Tuesday, July 17, 2007

323. Randy Newman - Good Old Boys (1974)

Track Listing

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. Wedding In Cherokee County
11. Back On My Feet Again
12. Rollin'


Well this album keeps many of the stuff I like of Randy Newman, but it is simply not as great as Sail Away. It is still funny, offensive and beautiful and Randy still shows that he has a completely unique way with musical arrangements. Unfortunately that ratio of unforgettable songs is lower here than in Sail Away.

The album starts off great with Rednecks, a politically sensitive piece which is also tremendously offensive. In this song Randy actually shows that rednecks are not the only ones and I quote "putting the niggers down", that liberal America, while pointing and laughing at rednecks pretty much does the same thing except instead of lynching they have more advanced methods of putting black people in jail.

So even though a superficial assessment of this might look like a liberal Jew taking jabs at the South it is really none of that. Newman takes jabs to everyone, and he is also very tender to the South and shows how that land was neglected and mistreated by the wider US, Louisiana 1927 is a good example of this, and is strangely resonant with the Katrina debacle. Firefox doesn't like the word debacle, and it seems to want me to write barnacled... so the Katrina barnacled. Can't a guy use pretentious French expressions? Sheesh.

It is still a good album, but not a perfect one, get it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Rednecks
2. Louisiana 1927
3. Marie
4. Mr. President (Have Pity On The Working Man)

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

From the time of its release, critics have always loved Good Old Boys: it is frequently seen as one of the most essential singer/songwriter albums of all time. Robert Christgau gave it an A rating, and the 1992 Rolling Stone Album Guide gave it the full 5 stars. In 2003, the album was ranked number 393 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Musicians have also admired it, most notably Elvis Costello.

It was Newman's first album to obtain major commercial success, for after his previous two albums had barely dented the Billboard Top 200, Good Old Boys climbed so consistently upon release that it spent two weeks in the Top 40 late in 1974, despite the absence of a single to promote it. In all it spent 21 weeks in the Billboard Top 200 and remains Newman's second-highest charting album. It also earned a gold record in Holland.

Rednecks NSFW due to the N word, yes you got it Nurse:

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