I started recording because I was always complaining about the records that I was getting of my songs. At least if I did them and messed them up, I wouldn’t have anyone else to blame.
…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.”
~Stephen Thoman Erelwine (allmusic.com)
|Birth name||Randall Stuart Newman|
|Born||November 28, 1943 (age 69)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Genres||Piano rock, soft rock, comedy rock|
Walt Disney (Disney·Pixar films)
Randall Stuart ”Randy“ Newman (born November 28, 1943) is an American singer-songwriter, arranger, composer, and pianist who is known for his mordant (and often satirical) pop songs and for film scores.
Newman often writes lyrics from the perspective of a character far removed from his own experiences, sometimes using the point of view of an unreliable narrator. For example, the 1972 song “Sail Away” is written as a slave trader’s sales pitch to attract slaves, while the narrator of “Political Science” is a U.S. nationalist who complains of worldwide ingratitude toward America and proposes a brutally ironic final solution. One of his biggest hits, “Short People” was written from the perspective of “a lunatic” who hates short people. Since the 1980s, Newman has worked mostly as a film composer. His film scores include Ragtime, Awakenings, The Natural,Leatherheads, James and the Giant Peach, Meet the Parents, Cold Turkey, Seabiscuit and The Princess and the Frog. He has scored six Disney-Pixar films: Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Cars and most recently Toy Story 3.
Newman has been nominated for twenty Academy Awards, winning twice. He has also won three Emmys, five Grammy Awards, and the Governor’s Award from the Recording Academy. Newman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2007, Newman was inducted as a Disney Legend.
Album of the day:
Whether he’s writing for three pieces or 30, Newman makes superb use of the sounds available to him, and his vocals are the model of making the most of a limited instrument. Overall, Sail Away is one of Newman’s finest works, musically adventurous and displaying a lyrical subtlety that would begin to fade in his subsequent works.
~Mark Deming (allmusic.com)
Other November 28:
- Berry Gordy, Jr.(born November 28, 1929) is an American record producer, and the founder of the Motown record label, as well as its many subsidiaries.