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Randy Newman - Good Old Boys

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Good Old Boys

Randy Newman

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Randy Newman's songwriting often walks a narrow line between intelligent satire and willful cruelty, and that line was never finer than on the album Good Old Boys. Newman had long displayed a fascination with the American South, and Good Old Boys was a song cycle where he gave free reign to his most imaginative (and venomous) thoughts on the subject. The album's scabrous opening cut, "Rednecks," is guaranteed to offend practically anyone with its tale of a slow-witted, willfully (and proudly) ignorant Southerner obsessed with "keeping the n-----s down." "A Wedding in Cherokee County" is more polite but hardly less mean-spirited, in which an impotent hick marries a circus freak; if the song's melody and arrangement weren't so skillful, it would be hard to imagine anyone bothering with this musical geek show. But elsewhere, Good Old Boys displays a very real compassion for the blighted history of the South, leavened with a knowing wit. "Birmingham" is a funny but humane tale of working-class Alabamians, "Louisiana 1927" and "Kingfish" are intelligent and powerfully evocative tales of the deep South in the depths of the Great Depression, and "Rollin'" is cheerful on the surface and troubling to anyone willing to look beneath it. Musically, Newman dives deep into his influences in Southern soul and also adds potent country accents (with the help of Al Perkins pedal-steel guitar) while dressing up his songs in typically expert string and horn arrangements. And Newman assumes each character, either brave or foolish, with the skill of a gifted actor, giving even his most loathsome characters enough depth that they're human beings, despite their flaws. Good Old Boys is one of Newman's finest albums; it's also one of his most provocative and infuriating, and that's probably just the way he wanted it. ~ Mark Deming

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Good Old Boys

Randy Newman

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1
Rednecks (Remastered LP Version) 00:03:09

Bernie Leadon, Background Vocals - Andy Newmark, Drums - Randy Newman, Composer, Conductor, Arranger, Electric Piano, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Donn Landee, Additional Engineer, Additional Mixer - Jim Keltner, Drums - LEE HERSCHBERG, Mixer, Engineer - LENNY WARONKER, Producer - Milt Holland, Drums, Percussion - Russ Titelman, Producer, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - John Platania, Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Callender, Bass - Ted Jensen, Masterer - Glenn Frey, Background Vocals - DON HENLEY, Background Vocals - Bobbye Hall Porter, Percussion - Ron Elliott, Acoustic Guitar

2005 Warner Records Inc. Manufactured and Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing 1974 Warner Records Inc.

2
Birmingham (Remastered LP Version) 00:02:46

Bernie Leadon, Background Vocals - Andy Newmark, Drums - Randy Newman, Conductor, Arranger, Electric Piano, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Donn Landee, Additional Engineer, Additional Mixer - Jim Keltner, Drums - LEE HERSCHBERG, Mixer, Engineer - LENNY WARONKER, Producer - Milt Holland, Drums, Percussion - Russ Titelman, Producer, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - John Platania, Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Callender, Bass - Ted Jensen, Masterer - Glenn Frey, Background Vocals - DON HENLEY, Background Vocals - Bobbye Hall Porter, Percussion - Ron Elliott, Acoustic Guitar

2005 Warner Records Inc. Manufactured and Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing 1974 Warner Records Inc.

3
Marie (Remastered LP Version) 00:03:09

Bernie Leadon, Background Vocals - Andy Newmark, Drums - Nick DeCaro, Conductor, String Arranger - Randy Newman, Conductor, Arranger, Electric Piano, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Donn Landee, Additional Engineer, Additional Mixer - Jim Keltner, Drums - LEE HERSCHBERG, Mixer, Engineer - LENNY WARONKER, Producer - Milt Holland, Drums, Percussion - Russ Titelman, Producer, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - John Platania, Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Callender, Bass - Ted Jensen, Masterer - Glenn Frey, Background Vocals - DON HENLEY, Background Vocals - Bobbye Hall Porter, Percussion - Ron Elliott, Acoustic Guitar

2005 Warner Records Inc. Manufactured and Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing 1974 Warner Records Inc.

4
Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man) (Remastered LP Version) 00:02:45

Bernie Leadon, Background Vocals - Andy Newmark, Drums - Randy Newman, Conductor, Arranger, Electric Piano, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Donn Landee, Additional Engineer, Additional Mixer - Jim Keltner, Drums - LEE HERSCHBERG, Mixer, Engineer - LENNY WARONKER, Producer - Milt Holland, Drums, Percussion - Russ Titelman, Producer, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - John Platania, Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Callender, Bass - Ted Jensen, Masterer - Glenn Frey, Background Vocals - DON HENLEY, Background Vocals - Bobbye Hall Porter, Percussion - Ron Elliott, Acoustic Guitar

2005 Warner Records Inc. Manufactured and Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing 1974 Warner Records Inc.

5
Guity (Remastered Version) 00:02:33

Bernie Leadon, Background Vocals - Andy Newmark, Drums - Randy Newman, Conductor, Arranger, Electric Piano, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Donn Landee, Additional Engineer, Additional Mixer - Jim Keltner, Drums - LEE HERSCHBERG, Mixer, Engineer - LENNY WARONKER, Producer - Milt Holland, Drums, Percussion - Russ Titelman, Producer, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - John Platania, Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Callender, Bass - Ted Jensen, Masterer - Glenn Frey, Background Vocals - DON HENLEY, Background Vocals - Bobbye Hall Porter, Percussion - Ron Elliott, Acoustic Guitar

2005 Warner Records Inc. Manufactured and Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing 1974 Warner Records Inc.

6
Louisiana 1927 (Remastered LP Version) 00:02:55

Bernie Leadon, Background Vocals - Andy Newmark, Drums - Randy Newman, Conductor, Arranger, Electric Piano, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Donn Landee, Additional Engineer, Additional Mixer - Jim Keltner, Drums - LEE HERSCHBERG, Mixer, Engineer - LENNY WARONKER, Producer - Milt Holland, Drums, Percussion - Russ Titelman, Producer, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - John Platania, Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Callender, Bass - Ted Jensen, Masterer - Glenn Frey, Background Vocals - DON HENLEY, Background Vocals - Bobbye Hall Porter, Percussion - Ron Elliott, Acoustic Guitar

2005 Warner Records Inc. Manufactured and Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing 1974 Warner Records Inc.

7
Every Man a King (Remastered LP Version) 00:01:02

Bernie Leadon, Background Vocals - Andy Newmark, Drums - Randy Newman, Conductor, Arranger, Electric Piano, Vocals, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Donn Landee, Additional Engineer, Additional Mixer - Jim Keltner, Drums - LEE HERSCHBERG, Mixer, Engineer - LENNY WARONKER, Producer - Milt Holland, Drums, Percussion - Russ Titelman, Producer, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - John Platania, Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Callender, Bass - Ted Jensen, Masterer - Glenn Frey, Background Vocals - DON HENLEY, Background Vocals - Bobbye Hall Porter, Percussion - Ron Elliott, Acoustic Guitar - Castro Carazo, Writer - Huey P. Long, Writer

2005 Warner Records Inc. Manufactured and Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing 1974 Warner Records Inc.

8
Kingfish (Remastered LP Version) 00:02:44

Bernie Leadon, Background Vocals - Andy Newmark, Drums - Randy Newman, Conductor, Arranger, Electric Piano, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Donn Landee, Additional Engineer, Additional Mixer - Jim Keltner, Drums - LEE HERSCHBERG, Mixer, Engineer - LENNY WARONKER, Producer - Milt Holland, Drums, Percussion - Russ Titelman, Producer, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - John Platania, Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Callender, Bass - Ted Jensen, Masterer - Glenn Frey, Background Vocals - DON HENLEY, Background Vocals - Bobbye Hall Porter, Percussion - Ron Elliott, Acoustic Guitar

2005 Warner Records Inc. Manufactured and Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing 1974 Warner Records Inc.

9
Naked Man (Remastered LP Version) 00:03:09

Bernie Leadon, Background Vocals - Andy Newmark, Drums - Randy Newman, Conductor, Arranger, Electric Piano, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Donn Landee, Additional Engineer, Additional Mixer - Jim Keltner, Drums - LEE HERSCHBERG, Mixer, Engineer - LENNY WARONKER, Producer - Milt Holland, Drums, Percussion - Russ Titelman, Producer, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - John Platania, Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Callender, Bass - Ted Jensen, Masterer - Glenn Frey, Background Vocals - DON HENLEY, Background Vocals - Bobbye Hall Porter, Percussion - Ron Elliott, Acoustic Guitar

2005 Warner Records Inc. Manufactured and Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing 1974 Warner Records Inc.

10
A Wedding in Cherokee County (Remastered LP Version) 00:03:09

Bernie Leadon, Background Vocals - Andy Newmark, Drums - Randy Newman, Conductor, Arranger, Electric Piano, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Donn Landee, Additional Engineer, Additional Mixer - Jim Keltner, Drums - LEE HERSCHBERG, Mixer, Engineer - LENNY WARONKER, Producer - Milt Holland, Drums, Percussion - Russ Titelman, Producer, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - John Platania, Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Callender, Bass - Ted Jensen, Masterer - Glenn Frey, Background Vocals - DON HENLEY, Background Vocals - Bobbye Hall Porter, Percussion - Ron Elliott, Acoustic Guitar

2005 Warner Records Inc. Manufactured and Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing 1974 Warner Records Inc.

11
Back on My Feet Again (Remastered LP Version) 00:03:21

Bernie Leadon, Background Vocals - Andy Newmark, Drums - Randy Newman, Conductor, Arranger, Electric Piano, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Donn Landee, Additional Engineer, Additional Mixer - Jim Keltner, Drums - LEE HERSCHBERG, Mixer, Engineer - LENNY WARONKER, Producer - Milt Holland, Drums, Percussion - Russ Titelman, Producer, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - John Platania, Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Callender, Bass - Ted Jensen, Masterer - Glenn Frey, Background Vocals - DON HENLEY, Background Vocals - Bobbye Hall Porter, Percussion - Ron Elliott, Acoustic Guitar

2005 Warner Records Inc. Manufactured and Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing 1974 Warner Records Inc.

12
Rollin' (Remastered LP Version) 00:02:54

Bernie Leadon, Background Vocals - Andy Newmark, Drums - Nick DeCaro, Conductor, String Arranger - Randy Newman, Conductor, Arranger, Electric Piano, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Donn Landee, Additional Engineer, Additional Mixer - Jim Keltner, Drums - LEE HERSCHBERG, Mixer, Engineer - LENNY WARONKER, Producer - Milt Holland, Drums, Percussion - Russ Titelman, Producer, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - John Platania, Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Callender, Bass - Ted Jensen, Masterer - Glenn Frey, Background Vocals - DON HENLEY, Background Vocals - Bobbye Hall Porter, Percussion - Ron Elliott, Acoustic Guitar

2005 Warner Records Inc. Manufactured and Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing 1974 Warner Records Inc.

13
Marie (Demo Version) 00:02:51

Bernie Leadon, Background Vocals - Andy Newmark, Drums - Nick DeCaro, Conductor, String Arranger - Randy Newman, Conductor, Arranger, Electric Piano, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Donn Landee, Additional Engineer, Additional Mixer - Jim Keltner, Drums - LEE HERSCHBERG, Mixer, Engineer - LENNY WARONKER, Producer - Milt Holland, Drums, Percussion - Russ Titelman, Producer, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - John Platania, Pedal Steel Guitar - Red Callender, Bass - Ted Jensen, Masterer - Glenn Frey, Background Vocals - DON HENLEY, Background Vocals - Bobbye Hall Porter, Percussion - Ron Elliott, Acoustic Guitar

2005 Warner Records Inc. Manufactured and Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing 1974 Warner Records Inc.

Album Description

Randy Newman's songwriting often walks a narrow line between intelligent satire and willful cruelty, and that line was never finer than on the album Good Old Boys. Newman had long displayed a fascination with the American South, and Good Old Boys was a song cycle where he gave free reign to his most imaginative (and venomous) thoughts on the subject. The album's scabrous opening cut, "Rednecks," is guaranteed to offend practically anyone with its tale of a slow-witted, willfully (and proudly) ignorant Southerner obsessed with "keeping the n-----s down." "A Wedding in Cherokee County" is more polite but hardly less mean-spirited, in which an impotent hick marries a circus freak; if the song's melody and arrangement weren't so skillful, it would be hard to imagine anyone bothering with this musical geek show. But elsewhere, Good Old Boys displays a very real compassion for the blighted history of the South, leavened with a knowing wit. "Birmingham" is a funny but humane tale of working-class Alabamians, "Louisiana 1927" and "Kingfish" are intelligent and powerfully evocative tales of the deep South in the depths of the Great Depression, and "Rollin'" is cheerful on the surface and troubling to anyone willing to look beneath it. Musically, Newman dives deep into his influences in Southern soul and also adds potent country accents (with the help of Al Perkins pedal-steel guitar) while dressing up his songs in typically expert string and horn arrangements. And Newman assumes each character, either brave or foolish, with the skill of a gifted actor, giving even his most loathsome characters enough depth that they're human beings, despite their flaws. Good Old Boys is one of Newman's finest albums; it's also one of his most provocative and infuriating, and that's probably just the way he wanted it. ~ Mark Deming

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