Not bad, but I just couldn't escape the feeling that I was listening to a Disney soundtrack.
Sail Away is an album by Randy Newman, released on May 23, 1972. It was produced by Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman and issued on Reprise Records. While all of its songs were written and composed by Newman, several had already been recorded by other artists.
Not bad, but I just couldn't escape the feeling that I was listening to a Disney soundtrack.
Sail Away is another addition to the long list of songs that could be a genre labeled "Talking to Americans" if Rick M didn't already own that title. It reminds me of seeing Springsteen and the biggest US flag imaginable dropped as he opened with Born in the USA. Of course if you just saw the flag and listened to the chorus, you might think the song was pro USA. Hell, Reagan invited Bruce to the White House to perform it. Sail Away contains a similar facade of the wonderful USA and if you don't know either the relevance of Charleston Bay or what the word "wog" means, you might replace your poppy with a Stars and Stripes lapel pin, put on your MAGA hat and go about about your day with blissful ignorance.
How? How is there more than one Randy Newman album on this list? I haven't gotten a single John Coltrane album, not a single Charles Mingus album, but I have now gotten two Randy Newman albums. Fuck Randy Newman. His voice sounds like an inflatable bear with a slow leak. It sounds like Satan talking after inhaling helium. It is the auditory version of sitting down too long until your sciatic nerve falls asleep. The worst part of any Randy Newman song is all of the fucking Randy Newman. 2/5. The only reason this is not a 1 is because I kinda like You Can Leave Your Hat On. Fuck Randy Newman
My first memory of Randy Newman was as a little kid and "Short People" was being played all over and I just didn't get it - why was this guy so mean to short people? Of course my dad had to explain the satire to me and once I got it, I loved it. That was pretty much the last I'd heard Randy Newman outside the random cut (e.g. "I Love L.A.") as he would never really again be played on my rock radio stations. So when I discovered this album "Sail Away" only a few years ago it blew me away. Starting off with the title track "Sail Away" is pure genius - one of the saddest songs I've ever heard for obvious reasons when you quickly realize what it's really about. I'm not sure I would have been able to appreciate this album when I was a little younger but I'm a huge fan - the music is tremendous; occasionally to me sounding like Broadway tunes for people who really don't like Broadway tunes (mea culpa). I enjoy the *sound* of this record - the clarity and simplicity of the production centered around Newman's piano and voice while accented by perfect accompaniments - of particular note is Ry Cooder's slide guitar on "Last Night I Had a Dream." And Newman is the rare songwriter who just through his unique voice actually makes me listen to the lyrics which are most often brilliantly satirical - poking fun at religion, nationalism, exceptionalism - fits comfortably in with my worldview :) As one who is mostly a rock fan first and foremost, I absolutely love everything about this album - perhaps because it gives me a curveball in my listening habits - and there are no missteps in this whatsoever. 9/10 5 stars.
Yusss. It can take a while to ‘get’ Randy Newman or take him seriously, but once it clicks it’s worth it. There’s humour. There’s satire. There are piercing home truths and humdrum observations side-by-side. There’s a blend of orchestral/New-Orleans-y ragtime pop that you don’t really get from anyone else. I think what I like most is that while his default position might be mockery, I reckon there’s plenty of affection and sincerity too. There are enough classics here to guarantee a 4. Does the rest of the album push it into genuine 5-star territory? I’m not sure; but as a devout Randy fan there was always going to be some rounding up involved. Wish he’d stop cancelling gigs I’m supposed to go to though.
He may not be the greatest singer, but Randy Newman is a brilliant songwriter and I think his voice works incredibly well with his writing style. At this point in his career, he's probably thought of mostly as a movie score/song composer. His ascerbic wit is on full display on this album. I think it's great even though my 2 favorite songs of his (Mama Told Me Not to Come and I Love LA) aren't on this record.
RaNdY NeWmAn DoEs DiSnEy SoNgS. What a weak, embarrassing take.
This was such a solid album. I was actually surprised with how much I enjoyed it and I look forward to listening to it again later. From the lyrics along, I really couldn't figure out if Mr. Newman was for or against religion, or perhaps specifically against organized religion? I really started to questions things at God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind). I may have to listen to the album a few times before I understand.
Singer/song-writers are not always the favorite for this reviewer. There is no exception here with Randy Newman. While the talent of putting music and words together is an oversimplification of what Randy Newman does here, the bottom line for this review is the question of "Why?" Why is this important? This album is track after track of walking into a conversation that has been happening for some time, no context, no circling back, each song having its own self-contained continuity stoking zero interest as to whether or not the listener should care to listen. Truthfully, the mindset going into this album was one of open-minded and intentional patience, but that only asked the second question: "How?" How is this important, and to what degree of impact did this have on the world of music? No denigration of Mr. Newman or his music is intended here, a limited number of humans have his talent to tell a story and play the piano at the same time. In terms of an album though, this would probably have more appreciation at a dive bar, or lounge, complete with spirits and smokes. By all means, this should not discourage someone else from listening to the album, it was simply not for this listener.
I love this album. Randy Newman is such a clever songwriter. Favorite song is Political Science
I really like this one! I would consider downloading this one for listening again.
Randy Newman is a genius.
I have lived with these songs since I was a kid. Part of the soundtrack of my life.
This album is amazing, Randy Newman has such a talent at writing these beautiful, emotional pieces that’s probably why disney had him write so many soundtracks 10/10
God's Song nets this baby a 5 alone. Randy is the GOAT there are half a dozen classics on here
I absolutely loved this album, and I had never heard it before. The arrangement was so clever, the lyrics were so wonderful and touching and thought provoking. I will definitely add this to my rotation.
I’m not too familiar with Randy Newman and didn’t know what to expect. This album was a biting satire that sent up American exceptionalism and even flirted with the absurd. I’m also quite partial to Los Angeles orchestral pop so this album appealed to me musically as well. Overall this was a perfect album for me.
I enjoyed this. Plinky plonky storytelling.
Un excellent album de la part de notre ami Randy. Mention spéciale à l'interlude précédant You Can Leave Your Hat On au cours duquel on entend Jean-Luc Reichmann s'écrier "C'est la question COOO... C'est la question IIIIIIIINE..... C'est la fameuse question coquine...." sous les applaudissements rythmés du public.
Newman and his honky-tonk, Ray Charles-dreaming piano, off-beat lyrics, drinking songs to intricate to drink to. Aiming for a wry smile.
F'n Randy Newman... just... no. Even I have some standards.
Gotta 😆 in the first 10 seconds I heard “you Got a Friend “ in my mind and BAM it is the same artist!!
Great lyrics, great mood, so chill, one of a kind voice
I think I've probably only heard Randy's music because of Toy Story, but this wasn't at all what I expected. Loved the satire.
Taken by complete surprise. The writing on here is just so ridiculously good. A real treat.
Musically charming, understatedly elegant arrangements. Sly, unsentimental, frequently cynical lyrics. Randy Newman is a treasure. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Sail Away, Last Night I Had a Dream, Memo to My Son, Lonely at the Top, God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind), Political Science, You Can Leave Your Hat On, Old Man, Dayton, Ohio - 1903, He Gives Us All His Love, Burn On, Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear
Love Randy Newman's style, very enjoyable listen throughout
Oh I know this song. And this one. Oh he wrote this one too? Wowsers. I feel poorly educated for not knowing Randy Newman's catalogue. My bad. And having such a unique voice, what a talent. No need to keep your hat on Randy, go flaunt it.
I love Randy Newman, probably one of the sharpest, cynical, funny songwriters in American popular music. That he can combine drollery with poignancy, often in the same song, is impressive; married to lovely, jazzy piano arrangements, it's stellar. Sure, he's got a funny voice. It fits the music. Would a song about the slave trade like 'Sail Away' fly today? It's probably too glib to suit today's climate, despite its brilliance. A great collection of characterful songs by one of the best to ever do it.
A kind and soft affair. It’s very own private concert.
Love this album.
Beautiful. Gentle and sweet, just perfect for cooking to. I loved this. Also had not previously known that 'Simon Smith..' and 'Leave your hat on' were his songs, not those of Georgie Fame and Tom Jones. My favourite was God's Song' - very moving.
The simplicity of the song structures and the narrative lyrics/singing style comes together on this one so well. Opting for the piano, but not moving in the pop/soft rock direction, makes Randy stand out among his peers. His voice is unique, almost goofy at times, giving it a light-heartedness that is the polar opposite of what someone like Dylan does with his serious gravel, for example. Newman is also the master of the everyday. There's nothing epic or world historical in his lyrics, but they still transport the listener.
Weer zo'n album vol Randy Newman-klassiekers, de ironie druipt er weer vanaf, maar het zijn leuke jazzy songs met mooie arrangementjes. Tussen het zwarte wereldbeeld vinden we zowaar ook oprechte vrolijkheid, niet voor niets nummers die we beter als covers kennen: Simon Smith and his dancing bear en You can leave your hat on. Een soort kruising tussen Bram Vermeulen en Drs. P maar dan uit Amerika.
This is a brilliant album and I have always loved it
I like Randy Newman’s music and knew “You Can Leave Your Hat On” but the rest of this looked unfamiliar - but as I listened I kept have moments of recognition. This was a lot of fun (and a little bit of shock when you realize what some of the lyrics were about) to listen to. Really brilliant! I like this each time I’ve listened to it more and more… glad to have it in my library!
This is very fine storytelling. And not just in the lyrics. The music itself tells a story. It is no surprise that Newman has been so successful as a film composer. His songs themselves are cinematic. The opening and closing tracks are deviously beautiful: lovely melodies bring you in and then the lyrics kick you in the teeth. I'm sure I knew it at some point but maybe I'd forgotten that Newman wrote "You Can Leave Your Hat On." Listening to this album, it struck me how similar Randy Newman and Tom Waits are. I would love an album where they cover each other's tunes.
This was very enjoyable. I found myself repeatedly asking, “Now, what film was this in?”
I guess I'd forgotten that Randy Newman did anything but Pixar movie music and "Short People," and that's too bad. These were songs to listen to again and again, each time finding those brilliant little hidden gotchas that lurk under the affable, delightful surface.
This is a very nostalgic album for me. It reminds me of my Stepfather and the tremendous impact he had on my musical horizons. He was always exposing me to music such as this, that was just outside of my capability to fully grasp initially, but which grew on me over time when I was eventually able to start putting the pieces together for myself. Not to say that I didn't enjoy this straight away as a teenager though. My high school friends and I felt somewhat out of phase with our present era - old souls perhaps - so Randy Newman's more timeless, less rock oriented sound appealed to us in that way. Randy is fucking vicious, he just wraps it up in these beautiful arrangements so it goes down more easily. It's far more scathing that way too. Really messes with you emotionally so you're not even sure how to feel. He's a bitter motherfucker - and I feel that - and I also admire him for exploring lyrical territory very few others are brave enough to tread. He really confronts some of the darkest and most difficult corners of human weakness, hypocrisy, stupidity, evil, frailty, desire, fear, hubris, inadequacy, and sometimes even just mundaneness. He's always playing characters to voice these concerns, but you know he's in there somewhere, full of self loathing for being part of it all himself. And that's why it works - he's not above it. No matter how horrible these characters sound, he always makes it relatable, almost appealing, in some way. We're all guilty of being these imperfect, deeply flawed idiots, but at least Randy Newman recognizes it, is honest about it, and writes these gorgeous songs for us so we can at least all laugh about it.
Very varied so I enjoyed this a lot. Also remaster made it sound VERY nice n smooth
This was really good. I liked the style he was going for, and the songs were pleasant to the ears.
He did the toy story music
I'm randy lol
I enjoyed it. I had forgotten that he sang “Roll On” from the opening to the movie “Major League which I always enjoyed.
Immediate hit of toy story vibe of course. Lonely at the top, Sounds like old black Louisiana blues/jazz performer, playing in his dungarees on a deck outside a shop on a box. Absolutely stunning. Album definitely has 'musicals' influence. Some tracks feel very broadway
I feel like I have overlooked his talent and artistry for far too long. This work is different than his soundtrack stuff. It feels both personal and filled with dedication to craft.
I enjoy Randy Newman's laid back style while mixing satire and cheeky commentary. Enjoyable album.
Randy Newman es un compositor como pocos, tiene la habilidad de escribir letras y fraguar historias quizá aun más ligadas y cercanas que algunos otros más poéticos pero con quienes quizá es más difícil sentir esa relación inmediata como Dylan o Cohen. Tiene inventiva, métrica, cadencia en sus frases, historias completas en tres párrafos y la capacidad como pocos de incluso despertar emociones. Tiene también en mi punto dos detalles. Su música es buena, es interesante y le queda a sus canciones... y es la misma siempre, TODAS sus canciones suenan como en una plantilla 70% iguales, que creo toda persona de nuestra edad obviamente puede reconocer inmediatamente al pensar en Woody y Buzz; es un sonido agradable pero puede cansar. El segundo punto es que son canciones con música agradable, letras excelentes... cantadas por el borrachín que duerme afuera del Oxxo; su manera de entonar y esa forma tan particular y única es simpática como por una o dos canciones... ya a 2/3 del disco tambien no se aguanta mucho. De hecho el disco las dos veces tal cual le tuve que poner intermedio al escucharlo por la combinación de voz/música que me llegaba a cansar. Me encantó Sail Away y su concepto de como pretendiera alguien pintarle a un próximo esclavo lo bonito que es EE.UU. Me fascina que haya hecho una canción sobre un sueño; pero sobre un sueño de verdad como son, no todo poético y metafórico como todas las canciones de sueños, aquí el sueño es una medio pesadilla sin sentido que puede o no tener sentido o significado porque tal cual así son los sueños, raros. God's Song igual maestra, cada cuánto se tiene realmente una canción desde el punto de vista ateo, y que aparte ateo o no deja el mensaje (muy cierto a fin de cuentas) de que, si dios existiera, quien lo necesitan son los hombres, no al revés. De verdad siento que no hay letra mala en el disco, podría ponerme a platicar de casi todas las canciones y como algo bueno o novedoso o interesante se les encuentra. Decía Newman en una entrevista que "mi música no es para ponerse de fondo mientras comes papitas en una fiesta" y creo que tiene toda la razón porque, por un lado, sus letras de verdad que merecen ser escuchadas con atención y, por otro, la fiesta se te va a vaciar después de la cuarta canción con ese sonsonete. Maravilla de album pero no de corrido.
Really quite good. Can't argue.
It's not just music from Pixar movies! This was actually very good. Not what I was expecting at all.
Randy is fun. I like when he observes things as they happen, or just says whatever comes to mind. A lovely “ear wash” after goddamn Slipknot
La première chose qui m'est passé par la tête, c'est que toutes les pièces pourraient figurer dans des films de Pixar.. J'ai ensuite remarqué que c'était le compositeur de You've got a friend in me et ça explique beaucoup de choses! Ça s'écoute bien, j'aime la voix et le piano mais rien d'extrêmement complexe.
8/10 yo soy tu amigo fiel
Some good songwriting but his voice and the pacing really bog the album down. 7
Randy Newman can kind of be sad and happy at the same time. I really enjoyed this album.
Newman is a brilliant and very funny songwriter. I've like his stuff for a long time, and Political Science still amuses me! Listened twice.
Тёплый, ламповый альбом. Оригинал культовой Песни про шляпу в себе содержит. Который я, в прочем, поначалу воспринял за не самый выдающийся кавер. На самом деле особо предъявить не за что, на год своего выхода это было, вероятно, тупо топ. Но не сильно уверен, что уютная атмосфера альбома не развеется до обыденности спустя за несколько прослушиваний.
If you like Elton John's Madman Across The Water, then this is like an American version of that album. Except replace the pop friendly lyrics of Elton with some deeper lyrics about Americans. (Although I will say that Elton has got a better voice than Randy).
I will definitely be coming back to this one. 4 out of 5
Great stories and effortless style - not a genre I would listen to normally, but I will put this one on again.
Just beautiful all way through. Great music.
Really good. Sounds like Toy Story everytime.
Great songs. I'm not usually one for orchestrated arrangements in pop music but I can overlook it because of how great the songs are. 4 stars
Fantastic Album, great lyrics, rock/blues instrumentation, very entertaining. Never heard of him before, but a few songs of this album are very familiar through interpretations by other artists.
Really good album, has a nostalgic/homely feel to it, probably due to the fact that the same dude sings 'you've got a friend in me' from Toy Story. 4/5.
pretty good. If you like that one song from toy story, then you will probably like this album. Also, this has the happiest song about nuclear war. 3.7/5
I liked this a lot. Randy Newman is a great songwriter. I especially liked God's Song - very interesting lyrics. 4 stars.
Tykkäsin tästä, ainakin taustamusana. Ei ollut tuttu ukko aikaisemmin, ainakaan tietoisesti, mutta ilmeisesti kova filmisäveltäjä. Verrattuna edellisenä arvioituun Nick Draken Five Leaves Leftiin, tämä oli vähän rokimpaa kamaa.
Gillar när han sa att vi ska nuka världen
Great story teller.... His voice is 'interesting'
Very pleasant album.
Richtig cool und groovy
Tolles Album, echte Entdeckung!
Whenever I hear Randy Newman I think of toy story, to me they are so linked, and that’s not a bad thing as both are memorable for good reasons. He has a distinctive voice which is quite a mellow, soothing sound, it’s very pleasant. I have never really listened to any of his music before outside of movie tracks, now that I have I want to find out more about his back catalogue
Randy Newman.... classic.
Rento paluu lomilta. Hyvä ääni ja ihan hauskat tekstit. Toimiva.
Brian Wilson fell in love with this album when it came out, and as someone who thinks Brian Wilson is one of the best artists of the past century, I also love this album. The vibe is exactly the type of 60's beatlesque pop rock that goes straight to my soul. Not the most profound thing ever, but well worth a listen if you like The Beatles or (especially) The Beach Boys. Favorite Tracks: "Sail Away", "Lonely At The Top", "Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear", "Old Man", "Political Science", "Burn On", "Dayton, Ohio - 1903"
By turns cynical and sincere, Newman is a hard man to pin down. What does he believe in? Perhaps the intrigue will keep us listening but the lack of trust means we’ll never warm to him.
So that’s why Disney hired him for so many of their soundtracks.
Never listened to Randy Newman besides the famous "You've Got A Friend In Me", so this album made me amazed. His voice together with the piano is something beautiful to hear, especially on a sunday like today, relaxing and not thinking in anything else. Favorite tracks: *Sail Away * Lonely At The Top * Dayton, Ohio - 1903
There are some great songs on here, but a few of them feel slightly underdeveloped. I also prefer the more complex arrangements on his later albums to the focus mostly on piano and strings here. Love the Cleveland song!
Really enjoyed this. Not as fun as Good Old Boys but a little more consistent. Might be a Randy Newman stan. There’s also a clear line you can draw from this sound to Bruce Springsteen
Sounds like a wittier and more sarcastic Elton John.
Fun songs about the American Experience with a satirical bent.
Solid album front to back. Songs are mostly distinct from each other. Has a subdued version of "You can leave your hat on". Has some actual songs that go somewhere and say something. "Old Man" is him talking to his dad who's dying, "Political Science" is hoping for someone to just hurry up and drop a nuclear bomb. There's happy songs, sad songs, silly songs, serious songs, y'know, actual variety. Despite being a music style I'm not heavily into, I could listen to this from time to time.
another very recognizable voice. good sound
Really enjoyed the album, defo my bag and the satirical songwriting was great.
You got a friend in me
It's inescapable that Toy Story has done for old Randy since it's very difficult to separate him from the film. What some perhaps don't know is how many well known songs he has written (mainly for other people)....... for example halfway down the list is 'You can leave your hat on' which was a huge hit for Joe Cocker from the film 9.5 weeks. This music is 'One man and a piano in a smokey bar drinking singing about his troubles in life' which some may find dreary but in the right circumstances is soothing to listen to.
A collection of short, simple, beautiful songs by 'the Toy Story guy'. A number of these songs (all written by Newman) are well known for versions having been recorded by others. Here they mainly comprise piano with strings. The simpler versions highlight the quality of the songwriting and soulfulness of Newman's voice. Simply lovely. Rating: 4.5/5 Playlist track: Sail Away Date listened: 21/06/22
This guy is basically a machine churning out songs for movies that stick in the mind long after the movie has faded...... I think he also works as a film composer so that would make total sense. As an album though, Sail Away is a collection of short but sweet songs showcasing Randy's vocals. Loved it.
This one I guess is peak Randy Newman, at least of this particular aspect of his singer/songwriter persona. And I like it, a lot of it is pretty funny, the music is all solid and some rises to a higher level. But there is the issue of the kind of condescending sneer behind a lot of the satirical lyrics, this attitude of “let’s channel how these idiots think” but without any hint really of pointing to a better way.
Randy Newman wrote some very creative songs but not the most fun to listen to. "Sail away" was eerie when I realized what it was actually about. If I was a bigger lyrics person maybe this could be a 5 but the music itself is just not fully there for me.