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Trouble in Paradise

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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$4.38 $0.58

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. I Love L.A. 3:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Christmas In Cape Town 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Blues 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Same Girl 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Mikey's 2:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. My Life Is Good 4:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Miami 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Real Emotional Girl 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Take Me Back 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. There's A Party At My House 2:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. I'm Different 2:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Song For The Dead 3:02$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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Trouble in Paradise + Little Criminals + 12 Songs
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002KYN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,563 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

He's written some of the thorniest, darkest vignettes ever tucked into the verses and chorus of a pop song, but Randy Newman's greatest commercial successes have come with his most ephemeral material. "Short People" was a throwaway, albeit a terrific one, but it catapulted him onto pop charts and generated controversy among dim-bulbs who didn't realize he was kidding. Dwarfing that hit (pun intended) was "I Love L.A.," which has become an anthem despite the squalor of its imagery and Newman's hilarious inclusion of some of the ugliest thoroughfares imaginable in his litany of glorious local streets. Trouble in Paradise thus derives much of its familiarity from this one romping gag, yet its best songs tilt toward Newman's darker side, none more so than "Christmas in Capetown," which reconstructs the holiday through the eyes of an Afrikaner racist. Ho, ho, ho. --Sam Sutherland

Customer Reviews

This is just too good to pass up.
J. Bynum
And, 'Real Emotional Girl' ...I know her....poor wonderful creature- the girl and the song.'
R. Ellingson
'I Love LA', the opener, is without a doubt one of the best songs Newman has ever written.
M. Packham

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ewomack TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Newman makes a surprising claim in "Ragtime's" CD 2002 issue booklet. Referring to "Trouble in Paradise" he says "I think that's my best record. Not many others do, but I do." Newman then credits his film score composition for vastly improving his pop albums. This may sound puzzling coming from the man responsible for "12 Songs", "Sail Away", and the amazing "Good Old Boys". When speaking of Newman's accomplishments, "Trouble in Paradise" rarely receives effervescent laudations. The album actually seems mostly forgotten even though it made #67 on Rolling Stone's "Best Albums of the 1980s" list.

Newman's career took a turn in 1977 that led to 1983's "Trouble in Paradise". Newman's "Little Criminals" began the divergence from the heavily orchestrated acoustic folky sound of his 1960s - 1970s work to the more electronic sounds of the 1980s. True, a lot of this reflects the trends of the time, and maybe Newman had to follow the scene from necessity, but the trends blare like neon in this album. "Trouble In Paradise" simply sounds like a 1980s album. The synthesizer sounds and production scream of the era. The song "Miami" was even featured on an episode of "Miami Vice" (1986's "Trust Fund Pirates", episode #043; yes, anything can be found on the internet).

Regardless of the sounds and production values, "Trouble In Paradise" contains some great Newman. Arguably, it vastly improves on 1979's "Born Again". "I Love LA" starts off the album on Newman's typical tongue-in-cheek-but-sounds serious note. The video received almost constant MTV airplay, but the song didn't come close to "Short People's" chart status. "Christmas In Capetown" explores a nasty 1980s theme: apartheid in South Africa.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Packham on November 30, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Trouble In Paradise veers away from the more 'traditional' Randy Newman songs, i.e., the trademark 'shuffles' and, well, variations on shuffle tempos. Here he takes a few more risks, shakes things up a bit, and deliberately works outside of himself to come up with a whole new sound. The good news is that Trouble In Paradise contains the best songs of Newman's entire catalogue; conversely, it also contains some of his worst.
'I Love LA', the opener, is without a doubt one of the best songs Newman has ever written. A twisted love paean to the sunny city itself, Newman juxtaposes an upbeat rock track to some suspect lyrics, singing of such unsavoury locales as 'Santa Monica Boulevard' and 'Sixth Street' while a chorus echoes "we love it!"
'Christmas in Capetown' is a brilliant song, again one of his best. It captures the anxiety and hostility of an Afrikaaner racist as he laments the state of South Africa, at the same time propagating the gap between blacks and whites with his racist overtures.
'My Life is Good' is excellent, as well as very funny. Newman assumes the role of an upper-class husband rocked by the news of his son's misdemeanours at a "private school" which "many famous people send their kids" to, he brags. The reference to Bruce Springsteen ("Rand, I'm tired... why don't YOU be the boss for a while?") and the line following that one (which can't be mentioned), is the funniest thing Randy's ever produced.
The remaining excellent songs are 'Take Me Back', 'Real Emotional Girl', 'Same Girl' and 'Mikey's'.
Conversely though, 'The Blues' is offensive in that it ridicules kids who take solace in music (that's hitting below the belt). Also musically's it's not a very good song.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim Brough TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 20, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Of all of Randy Newman's 'modern' albums (basically, everything from Little Criminals to Faust, "Trouble in Paradise" is probably my favorite. Less mean in spirit than Born Again and more pop oriented than all the rest of his catalog, "Paradise" was Newman at his wittiest. There was even a pair of almost hits.

The deceptive "I Love LA" became one of those songs that people sang along to oblivious to the songs barbs. "Look at that bum over there man, down on his knees" probably isn't the most civic minded lyric...but that nod to the big nasty redhead by his side and the Beach Boys blaring fooled everyone. Then there was the spoof of "The Blues," with Paul Simon playing into type with the pity party chorus and Newman opening the song with lyrics so bleak they should be a country hit.

Aside from those two, the rest include the biting anti-apartheid song "Christmas In Capetown." "Mikey" bemoans all the old hangouts that have been buried under techno, as the aging patron cries "what ever happened to the fu#*!ng 'Duke of Earl?" The character song that closes the album, "Song For The Dead," is among Newman's best. It is also just as prescient now as it was in 1983.

My personal favorite is "My Life Is Good." Sending up the yuppies who think their world is little more than a HOV lane to entitlement, it takes a jaded look at parents who use students as status markers. The parent who then mock brags that you better do as he tells you because he hangs with Springsteen...then a pseudo-Clarence Clemons solo blares away. It's perfect parody, and the high point of "Trouble In Paradise." It's also the reason that I still have a soft spot for the album.
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