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Bad Love Import

4.7 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, June 1, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bad Love is Newman's 1st studio work since 1988 and 10th solo album. This album follows on the heels of his 3 recent Oscar nominated works, an unprecedented feat in Academy Award history: Babe: Pig in the City, a Bug's Life and Pleasantville. Newman's legacy boasts an impressive 17 soundtracks and 9 solo albums (including the gold selling Little Criminals) and this album features production by Mitchell Froom & Tchad Blake (Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, Los Lobos, Suzanne Vega).

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Three songs into Bad Love, Randy Newman lobs a smart bomb into the bunker of classic rock, impersonating a boomer-aged rocker just going through the motions, "Each record that [he's] making ... like a record that [he's] made--just not as good." Giving the punch line added snap is the happy irony of Newman's own music at midlife, which proves as perceptive, funny, and, yes, moving as any he's recorded. Comparisons to past triumphs are inevitable here, and mostly favorable, starting with the mock piety of "My Country," an anthem to America's virtual family life entranced by television, "having other people's voices fill our minds." Elsewhere, he grins through a new geopolitical patter song ("The Great Nations of Europe"), undertakes his own dialectic on materialism with the ghost of Karl Marx ("The World Isn't Fair"), and, in the album's mordant zenith, conjures the sputtering jealousy and lust of an elderly New Orleans burgher smitten by a sweet young thing. That song, "Shame," embellishes a piano blues that might have fit snugly on 12 Songs, with choral and instrumental flourishes that are apt and hilarious--mocking female singers repeat the title in frank emulation of Sylvia Robinson's venerable disco hit, while elsewhere Newman's arrangements suggest Carl Stalling's vivid Looney Tunes scores. --Sam Sutherland
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: June 1, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Ume Imports
  • ASIN: B00000J7R4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,063 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
One of the most universally admired and critically acclaimed song-writers, this old-timer still has one hell of a lot to say. Randy Newman is one of those guys who writes songs straight from his cynical, sardonic, soleful heart with more than a hint of black-comedy.
Laden with pathos and humour in equal measure, this album sounds like it was written by a 60 year-old with more than a life-time's worth of broken hearts and hate-mail, but lucky for us, he likes to sing about it.
Picking highlights from this excellent album is hard - the hillarious "Shame" and "I'm Dead But I Don't Know It"(about an ageing, out of date, singer-song writer who just won't shut up...) or the beautiful "Every Time It Rains" (possibly the sweetest lost-love song ever recorded -written and sung as only Newman knows how... ) and "I Miss You" (a candid account of a love affair that never happened... "It's a little bit late, twenty years or so" )...
When you're taking time out from listening to whatever the hell you normally listen to, listen to a superbly crafted, subtle, album, with real songs, written with a life-time's real experience.
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By A Customer on February 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I asked for this CD for Christmas after one hearing of the song "Shame". I figured that song alone was worth the price of admission. I was far from disappointed with the rest, and find myself consistantly choosing this CD when I really have the time to sit back and listen. "Bad Love" exemplifies master songwriting - coupling wry, funny and poignant lyrics with often beautiful, often quirky, but always original Newman music. His songs are like Sweet Tarts for the ears and mind, ranging from the Gilbert and Sullivanesque "Great Nations of Europe" to C & W ("Big Hat") to Hard Rock ("I'm Dead") to gut-wrenching love ("I Miss You" and "Every Time It Rains"). As a 52 year old musician and music lover, I find Randy is one of the few artists who is still "Talkin' Bout My Generation" but still has alot to say to the young men "runnin' free and runnin' wild". In the words of another American Treasure of my generation, Neil Young - Randy, "Long May You Run".
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Format: Audio CD
I was surprised to find a few reviews here that were offended by some of Newman's songs found on BAD LOVE. As if the title wasn't warning enough, this is quintessential Newman, adopting the persona of some of the more reprehensible characters around in order to portray them clearly for all to see. BAD LOVE is a return to form; the songs here are a balance of bittersweet and pure vitriol. That's the way I like my Newman: Unfiltered. While not as cohesive as some earlier efforts, BAD LOVE definitely let's you see ugly side of life, surrounded by excellent melodies and more than a few comments on the world as scene through the eyes of a pure cynic. While not entirely successful, "Better Off Dead" with its soaring strings sounds like bad muzak left me cold and "The Great Nations of Europe" sounds like an outtake from SAIL AWAY, this really does hearken back to prime Newman.
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Format: Audio CD
I was pleased to see Randy Newman back in the studio for a "regular" recording session. But what an effort it was. I think that for a total package, this album/cd is easily the best he's ever put together in one session. His satire has never been better or stronger (I'm Dead, But I Don't Know It), his songs of unrequited love were very touching (Everytime It Rains, I Miss You) and his always razor sharp wit showed with my personal favorite. (Big Hat, No Cattle) Song for song the album is tight, well written and well-performed. I've always enjoyed Newman's work, but usually his albums would have only 2 or 3 really top-notch songs. This one is enjoyable from start to finish. I hope he records again soon.
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Format: Audio CD
At the dawn of a new century, Randy Newman creates an album that ranks with his absolute best material. "Bad Love" fits in perfectly with the characters, situations, and themes explored in albums such as "12 songs", "Sail Away", and "Good Old Boys". And, just like those albums' initial releases, no one seems to have heard "Bad Love" in 1999. Newman's best material has always suffered from obscurity. So history repeated itself.

The moods on this album range from racous distorted rock to bittersweeet ballads. "My Country" provides just as good of an opener as "Sail Away" did in 1972. It's a portrait of an age-hardened man who loves his country, doesn't know why, and decides to stay within its comfortable boundaries: "This is my country / These are my people / This is the world I understand" Newman sings - in character - as if any attempt to see the world from any other perspective would be foolish or pointless. And of course the last verse contains the unforgettable lines: "Now your children are your children / Even when they're grown / When they speak to you / You got to listen to what they have to say / But they all live alone now / They have TVs of their own / But they keep on coming over anyway / And as much as I love them / I'm always kind of glad when they go away". This ranks with some of Newman's greatest lyrics.

"Shame" and "I'm Dead (But I Don't Know It)" are hilarious views of aged desperate men. A group of women act as a Greek Chorus chanting "Shame" at the narrator as he spews egregious invective. This provides a view of the other side of the spectrum from Newman's happy film music. This song is downright nasty. And perfectly so.
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