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Good Old Boys

Randy NewmanAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

Price: $19.63 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 13 Songs, 2003 $9.99  
Audio CD, 2002 $19.63  
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Audio Cassette, 1990 --  

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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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Good Old Boys + Sail Away + Little Criminals
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 21, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 1974
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B000065DWH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,033 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
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
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Rednecks
2. If We Didn't Have Jesus
3. Birmingham
4. The Joke
5. Louisiana
6. My Daddy Knew Dixie Howell
7. Shining
8. Marie
9. Good Morning
10. Birmingham Redux
See all 13 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Randy Newman's 1974 concept album explores the modern contradictions and early-20th-century history of the Deep South with his bracing mix of irony, affection, and empathy for twisted psyches and hungry, venal dreams. What sounds like Southern gothic material is a virtuosic balancing act between light comedy and political broadside, shivering with moments of unexpected pathos: "Birmingham" is a booster anthem, "A Wedding in Cherokee County" a tableau of dysfunctional romance at once grotesque and touching, "Guilty" a probing confession of addiction, and "Louisiana 1927" a Copelandesque tragedy of the ravages of that year's historic flood. Capping it all is his classic, double-edged indictment of racism, "Rednecks," which turns the knife back on smug outsiders blind to their own prejudices. Rhino's 2002 remixed, expanded reissue caps the initial disc with a demo version of the ballad "Maria" and includes a fascinating salvaged-from-the-vaults second disc dubbed "Johnny Cutler's Birthday" (the working title for the project), featuring Newman sketching the finished album through songs and commentary. --Sam Sutherland

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of pop music's intellectual peaks... September 5, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Randy Newman's portrait of the Southern United States represents a peak in his career and a culmination of four albums. Begged and beaten into the music industry by friends and colleagues (one of them supposedly John Lennon, who called Newman to say that all of the Beatles had heard his demos), Newman's fourth album of original material provides evidence that those friends and colleagues provided us a great service. "Good Old Boys" stands as one of Newman's greatest acheivements, and arguably one of the greatest albums of the 1970s. Rolling Stone even proclaimed it the 393rd best album of all time in 2003 (though it probably deserves to be put much higher).

A furtive glance at the album's title, and an accompanying peek at the song titles ("Rednecks", "Birmingham", Naked Man", "Guilty") would suggest a slam dunk satirical no holds barred slash at the south. Not so. Newman approaches the subject with dignity and a balance not often bequeathed to the United States' southern states. Not to say that "Good Old Boys" eulogizes the South (this is no "Gone With The Wind"). The bad and ugly also creep in: racism, prejudice, drunkedness, poverty, populism, obscenity. Newman, himself a Southerner by birth, has forayed into this territory before. 1970's "12 Songs" included "Old Kentucky Home" and "Yellow Man", though the former contained more nudge nudge satire than "Good Old Boys". This album expands on the themes explored in those songs and expands it into the length of an entire album. The results come out more in context than they do on a song-by-song basis. For example, "Birmingham" and "Marie", both amazing songs, take on a different tone when following "Rednecks". "Rollin'" represents the sigh of denial after a long arduous inhale.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Enigma of Randy Newman September 29, 1999
Format:Audio CD
It's sometimes hard for newcomers to Newman's brand of satirical social comment to understand what he's saying. Many people take the lyrics too literally or don't get the drift at all. ("Rednecks" is a prime example on this recording. "Short People" and "Sail Away" are other examples.) I bought this recording as a vinyl LP in the mid-70's and nearly wore it through. When my turntable went on the blink - then out to the garage sale, it was many years between listenings; but the tunes & lyrics were recurringly echoing in my head. A few years ago I got the CD and I'm hooked again. I love these songs! This is probably my most favorite record to crank up in the car and wail along with. Randy Newman is a very strange individual and I love him for it. If you want to know what Randy Newman is about, you need to have this CD. However, you might want to skip the lead track if you play it in front of your kids or your social activist friends. They just won't get the satire until after several listenings or a pointed explanation.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Desert Island Album January 17, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I have been listening to this album for almost 30 years and it is as fresh and satisfying today as it was in the '70's. As expected the songwriting and instrumentation are beautiful. This is Randy's best album. Give it a good listen. It is simply a work of high art.

Steve C.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My 15 Seconds of Fame December 28, 2006
Format:Audio CD
I've always loved this recording-- I had it on vinyl and then recorded it to cassette tape and listened to it in my car for years until cars went to CD players, then I bought the CD. But that's just the first half of my back story.

In October, Randy came to my hometown to play two concerts. My wife and I had tickets to the second show. We arrived early and ate dinner at a restaurant adjacent to the theatre. Soon after we arrived, a whitish-haired gentleman in jeans and a young woman sat down at the next table. "Psst!" I whispered to my wife, "That's Randy Newman!" I held off accosting him until he finished his dinner, but to get ready, I wrote a request on a napkin (this is standard Louisiana practice at piano bars). I introduced myself and made my request. I also reminisced about a show he did at the New Orleans Jazz Festival about 10 years ago. He remembered singing "Louisiana 1927" and "Rider in the Rain" in the rain that day. He gave me an autograph and said he'd try to play my request.

The show lasted about two hours and near the end, Randy introduced a request "from my friend, Dave Zimmerman". Wow! He proceeded to mention jokingly how the song would "break up the flow of the concert", but that he'd play it anyway. He then explained how the song was written about Albania, but that he had to change the setting to an southern US county for the American market. The song is "Wedding in Cherokee County" and it's on "Good Old Boys", Randy Newman's best album in an illustrious career as singer and composer.

The title comes from a line in the CD's opening and most controversial song "Rednecks", which features repeated use of the N word as he decries both Southern and Northern racism.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Randy Newman's Love-Hate Relationship with the South September 10, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I have not heard all of Randy Newman's albums, but of his early works, "12 Songs," "Sail Away," and "Good Old Boys," I like "Good Old Boys" the most. All the songs on it are good, and the redneck concept works well. From a musical standpoint, I also found it more satisfying than "12 Songs" or "Sail Away." While those albums are stripped down musically, "Good Old Boys" uses guitar and synthesizers to greater effect. Although recorded in the mid-70s, "Good Old Boys" doesn't sound dated. With the recent catastrophe in New Orleans, Newman's song "Louisiana 1927," about the terrible flood of that year, is haunting and prophetic. At around 30 minutes or so, "Good Old Boys" doesn't overstay its welcome. In those 30 minutes, it says more than most bands do their whole career. It contains acidic social commentary ("Rednecks," which attacks Southern and Northern racism), colorful character sketches ("A Wedding in Cherokee County" and "Naked Man"), and bittersweet love songs ("Guilty" and "Marie"). Some of the subject matter might be foreign to people who don't know Louisiana history ("Kingfish" and "Every Man a King"), but the songwriting throughout is top-notch. "Good Old Boys" is a real treat, though Louisiana State University alumni might not like the lines: "College men from LSU/Went in dumb, come out dumb too/Hustling 'round Atlanta in their alligator shoes/Get drunk every weekend at a barbecue." Geaux Randy!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Composer, arranger, historian, philosopher, and social critic Newman...
The "Louisiana" cuts offer the best and quickest view of the real history of the state in the 1920s and 1930s that I know of. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Cyrus O. Harbourt
5.0 out of 5 stars Old is the best
I had this album on vinyl--still do but can't play it. It's vintage Randy Newman, raw and offensive and beautiful. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Marty Reeh
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Newman's Best
Newman's repertoire is pretty amazing. Even so, this is one of his most creative collections. Piquant and sometimes unsettling, it is thought-provoking yet, still great... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Fredrick C. G. Scheer
2.0 out of 5 stars not the original
Very disappointed in that the heading had original recording reissued. It is very much NOT. Very sneaky, misleading and underhanded.
Published 7 months ago by Lora Hollins
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent transaction
Randy Newman is a master of his art and craft. Contains music that will make you laugh and cry, and maybe curse human behaviour but applaud the human spirit.
Published 14 months ago by M Maas
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Record
Though somewhat controversial because of the misinterpretation of "Rednecks", this album is really great. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Benoch
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of Newman...
This is the album that first got pre-Hollywood Randy Newman widely noticed. Only for those capable of understanding irony and reflection. Read more
Published 16 months ago by TimTide
5.0 out of 5 stars my first randy newman cd
im glad this was my first randy newman cd, because it is awesome. redneck, louisiana 1927, mr president, and guilty are just amazing songs. Read more
Published on March 6, 2012 by Michael B. Mcgehee
4.0 out of 5 stars Time warp with Randy Newman
Good Old Boys / Randy Newman: This is a Randy Newman concept album. The concept consists of his impersonation of the Huey Long era of the south. Read more
Published on January 1, 2012 by J. Bynum
2.0 out of 5 stars I would LOVE to punch him out
In the first place, I am FROM Atlanta, Georgia, and I AM PROUD TO BE FROM THE SOUTH! And if liberal-guilt Randy don't like it, he can... Read more
Published on January 7, 2011 by Bill Board
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