Song of the Day #5,084: ‘Rider in the Rain’ – Randy Newman

‘Rider in the Rain’ is a lovely little country and western ditty by Randy Newman, included on his 1977 album Little Criminals. If you think this song sounds like a long lost Eagles track, that’s because Don Henley, Glenn Frey and J.D. Souther provide backing vocals.

Interviewed about Little Criminals at the time, Newman had this to say about today’s SOTD: “There’s also one about me as a cowboy called ‘Rider in the Rain’. I think it’s ridiculous. The Eagles are on there. That’s what’s good about it.”

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Song of the Day #4,808: ‘Rednecks’ – Randy Newman

The best 1974 album I’ve written about so far, Randy Newman’s Good Old Boys was his fourth studio album and the follow-up to 1972’s brilliant Sail Away.

Good Old Boys started as a concept album about the Deep South, following a character named Johnny Cutler. Newman eventually broadened the focus to the South in general, though bits of Johnny’s story show up throughout the tracklist.

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Song of the Day #4,476: ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ – Randy Newman

Continuing my countdown of every Pixar movie…

#12. Finding Dory (2016)
(up two spots from previous ranking)

Pixar’s best non-Toy Story sequel, Finding Dory worked even better the second time around.

Dory was played for comic relief, with a hint of melancholy, in the first film, but this one digs into the trauma her condition would understandably cause. The movie plays similar heartstrings as its predecessor, with Dory’s parents’ commitment to finding her mirroring Marlin’s determination to find Nemo.

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Song of the Day #4,471: ‘The Time of Your Life’ – Randy Newman

Continuing my countdown of every Pixar movie…

#18. A Bug’s Life (1998)
(up two spots from previous ranking)

When you talk about Pixar’s amazing early run, it’s easy to forget that their second film was actually pretty ordinary. A Bug’s Life certainly didn’t live up to Toy Story and was a let-down three years after that groundbreaking release.

It’s a sweet movie that feels like Pixar Lite. It’s not as laugh out loud funny or hold-your-breath exciting as its brethren, and it doesn’t have the thematic weight of the studio’s best films, but it does each of those things a little bit.

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Song of the Day #4,284: ‘Miami’ – Randy Newman

If national treasure Randy Newman releases an album, you can bet it’s going to make my list of that year’s best work. And indeed, Newman’s Trouble in Paradise is my #6 album of 1983.

Best known for the minor hit ‘I Love L.A.,’ Trouble in Paradise is a satirical exploration of hedonism and excess, with songs such as ‘My Life Is Good’ and ‘There’s a Party at My House’ showcasing some of the most despicable characters Newman has ever voiced. Of course, they’re also hilarious.

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