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Born Again


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Audio CD, May 9, 1989
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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Song Title Time Price
listen  1. It's Money That I Love 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Story Of A Rock And Roll Band 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Pretty Boy 4:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Mr. Sheep 3:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Ghosts 2:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. They Just Got Married 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Spies 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Girls In My Life (Part I) 2:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Half A Man 3:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. William Brown 1:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Pants 3:05$0.99  Buy MP3 

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The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 2

While pondering whether to record a second volume of the Randy Newman Songbook, the two-time Academy Award-winning songwriter—honored most recently for “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3—claims he took a practical, Hollywood movie-studio view of the situation: “The first one did so well that nowadays you might as well just ... Read more in Amazon's Randy Newman Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Born Again + Trouble in Paradise + Land of Dreams
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 9, 1989)
  • Original Release Date: 1979
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner/Reprise/Maverick
  • ASIN: B000026E7W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,734 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Out of print in the U.S.! While he is best known in the millennium for his award winning soundtrack work, singer/songwriter Randy Newman was one of the most critically adored singer/songwriters of the '70s and '80s. 1979's Born Again followed his hit album Little Criminals and while the album was a success on many levels, it flew in the face of commercial fashion and he successfully alienated his new fans (while thankfully pleasing his long-term fanbase). While there was not hit single like the previous year's 'Short People' or '83's 'I Love L.A.', Born Again is still a fine addition to his influential catalog. 11 tracks including 'It's Money That I Love', 'The Story Of A Rock And Roll Band', 'They Just Got Married' and more. Warner.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Neiss on October 5, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
From the opening chords of Sail Away in which Randy Newman translates the deplorable and tragic conditions of the Atlantic Slave Trade into a Travelogue worthy of Arthur Frommer, it was perfectly clear that Newman not only reveled in his reputation as a musical shape shifter (comfortable in any musical genre) but was unafraid to speak the unspoken and bring real truth to power.

Fast forward seven years and we arrive at one of Newman's most maligned recordings, 1979's Born Again - a misunderstood, minor release that has him uncomfortable in the rock star afterglow of his out of nowhere ride to the top 40 on the stubby little legs of his novelty hit, Short People. As a follow-up, an artist as mercurial as Newman would probably be repulsed by a "slightly taller people" sequel and go completely out-of-body - embracing and experimenting with synthesizer and electronic orchestra laden production techniques that were so prevalent in the popular muzak of the time.

Consequently, every song on this pristine recording is written from his world-weary comfort zone - the money chase, suburban conformity, homophobia and imbecilic exhibitionism are all cleverly ridiculed and lacerated under Newman's jaundiced eye and set to music against a late 1970's wall-of-sound that might have been de rigueur for Boston or Kansas but unintentionally hilarious when set against Newman's sardonic landscape.

For those who might cry foul due to some very pointed and cruel lyrics - you are undoubtedly not listening to the personal soundtrack of the modern 13 y/o - where f-bombs explode like Chinese pyrotechnics and misogyny flows like a river of Red Bull. By comparison Born Again seems almost quaint but is nevertheless tough, trenchant social commentary. If you were expecting Short People II, put that dwarf down and pick-up one of Randy Newman's most unheralded (and enjoyable) releases. A mini masterpiece that is still capable of hitting a nerve today! Highly recommended.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By ewomack TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 16, 2004
Format: Audio CD
In the liner notes for the recently re-issued "Ragtime" sountrack, Newman makes a confession: "I made 'Little Criminals' when I ran out of money and had to work". From that point on, Newman's albums contained production that more or less reflected the era. 1977's "Little Criminals" sounds like an album from 1977 (of course, having members of the Eagles perform backing vocals emphasized this to a hyperbolic degree). "Born Again" sounds like an album from 1979, and its follow-up "Trouble in Paradise" sounds like a 1980s album, and so on up until 1995's "Faust". This isn't to fault Newman at all, but merely to point out that Newman's music took a not so subtle production turn in 1977, for better or worse. Perhaps Newman allowed the record labels to have more control over his product purely out of necessity? Regardless, Newman's albums didn't suffer much, if at all, from the more mainstream production they received throughout the 1980s.

The extreme synthesizer that invades some of the tracks on "Born Again" may shock some who only know Newman's earlier work. It's not bad or unlistenable, just jarring at first. "Born Again" departs from Newman's previous efforts in many ways, and the synthesizer presents only one example. The almost complete lack of orchestra is probably the second most salient change. Newman hadn't abandoned orchestra to this extent since 1970's "12 Songs". That may have been a money saving move (orchestras aren't for the frugal) or Newman simply wanted to experiment with synthesizer as an alternative. Either way, its absence shapes the distinctive sound of "Born Again".

The opening track, "It's Money That I Love", justifies the existence of the entire album all by itself.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD
"Born Again" is Randy Newman's follow-up to "Little Criminals" and it's big hit single, "Short People." It continues in the same vein as "Criminals," in that the songs are set against a more '70s rock backdrop. At the time of it's release, it was dismissed by critics (and Newman himself who called it simply a "comedy record") who accused Newman of pandering to a younger demographic with more "Short People"-esque lyrics designed to "outrage." Looking back, the album is not really that bad at all. The worst one can say is that Randy's targets this time out are a bit obvious (corporate drones, pretentious rock bands, etc.) and that the whole affair, while containing his typical sardonic lyrics, lacks the poignancy and warmth Newman often brings along with the biting humor. But, even weaker Newman contains fine music and a couple of guffaws. It may not be "Sail Away" or even "Bad Love," but how many albums are? If you like Randy, you will like this title. If you're just discovering him or only know him from his work on soundtracks, start elsewhere ("Sail Away," "Good Ol' Boys") and work you way towards this title. All in all, a pleasant offering from one of the great singer-songwriters of his generation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By rg61 on March 21, 2008
Format: MP3 Music
Yes, I'm a Randy Newman fan. I had all of Randy Newman's studio vinyl between Sail Away and Land of Dreams. But this was the first CD of his I bought.

Okay, the synthesizers indicate when this album was recorded. But c'mon, folks -- get over it!! There is more wit and melody on this album than you're gonna find most anywhere else. And some fabulous chord changes (notably on Mr. Sheep).

It's Money That I Love was too risquée for top 40, but it's hilarious. Story of A Rock & Roll Band is a brilliant send-up of ELO. William Brown and Ghosts are as poignant as anything else Mr. Newman has written shy of In Germany Before the War. ...

I could go on, but just buy the album and enjoy.

No, it's not as eloquent as Sail Away or Good Old Boys. And there *is* one track, Half a Man, that I think is less than weak. But it's still a Randy Newman album -- and if you're still reading this, then there's probably more on this album for you to enjoy than on most others.
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