Song of the Day #3,281: ‘Lucinda’ – Randy Newman vs. The Rolling Stones

Here’s a nice meaty Round Two Montauk Madness matchup, pitting one of the greatest singer-songwriters against one of the greatest rock bands.

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.

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Song of the Day #3,251: ‘Louisiana 1927’ – Randy Newman vs. Adele

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.

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Song of the Day #2,818: ‘Old Kentucky Home’ – Randy Newman

12_songsFamous music critic Robert Christgau called Randy Newman’s 12 Songs “a perfect album,” and I can’t disagree. That’s why it was an easy pick as my best album of 1970.

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.

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Song of the Day #2,521: ‘Last Night I Had a Dream’ – Randy Newman

sail_awayAnd my favorite album of 1972 is… Randy Newman’s Sail Away. This probably comes as no surprise to frequent readers of this blog, as I’ve featured almost all of its songs at one point or another.

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.

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Song of the Day #2,410: ‘Have You Seen My Baby?’ – Randy Newman

12_songsOf all the great albums in my music collection, Randy Newman’s 12 Songs is one of the most unassuming.

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).

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Song of the Day #2,349: ‘Down in New Orleans’ – Dr. John

new_orleans_1This week, my family and I are vacationing in The Big Easy, enjoying a little post-Christmas getaway in one of America’s greatest cities.

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!

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