half A Man

10. William Brown

11. Pants

x

Track List: Little Criminals

1. Short People

2. You Can't Fool The Fat Man

3. Little Criminals

4. Texas Girl At The Funeral Of Her Father

5. Jolly Coppers On Parade

6. In Germany Before The War

7. Sigmund Freud's Impersonation Of Albert Einstein In America

8. Baltimore

9. I'll Be Home

10. Rider In The Rain

11. Kathleen (Catholicism Made Easier)

12. Old Man On The Farm

x

Track List: Good Old Boys

1. Rednecks

2. Birmingham

3. Marie

4. Mr. President (Have Pity On The Working Man)

5. Guilty

6. Louisiana 1927

7. Every Man A King

8. Kingfish

9. Naked Man

10. A Wedding In Cherokee County

11. Back On My Feet Again

12. Rollin'

x

Track List: Sail Away

1. Sail Away

2. Lonely At The Top

4. Last Night I Had A Dream

5. Simon Smith And The Amazing Dancing Bear

6. Old Man

7. Political Science

8. Burn On

9. Memo To My Son

10. Dayton, Ohio-1903

11. You Can Leave Your Hat On

x

Track List: Randy Newman Live

1. Mama Told Me Not To Come (Live)

2. Tickle Me (Live)

3. I'll Be Home (Live)

4. So Long Dad (Live)

5. Living Without You (Live)

6. Last Night I Had A Dream (Live)

7. I Think It's Going To Rain Today (Live)

8. Lover's Prayer (Live)

9. Maybe I'm Doing It Wrong (Live)

10. Yellow Man (Live)

11. Old Kentucky Home (Live)

12. Cowboy (Live)

13. Davy The Fat Boy (Live)

14. Lonely At The Top (Live)

x

Track List: 12 Songs

1. Have You Seen My Baby?

2. Let's Burn Down The Cornfield

3. Mama Told Me Not To Come

4. Suzanne

5. Lover's Prayer

6. Lucinda

7. Underneath The Harlem Moon

8. Yellow Man

9. Old Kentucky Home

10. Rosemary

11. If You Need Oil

12. Uncle Bob's Midnight Blues

x

Track List: Randy Newman

1. Love Story ( You and Me )

2. Bet No One Ever Hurt This Bad

3. Living Without You

4. So Long Dad

5. I Think He's Hiding

6. Linda

7. Laughing Boy

8. Cowboy

9. The Beehive State

10. I Think It's Going To Rain Today

11. Davy The Fat Boy

x

Track List: Putin (Single)

1. Putin

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Being a Clevelander, I immediately loved RN when I heard, Burn On Big River (on Sail Away). I have all of his music. Mad TV did a very funny bit on Randy many years ago. Find it on YouTube.
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gypsyme3
HE gives us all his love .. Song
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gypsyme3
Through a lot of his helpers tooooo!!
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One day, at the college music store, I saw the Randy Newman Live LP and recognized Mama Told Me Not To Come on the track list. Over the years, I've found every track on this live album to be a gem. (After all, I am a Yellow Man.;)
Report as inappropriate
Randy Newman is respected by so many musicians for his song content and musicianship . Once his songs get in your head hearing them again is a moving experience. I have heard him interviewed and he's a real gentleman. Karen
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deanroadstar n e s
How did this crap get on my genre ?
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habu9749
This sounds like it's stolen 'Every sperm is sacred' from Monty Python's _Meaning of Life_.
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jelog1960
This isn't Toy Story. Its from Avalon. A beautiful movie and Randy's music is perfect for it! Please watch it sometime!
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dulcegvalle
I love it.
Report as inappropriate
"It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing. And there's this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it, right? And this bag was just... dancing with me. Like a little kid beggin me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. That's the day I realized there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid ever..."
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rwebster81
Like song
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��������⭐️�� y e s . . . T h a n k you.
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coleram2005
Randy me boy
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i love this song
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This touches me. :) :) :) :) :)
Love it
Mjke D
Report as inappropriate
Awesome song it's so awesome that I could cry
Report as inappropriate
Ah, a classic. I'm going to DisneyLand tomorrow so the Disney station is pumping me up! :3
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dancingkingw o l f 6 6
I love Toy Story
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i wish i could sing this to my friend
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dancingkingw o l f 6 6
A Toy Story song that I like
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I'll be you friend!!!!!
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I cried in toy story 3
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You've got a friend in me !
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I like that song
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Toy Storyyyyyy!! !
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Sweet song
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TOY STORY!!!!
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Isn't this from House
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It was on toy stroy
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Nice
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awsoda11
Ö
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awsoda11
I love his songs
��
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Love this somg
Report as inappropriate
They forgot Monk when he sang "It's a Jungle Out There"
Report as inappropriate
I mean who's singing Feels Like Home?
Report as inappropriate
who's singing this song?
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antler8
I love this song because it reminds me of when I was bullied, but my friend knew so they stuck up for me
P.S. please read my bio for more information on how I was bullied but I got away from it
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Left foot, right foot.
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Toy story
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Me and my frinds heaven Allen like iy
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So Much tears love this song if remjnds me the hard time I had and how I grow stronger be I got a friend in me that tells me that I'm greater than the ones who say I'm not
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I love this song because it reminds me of all the good times I had when I was a kid. And I love toy story I will always love this song
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I can't let you raise the bar Cameron, otherwise no one will hire me.
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danridley
Love!
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I don't like it
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I love this song in choir we sang it this year!!!!
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kiss your hand five times post this on 2 other songs look under your pillow
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cassiecarrik e r
The only time I've heard this song is when I watched toy story when I was really young, but ever since then I've loved it!!!
Report as inappropriate
Ur an amazing singer this song brought back so many memories
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I love you
Show more

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