Good Old Boys (Randy Newman album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Good Old Boys
Studio album /Concept album by Randy Newman
Released 10 September 1974
Recorded Warner Bros. Studios in North Hollywood, CA
Genre Rock, honky tonk
Length 33:28
Label Reprise
Producer Lenny Waronker, Russ Titelman
Randy Newman chronology
Sail Away
(1972)
Good Old Boys
(1974)
Little Criminals
(1977)

Good Old Boys is the fifth album by Randy Newman, released in September 1974 on Reprise Records, catalogue number 2193. It peaked at #36 on the Billboard 200, Newman's first album to obtain major commercial success. The premiere live performance of the album took place on October 5, 1974, at the Symphony Hall in Atlanta, Georgia, with guest Ry Cooder and Newman conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Genesis[edit]

Initially envisioned as a concept album about a character named Johnny Cutler, an everyman of the Deep South, a demo of which was recorded by Newman on February 1, 1973. These 13 songs were subsequently released as the bonus disc for the 2002 reissue, entitled Johnny Cutler's Birthday.

The kernel of this concept survived into the released album, although as Newman's take on viewpoints from the inhabitants of the Deep South in general, rather than from a single individual character. As on his previous release, Newman addressed generally taboo topics such as slavery and racism, most stringently on the opening song "Rednecks," a simultaneous satire on institutional racism in the Deep South and the hypocrisy of the northern states in response.

Newman also incorporates actual historical events into the album, remarking upon the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 on "Louisiana 1927" and a plea to Richard Nixon to alleviate poverty as a result of the recession of the mid-1970s on "Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man)". Preceding an original song illustrating the achievements of Louisiana Governor Huey P. Long, Newman performs with members of The Eagles on a song written by Long himself, "Every Man a King".

Singles[edit]

On the same day as the album, the track "Guilty" was released as Reprise single 1324, with "Naked Man" on the B-side, and on January 29, 1975, the track "Louisiana 1927" was released as Reprise single 1387, with "Marie" on the flip. Neither single appeared on the Billboard Hot 100.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars link
Robert Christgau (A) link
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars link

Robert Christgau gave the album an A rating upon release, and both the 1992 edition of the Rolling Stone Album Guide and Allmusic gave it a five-star rating. In 2003, the album was ranked number 393 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It spent two weeks in the Top 40 of the Billboard 200 in late 1974, with an overall 21 week tenure. It also earned a gold record in the Netherlands.

On May 21, 2002, an expanded edition of the album was issued by Rhino Records on compact disc, including a bonus track demo of "Marie" and a second disc containing the February, 1973 demos entitled Johnny Cutler's Birthday. Included in these demo recordings are Newman's verbal descriptions of sound effects and other characters, the songs as a whole describing a narrative in the vein of integrated musicals dating from the 1940s. "Doctor, Doctor" is an early version of "Back on My Feet Again". The song "Marie" was used in the family film "Paulie" in 1998.

All tracks were written and arranged by Randy Newman; strings arranged by Nick DeCaro on "Marie" and "Rollin';" Moog and ARP synthesizers programmed by Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Randy Newman except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Rednecks"   3:07
2. "Birmingham"   2:45
3. "Marie"   3:07
4. "Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man)"   2:45
5. "Guilty"   2:30
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Louisiana 1927"   2:54
7. "Every Man a King" (Huey P. Long, Castro Carazo) 1:02
8. "Kingfish"   2:42
9. "Naked Man"   3:06
10. "Wedding in Cherokee County"   3:07
11. "Back on My Feet Again"   3:30
12. "Rollin'"   2:53

2002 Reissue[edit]

Personnel[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]