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Bless You California: More Early Songs of Randy Newman

Bless You California: More Early Songs Of Randy Newman


Randy Newman spent the better part of a decade working as a contract songwriter before he began making a name for himself as a recording artist, and in 2008 Ace Records released On Vine Street: The Early Songs of Randy Newman, which featured 26 recordings by as many artists of songs from Newman's first ten years as a professional tunesmith. It was an excellent album, a fascinating look into Newman's formative period as well as an unwitting celebration of a great era in pop record making, and thankfully Ace has seen fit to assemble a sequel. Bless You California: More Early Songs of Randy Newman is not quite as good as its predecessor, mostly because a number of the most obvious examples of great Newman interpretations already appeared on Vine Street, but compilers Tony Rounce and Mick Patrick have unearthed some rare and fascinating gems for this second set. Like the first album, Bless You California makes the case that many of the most important elements of Newman's style were firmly in place from the beginning -- his lyrical approach was gentler than on his later solo albums but his characters were already misfits, eccentrics, and losers in love; he was fascinated from the start with the idiosyncrasies of American culture; and his music gracefully fused New Orleans rhythm & blues with the stately approach of classic film music (which, of course, was the family business). Newman would eventually record six tunes that appear on Bless You California, but the rest exist only in interpretations by other artists, and the variety speaks volumes about the textures of Newman's writing. "Ask If He's Got a Friend for Me" by the Fleetwoods, "What Are You Waiting For" by We Talkies, and "Let Me Go" by the Box Tops reveal Newman's gift for expressing romantic angst, while "Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)" by Irma Thomas and "She'll Never Understand Him (Like I Do)" by Connie Stevens put a barely more positive spin on the same themes. "Bless You California" by the Beau Brummels, "Illinois" by the Everly Brothers, and "Twenty Acres of Land" by Johnny Shepard are fine examples of Newman's knack for expressive Americana. And "The Debutante's Ball" by Liza Minnelli and "Happyland" by Harpers Bizarre represent the sort of slice-of-life stories no one else can craft with the same skill. A few interesting oddities are also included -- "Scarlet Mist," a jazzy instrumental piece recorded by Martin Denny, and "I Wonder Why," a rare and successful foray into rock & roll by Ella Fitzgerald -- as well as some songs Newman wrote in collaboration with other composers, most notably "Look at Me," presented here in a grandly swinging recording by its co-author, Bobby Darin. And the lion's share of these tracks come from the golden era of pop record production, with imaginative, inventive arrangements and superb musicianship throughout. Mick Patrick's liner notes provide the background on the songs and recordings, and overall, Bless You California is a remarkably entertaining bit of pop music history and a testimony to the gifts of one of our best and brightest pop songwriters. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Condition: --
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
    • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
    • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
    • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
    • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
    • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Compact Disc
  • Sold by: --
  • Label: Ace (Label)
  • UPC: 029667038621
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Track listings

  • 1. Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understanding) Irma Thomas
  • 2. Davy O'brien (Leave That Baby Alone) Duffy Power (Mono)
  • 3. Let's Burn Down The Cornfield Lou Rawls
  • 4. Tickle Me Alan Price Set (Mono)
  • 5. Hold Your Head High Jackie De Shannon
  • 6. Bet No One Ever Hurt This Bad Linda Ronstadt
  • 7. Scarlet Mist Martin Denny
  • 8. I Got Over You Dick Lory (Mono)
  • 9. Leave Me Alone Peggy March (Mono)
  • 10. Ask Him If He's Got A Friend For Me The Fleetwoods
  • 11. Look At Me Bobby Darin
  • 12. Twenty Acres Of Land Johnny Shepard (Mono)
  • 13. What Are You Waiting For (Mono)
  • 14. There's Just No Pleasing You The Epics (Mono)
  • 15. Illinois The Everly Brothers
  • 16. Wait Till Next Year Eric Burdon & The Animals
  • 17. Debutante's Ball, The Liza Minnelli
  • 18. Happyland Harpers Bizarre
  • 19. Straight Up P.J. Proby
  • 20. She'll Never Understand Him (Like I Do) Connie Stevens (Mono)
  • 21. Cowboy Harry Nilsson
  • 22. I Wonder Why Ella Fitzgerald
  • 23. Let Me Go The Box Tops
  • 24. Snow Claudine Longet
  • 25. Beehive State, The The Doobie Brothers
  • 26. Bless You California The Beau Brummels
 
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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