Randy Newman got here by defeating Adele with 90% of the vote in Round One, while The Stones took out Toad the Wet Sprocket in a unanimous vote. Pretty easy pickings for both of them.
Now it gets interesting. Continue reading
Women have faced an uphill battle in this first round of Montauk Madness, going up against the likes of Frnak Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, David Byrne, Elvis Costello and Ben Folds Five. Here’s another example, as the talented and mega-successful Adele faces off against one of our greatest songwriters, Randy Newman.
I feel bad for Adele, who I like both as an artist and a personality, but this is an easy call for me. Newman is a unique and special talent who deserves to go far in this contest.
I consider this record and Newman’s follow-up, 1972’s Sail Away, his very best albums and that makes them two of my very favorite albums of all-time. This one is as simple a distillation of Newman’s songwriting as you can imagine. Nothing fancy, just a brilliant lyricist and musician spinning tales both acidic and sweet.
I came across an interesting tidbit on the Wikipedia page for this album: Brian Wilson turned to it during the depths of his depression to lift his spirits and renew his creative spirit. I totally get that. Both the music and the underlying sensibility of Sail away are grounded and spiritually refreshing.
The album has no grand vision. It is simply, as the title suggests, a collection of 12 songs. The instrumentation is pretty bare-bones. Several of these songs had been recorded previously by other artists (today’s SOTD, for example, was released as a Fats Domino track before Newman offered up his own version).
I haven’t been to New Orleans in nearly two decades, so I’m really looking forward to the trip. And I’m taking a break from blogging this week as well, offering up a few songs about the city during my absence.
See you in a week for my Top 20 Songs of 2014 countdown!