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 Posted:   Nov 25, 2005 - 2:17 AM   
 By:   Reeler   (Member)

Any thoughts on Randy and his albums?

 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2005 - 2:45 AM   
 By:   Alexander Zambra   (Member)

Personally think his sung songs are pure genius.
His film scores dislike, just why couldn't say as in the films they do work; maybe as score albums they are poorly sequenced??

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2005 - 3:48 AM   
 By:   gumdrops1   (Member)

Randy Newman's THE NATURAL has been hailed as a modern classic. The late great PAGE COOK recognized the beauty inherent within Newman's composition. I found the score to be very moving. I found enough within it to listen to it more than thirty times.

Randy Newman's THE PAPER is a score of great depth and imagination; I selected it as the best of its year. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'll give it another spin. Thanks Sir Reeler for bringing up this topic. I wanna hear how the sonics of THE PAPER cd sound like on my new stereo.

 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2005 - 4:24 AM   
 By:   MWRuger   (Member)

I really like his score work and his songs. People grouse about his voice but it has character and doesn’t sound like every over trained pretty boy trying to sing.

Pleasantville is a great score with strains of Americana. It is a very gentle score that scores a gentle, innocent world. He never loses his place and it works in the film and on CD. His best Americana score is probably either Avalon or Ragtime. Both great scores.

Both Toy Story films were simply amazing evoking action and childhood. His western theme stuff for the second one was spot on and a great joy to listen to. I’d like to seem him tackle a serious western one of these days. (Maverick was not it)

Awakenings was a serious drama and he scored it that way. Good movie and score.

Personally, I thought he should have won the Oscar for "When She Loved Me" which was incredibly poignant over the song from Monsters Inc. I felt “When She Loved Me” was more powerful by far.

In short, he is one of my favorite composers writing today.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2005 - 4:32 AM   
 By:   gumdrops1   (Member)

Oh yeah. AVALON and RAGTIME. AVALON is the only Randy Newman score that made me shed a tear. It's that achingly good. Thomas Newman selected AVALON as one of the five best scores EVER. . . But then again, he might be biased.

All I will say about RAGTIME is that it's my mother's favorite score. She's played that album more than 200 times.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2005 - 4:40 AM   
 By:   peterproud   (Member)

I remember buying the "Ragtime" LP back in the 80's and playing over and over again...such a great melodic score!

I think my all time favorite Newman score though is "Awakenings", it's so sublimely orchestrated and for me the melodies are as moving today as the first time I heard the score.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2005 - 7:39 AM   
 By:   moviescore   (Member)

Randy's rejected AIR FORCE ONE score is a real roller-coaster ride. Sadly, it wasn't flag-waving enough for the filmmakers...

mikael

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2005 - 9:34 AM   
 By:   Alexcremers   (Member)

Good things also on 'Awakenings', even though I prefer the piano versions by Philip Aaberg on his CD called 'Cinema'.


--------------------
Alex Cremers

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2005 - 10:26 AM   
 By:   Morlock1   (Member)

I'm a big Randy Newman fan. Score-wise, I think he did great work on Parenthood, The Paper, Maverick, A Bug's Life, Pleasantville and the tremendous Air Force One. And I'm quite fond of a lot of his songs.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2005 - 11:08 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I'm not at all familiar with his rock albums and satirical songs. But for me, Randy was in league with guys like Mark Knopfler and Ry Cooder for many years...imports from the rock/pop scene that really lacked some of the DRAMATIC insight of the educated film composers and providing SIMPLISTICALLY orchestrated film scores. Today, I'm a bit wiser and see qualities in the scores by all of these guys, even though their orchestral complexity still isn't as refined and developed as more traditional film composers. Sometimes, simplicity does the trick. And of the three above-mentioned, Randy Newman seems to be the most dramatically adept (it must run in the family).

NP: MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON (Small)

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 27, 2005 - 8:24 AM   
 By:   Alexcremers   (Member)

Can't wait to talk with you again in five years, Thor!

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 27, 2005 - 9:12 AM   
 By:   mulan98   (Member)

I love his films scores and his songs are classic, wry poetry set to music.

And he'd be a great singer if he ever shakes off that cold.

 
 Posted:   Nov 27, 2005 - 9:34 AM   
 By:   Southall   (Member)

I'm not at all familiar with his rock albums and satirical songs. But for me, Randy was in league with guys like Mark Knopfler and Ry Cooder for many years...imports from the rock/pop scene that really lacked some of the DRAMATIC insight of the educated film composers and providing SIMPLISTICALLY orchestrated film scores. Today, I'm a bit wiser and see qualities in the scores by all of these guys, even though their orchestral complexity still isn't as refined and developed as more traditional film composers. Sometimes, simplicity does the trick. And of the three above-mentioned, Randy Newman seems to be the most dramatically adept (it must run in the family).


Hmm. To me, Randy Newman is far more dramatically adept than the vast majority of "full-time" film composers. I very much doubt anyone else could have written such heartfelt, moving scores for things like Ragtime, Avalon, Awakenings and Pleasantville. Elmer Bernstein, perhaps; I can't think of anyone else. Avalon is one of the very finest film scores I've ever come across, both on the album and in the film.

You say it's simplistic - and perhaps it is - but there is nothing at all unsophisticated about the orchestration. Newman's a trained composer, and it shows. I would far rather listen to that sort of deliberately written music, patently composed with a pencil on a sheet of manuscript paper, and orchestrated in the same way, than another "orchestrated by computer" effort for a 120-piece orchestra, "composed" by someone who writes five or six scores a year.

The likes of Knopfler and Cooder are OK at what they do, but Newman is in a different league. I wish he scored more films, but he chooses not to; he's a wonderful orchestral composer.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 27, 2005 - 9:35 AM   
 By:   Alexcremers   (Member)

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/pics/icon14.gif

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 27, 2005 - 5:46 PM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

I used to love Randy Newman's music (and still play his early stuff - Ragtime, The Natural, Avalon, Awakenings etc a lot) but kinda lost interest during and after his Pixar and Meet the Parents phase. His new stuff doesn't seem to do it for me anymore. I prefer David's and Thomas's stuff now - although Thomas is beginning to become a parody of himself!!

 
 Posted:   Nov 30, 2005 - 6:20 AM   
 By:   John Mullin   (Member)

I think there are very impressive things about all three working Newmans today.

Randy, however, always holds a really special spot on my CD shelf and is probably my overall favorite, both for the pictures he chooses to do and for the quality of the music he's written. I think it's really neat that he's sort of off doing his own thing -- he doesn't seem that influenced by what the trends in filmmusic are at the moment.

What I love about his songs is what I love about his scores... he has what may seem like a perculiar voice and a limited range, but he's able to evoke a great deal through his music in a very sublime way. I think of the "Graduation" cue from PARENTHOOD and just laugh... he plays very serious, pompous music (in fact, a wry take on 'Pomp and Circumstance') over Gil's dream sequence in a way that just elevates the humor to this amazing new level. There are many remarkable sections of that score, but that cue in particular along with the tender "Karen & Gil - Montage" toward the end are just brilliant. He pulls a similar trick in MAVERICK by playing the kind of sappy love music his uncle used to arrange for pictures like HOW THE WEST WAS WON over Jodie Foster's character of a southern belle con artiist who's basically crooking everybody. It's a rare case of music being able to be sarcastic in a subtle way that just works wonders in the film and enhances every joke.

When I think about it, though, it's Randy's intellect that I think really enhances the pictures he works on. AVALON and AWAKENINGS are two examples of scores done minimally and sublimely. Of his five animated scores (to date), one should pay particular attention to JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH and the masterfully scored TOY STORY 2. TS2 takes the thematic material from the first picture and builds on it in a mature, thoughtful way that manages to be a hell of a lot of fun and in ways, much more of an enjoyable listen than the first score. There's an expanded disc of this that I've never been able to find, but would kill for.

Other favorites are A BUG'S LIFE and PLEASANTVILLE. I feel his talents were somewhat wasted on the MEET THE PARENTS movies and I was hoping for a lot more of out SEABISCUIT (but then, he's said in multiple interviews that it was the worst experience of his life!). As far as THE NATURAL goes, I love the first cue, but rarely listen to the rest of the score.

MICHAEL is an excellent score, that is only available as an ultra rare CD-R. I have his score to AIR FORCE ONE and cannot listen to it... I feel it was probably rightfully jettisoned, but perhaps I'd feel differently if I ever saw it synced up with the movie.

----

My love for Randy aside, the Newman I've been most curious about in recent years, however, is David, simply because he writes these gorgeous, heart-breaking melodies that unfortunately usually go with wretched movies. The credit suite from HOFFA is stunning, as is most of his score from MR. DESTINY, sections of I LOVE TROUBLE, the finale from BOWFINGER, the criminally unreleased MATILDA, THE MIGHTY DUCKS, ICE AGE, JINGLE ALL THE WAY... the list goes on and on as does the wonderful, hard-to-find music. Irnonically, more of his music _has_ been getting released lately, but the scores that have made it out have not been great listens -- THE CAT IN THE HAT, SERENITY.


There are many, many Thomas scores that I just adore, although there can sometimes be a certain homogeny in his work. CINDERELLA MAN in particular was a dissapointing purchase for me in that I felt it was ground he had covered before and music he could have probably written in his sleep at this point. Same goes for JARHEAD, which I saw recently. That said, when he comes up with something really fresh, it's hard to deny his sheer talent. I love LITTLE WOMEN, SCENT OF A WOMAN, MEET JOE BLACK, HORSE WHISPERER, OSCAR & LUCINDA, and most recently FINDING NEMO and A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 7, 2021 - 5:08 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

I think I "discovered" Mr. Newman within the first few moments/notes of Ragtime at the cinema and I knew this would be a score and a composer that would catch my fancy. And then came The Natural a few years later and both he and the flick instantly entered my Hall of Fame, baseball- and movie-wise. And oh how I loved the sparkly flashback scenes of Avalon with what by now solidified for me the Newman sound. And then along came Awakenings and the realization that I had seen the moment of the title event somewhere before...yes, in a film that came out when Randy was 5 years old and that had been scored by Uncle Alfred and had an "awakening" in a hospital of another kind near the climax of The Snake Pit. Two Newmans, same two scenes, two different approaches; memorable music both.

And then, for me, his masterpiece: Pleasantville. Great score for the picture, great soundtrack on its own.

 
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