Sail Away (Randy Newman album)

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Sail Away
Randy Newman-Sail Away (album cover).jpg
Studio album by Randy Newman
Released May 1972
Studio Amigo Studios, Western Studios, Poppi Studios, Los Angeles
Length 30:07
Label Reprise
Producer Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman
Randy Newman chronology
Randy Newman Live
Sail Away
Good Old Boys
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau A− [2]
Rolling Stone (favorable) [3]

Sail Away is an album by Randy Newman, released in May 1972. It was produced by Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman and issued on Reprise Records. While all of its songs were written and composed by Newman, several had already been recorded by other artists.

In 2003, it was ranked number 321 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Music and lyrics[edit]

As with all of Newman's early albums, several of its songs had been previously recorded by other artists. In this case, "Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear" had been a UK hit for Alan Price in 1967, and "Dayton, Ohio - 1903" had been recorded by Billy J. Kramer as a single in 1969 and by Harry Nilsson on his 1970 album Nilsson Sings Newman. Newman himself had also previously recorded "Last Night I Had A Dream" as a single, issued in September 1968. The version heard on Sail Away is a re-recording with a notably different arrangement.

"He Gives Us All His Love" was also initially written and recorded by Newman in a sparser and slower arrangement for the 1971 film Cold Turkey. The film issued no soundtrack, and the first commercially available recordings of this song were issued by Sundance (March 1971) and Ed Ames (October 1971).[citation needed]

The song "Lonely at the Top" was written specifically with Frank Sinatra in mind, although he never recorded it.[4]

Release history[edit]

The album was reissued by Rhino Records on May 5, 2002, with several previously unreleased bonus tracks.[5]


Brian Wilson has said that this album profoundly affected him at the time of its release, briefly keeping him from sliding further into depression and mental illness.[6] In particular, Wilson noted that he listened to Sail Away "over and over" while physically writing down the lyrics which became the Mount Vernon and Fairway (A Fairy Tale) suite from the 1973 Beach Boys album Holland.[7]

"Burn On" is heard over the opening credits of the 1989 movie Major League.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Randy Newman.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Sail Away"   2:56
2. "Lonely at the Top"   2:32
3. "He Gives Us All His Love"   1:53
4. "Last Night I Had a Dream"   3:01
5. "Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear"   2:00
6. "Old Man"   2:42
Side two
No. Title Length
7. "Political Science"   2:00
8. "Burn On"   2:33
9. "Memo to My Son"   1:56
10. "Dayton, Ohio - 1903"   1:47
11. "You Can Leave Your Hat On"   3:18
12. "God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind)"   3:36
CD bonus tracks
No. Title Length
13. "Let It Shine"   1:40
14. "Maybe I'm Doing It Wrong" (studio version) 1:21
15. "Dayton, Ohio - 1903" (early version) 1:53
16. "You Can Leave Your Hat On" (demo version) 2:45
17. "Sail Away" (early version) 3:18



  1. ^ Deming, Mark. Sail Away Review at AllMusic. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Randy Newman". Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Holden, Stephen (6 July 1972). "Randy Newman: Sail Away". RS 112. Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 21 April 2008. 
  4. ^ "Desert Island Discs: Randy Newman". 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Discogs, retrieved 2015-05-08 
  6. ^ Carlin, Peter Ames; Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson at Google Books.
  7. ^ YouTube video: Brian Wilson 1976 Full Interview; 1976 interview with Bob Harris.