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Born Again CD

Price: £5.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 2

While pondering whether to record a second volume of the Randy Newman Songbook, the two-time Academy Award-winning songwriter—honored most recently for “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3—claims he took a practical, Hollywood movie-studio view of the situation: “The first one did so well that nowadays you might as well just ... Read more in Amazon's Randy Newman Store

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Born Again + Trouble in Paradise + Land Of Dreams
Price For All Three: £21.06

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Feb. 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Warner.Esp
  • ASIN: B000026E7W
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,532 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. It's Money That I Love 3:39£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. The Story Of A Rock And Roll Band 2:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Pretty Boy 4:04£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Mr. Sheep 3:55£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Ghosts 2:29£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. They Just Got Married 2:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Spies 3:58£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. The Girls In My Life (Part I) 2:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Half A Man 3:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. William Brown 1:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Pants 3:05£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Skade VINE VOICE on 3 Mar. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Even amongst fans of Randy Newman 'Born Again' is a somewhat unloved album. Perhaps it is the cover - Newman in Kiss makeup as calculating executive. Or is it a certain coldness that pervades the album. The delicate strings of previous albums are relaced by subtle synthesiser arrangements. Songs such as 'Pretty Boy' and 'Mr Sheep' deal with thuggish bullies whilst 'They Just Got Married' is brutally economic.
Perhaps it is just the dire 'Pants'
Listening now the album certainly deserves reappraisal. From its brilliant opener - the New Orleans flavoured 'Its Money That I Love' with its rolling, stabbing piano through the moving picture of alienated old age 'Ghosts' and the sly 'Girls In My Life Part 1'.
'Story of a Rock'n'Roll Band' is a send up of the Electric Light Orchestra (though the joke is on the musically illiterate fan) and as such has dated a little, but much of it is still funny and the tune is catchy. In 'Pretty Boy' Newman adopts the persona of a street hoodlum taunting a newcomer (on another level the song could be a dig at Bruce Springsteen) - it is a fine song, whilst his impersonation of a bully on 'Mr Sheep' is almost too convincing. 'They Just Got Married' which again shows Newman's affection for New Orleans music could be a goodtime party track but for the cruelly indifferent lyrics.
Elsewhere special mention should go to 'William Brown' - a beautiful vignette encapsulating a life briefly and movingly.
Which brings us to 'Pants'. It opens promisingly enough with an ELP/Prog Rock parody - but nosedives into mere silliness thereafter. Am I missing something in this song?
This album has so many fine songs and where some of the targets appear a little obvious there is often another layer waiting.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. Murphy on 8 Feb. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Newman is much loved by all intelligent music fans but this album, unlike the rest of his excellent 70s output gets few accolades. This is a shame because it contains some of my favourite Randy tracks. Perhaps the reason is the venom of the thing, many of Randy's tracks have bite but this is sarcasm beyond compare. Great tunes with interesting arrangements. You can't go wrong - just buy it!
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By G. J. Mcintyre on 22 May 2012
Format: Audio CD
This may be Newman's most unfathomable album (and that's saying something!)

The dark cover and the joke-that-didn't-quite-work-because-it's-a-bit-creepy pose (Randy as Kiss fan consultant) sum up the odd mood of the whole. And there's a downright nastiness here or...there might be. You're never quite sure.

It would be tempting to try and divide the songs into "light" and "heavy" numbers but, typically for Newman, the dividing line isn't so clear. On the one hand there are some out and out shockers like "It's Money That I Love" and "They Just Got Married". (The latter has one of the most unexpectedly vicious lines you'll hear but I won't spoil the surprise.) And then there is a (mock) jolly ode to the ELO "Story of a Rock `n Roll Band" that is actually quite affectionate. (Or is it? With Newman it's always hard to tell!)

I've heard that "Pretty Boy" is an affectionate mickey take of Bruce Springsteen. Really? It's one of the most menacing things I've ever heard. Imagine you walk into a bar in an unfamiliar part of town. And just as you're sipping your drink someone who looks decidedly unfriendly makes a very unwelcoming remark. Someone else echoes it. And you suddenly realise you're surrounded by lots of VERY mean looking people. And it's an awfully long way to the door. That's "Pretty Boy".

Perhaps "Mr Sheep" is taking cleverness a bit too far. Newman said that everyone thought it was a swipe at conformist city executives but that it was really meant to be a swipe at would-be rebels who take the mickey out of conformist city executives. All I can say is that there is an odd sadness/ jollity/ sarcasm combination here of the type that only Newman could come up with.
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By Richard L on 20 Feb. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Always excellent. I haven't heard a poor RN album. (I guess I'm a fan).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Mini Masterpiece! 5 Oct. 2010
By Michael Neiss - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
From the opening chords of Sail Away in which Randy Newman translates the deplorable and tragic conditions of the Atlantic Slave Trade into a Travelogue worthy of Arthur Frommer, it was perfectly clear that Newman not only reveled in his reputation as a musical shape shifter (comfortable in any musical genre) but was unafraid to speak the unspoken and bring real truth to power.

Fast forward seven years and we arrive at one of Newman's most maligned recordings, 1979's Born Again - a misunderstood, minor release that has him uncomfortable in the rock star afterglow of his out of nowhere ride to the top 40 on the stubby little legs of his novelty hit, Short People. As a follow-up, an artist as mercurial as Newman would probably be repulsed by a "slightly taller people" sequel and go completely out-of-body - embracing and experimenting with synthesizer and electronic orchestra laden production techniques that were so prevalent in the popular muzak of the time.

Consequently, every song on this pristine recording is written from his world-weary comfort zone - the money chase, suburban conformity, homophobia and imbecilic exhibitionism are all cleverly ridiculed and lacerated under Newman's jaundiced eye and set to music against a late 1970's wall-of-sound that might have been de rigueur for Boston or Kansas but unintentionally hilarious when set against Newman's sardonic landscape.

For those who might cry foul due to some very pointed and cruel lyrics - you are undoubtedly not listening to the personal soundtrack of the modern 13 y/o - where f-bombs explode like Chinese pyrotechnics and misogyny flows like a river of Red Bull. By comparison Born Again seems almost quaint but is nevertheless tough, trenchant social commentary. If you were expecting Short People II, put that dwarf down and pick-up one of Randy Newman's most unheralded (and enjoyable) releases. A mini masterpiece that is still capable of hitting a nerve today! Highly recommended.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
It's money that matters? 16 Oct. 2004
By ewomack - Published on
Format: Audio CD
In the liner notes for the recently re-issued "Ragtime" sountrack, Newman makes a confession: "I made 'Little Criminals' when I ran out of money and had to work". From that point on, Newman's albums contained production that more or less reflected the era. 1977's "Little Criminals" sounds like an album from 1977 (of course, having members of the Eagles perform backing vocals emphasized this to a hyperbolic degree). "Born Again" sounds like an album from 1979, and its follow-up "Trouble in Paradise" sounds like a 1980s album, and so on up until 1995's "Faust". This isn't to fault Newman at all, but merely to point out that Newman's music took a not so subtle production turn in 1977, for better or worse. Perhaps Newman allowed the record labels to have more control over his product purely out of necessity? Regardless, Newman's albums didn't suffer much, if at all, from the more mainstream production they received throughout the 1980s.

The extreme synthesizer that invades some of the tracks on "Born Again" may shock some who only know Newman's earlier work. It's not bad or unlistenable, just jarring at first. "Born Again" departs from Newman's previous efforts in many ways, and the synthesizer presents only one example. The almost complete lack of orchestra is probably the second most salient change. Newman hadn't abandoned orchestra to this extent since 1970's "12 Songs". That may have been a money saving move (orchestras aren't for the frugal) or Newman simply wanted to experiment with synthesizer as an alternative. Either way, its absence shapes the distinctive sound of "Born Again".

The opening track, "It's Money That I Love", justifies the existence of the entire album all by itself. It's one of Newman's best songs (he included it on 2003's "The Randy Newman Songbook Volume 1"), though the heavy synthensizer may make some recoil at first. In "Mr.Sheep" Newman paints probably the cruelest portrait ever of another human being. The narrator of the song jeers and sarcastically insults "poor Mr.Sheep" to a painful degree. Be prepared to cringe. "Ghosts" is a classic Newman ballad. It would fit nicely in any of his best albums. The song evokes the question "are these ghosts still alive or not?" Newman takes on intolerance to homosexuality for the first time in "Half a Man". And then there's "Pants". It features the most obtuse and obnoxious synthesizer on the entire album. But it's really really funny. It may be one of Newman's funniest.

It's not too hard to see why many consider "Born Again" to be one of Newman's worst albums. In it Newman experimented, played with his style, and diverged somewhat from his previous albums. Newman fans will still love it nonetheless. It represents the turning point for Newman's projects that ended with 1999's amazing "Bad Love". Can this phase be explained by the aforementioned simple confession that Newman had to start working? Hard to say. Either way his fans still benefitted.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Not his best, but still pretty good. 11 Jun. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
"Born Again" is Randy Newman's follow-up to "Little Criminals" and it's big hit single, "Short People." It continues in the same vein as "Criminals," in that the songs are set against a more '70s rock backdrop. At the time of it's release, it was dismissed by critics (and Newman himself who called it simply a "comedy record") who accused Newman of pandering to a younger demographic with more "Short People"-esque lyrics designed to "outrage." Looking back, the album is not really that bad at all. The worst one can say is that Randy's targets this time out are a bit obvious (corporate drones, pretentious rock bands, etc.) and that the whole affair, while containing his typical sardonic lyrics, lacks the poignancy and warmth Newman often brings along with the biting humor. But, even weaker Newman contains fine music and a couple of guffaws. It may not be "Sail Away" or even "Bad Love," but how many albums are? If you like Randy, you will like this title. If you're just discovering him or only know him from his work on soundtracks, start elsewhere ("Sail Away," "Good Ol' Boys") and work you way towards this title. All in all, a pleasant offering from one of the great singer-songwriters of his generation.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
a brilliant, if underrated, work 22 Mar. 2008
By rg61 - Published on
Yes, I'm a Randy Newman fan. I had all of Randy Newman's studio vinyl between Sail Away and Land of Dreams. But this was the first CD of his I bought.

Okay, the synthesizers indicate when this album was recorded. But c'mon, folks -- get over it!! There is more wit and melody on this album than you're gonna find most anywhere else. And some fabulous chord changes (notably on Mr. Sheep).

It's Money That I Love was too risquée for top 40, but it's hilarious. Story of A Rock & Roll Band is a brilliant send-up of ELO. William Brown and Ghosts are as poignant as anything else Mr. Newman has written shy of In Germany Before the War. ...

I could go on, but just buy the album and enjoy.

No, it's not as eloquent as Sail Away or Good Old Boys. And there *is* one track, Half a Man, that I think is less than weak. But it's still a Randy Newman album -- and if you're still reading this, then there's probably more on this album for you to enjoy than on most others.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Money, the Electric Light Orchestra, and threats of nudity 7 Jan. 2012
By J. Bynum - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Randy Newman / Born Again: "It's money that I love" is prototypical tongue-in-cheek Newman, and very funny. Randy follows that with a unique song in which one artist tells the story of another band (E.L.O), also very funny. Then we have 8 tracks that are great examples of Newman's usual songwriting talent, but they seem tame compared to the first two songs, and the last. That last song is his musical threat to get naked, "Pants". This is a 4 ½ worthy album, but I'll give it 5.
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