Randy Newman is a hard one to pigeonhole. He set the stage for such songwriters as Tom Waits and Lyle Lovett with his odd-mannered vocals and witty, yet bleak, narrative songs. A fine craftsman, Newman couples his talent for lyrics with catchy pop melodies -- the kind that grandma has the sheet music to and plays on hot, summer nights. He's like an unholy alliance between Elvis Costello and Elton John -- which means he's either too hip or just not square enough for much of the public. That said, Newman has been releasing strong albums since 1968, and he's even had hit songs, like "Short People" and "I Love L.A." -- with most missing the ironic content. Since Ragtime in 1981, Hollywood has paid his bills, and Newman has written a string of film scores, from The Natural to Toy Story. Song or musical suite, Newman's music offers snapshots of America -- some fawning, others unflattering.
Randy Newman Concert Films
Live in London
Runtime: 1 hr 20 minWhile touring in support of his 2008 album Harps and Angels, Randy Newman performed a special concert at London's intimate LSO St. Luke's, an 18th-century Anglican church that has been restored by the London Symphony Orchestra for use in its community and music education programs. He was accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Robert Ziegler, and the program was televised by the BBC. Nonesuch Records now releases this concert as Randy Newman: Live in London.
Randy Newman Top Tracks
A Matter of Trust: The Bridge to Russia
Runtime: 1 hr 14 minIn 1987, after 100 shows around the world on The Bridge Tour, Billy Joel accepted the Kremlin’s invitation to the U.S.S.R. for six fully-staged rock shows in Moscow and Leningrad, fulfilling a long-time desire to perform in Russia. During their stay, Billy and his family, along with musicians, staff, and a huge press entourage spent their days interacting with the Russian people, forging true bonds of friendship wherever they went. For the first time A Matter Of Trust – The Bridge To Russia: A Documentary presents an expanded version of what fans saw and heard over a quarter-century ago. This film takes a fresh look at the groundbreaking trip, painstakingly incorporating some of the documentary material from 1988, both released and unreleased. But the heart and soul of this new film comprises up-to-date interviews with nearly 20 U.S. and Russian participants, including Billy, Christie Brinkley, band musicians, crew, and many others. There is a passion and intimacy to their interviews that underscores the historical significance of what these fellow travelers all witnessed, and the warmth that the Russian people showered on them. Billy has always considered that going to Russia was the most important thing he’d ever done as a performer.
Live at Soundstage
Runtime: 56 minLucinda Williams is widely considered to be one of America's best singer/songwriters working today. An artist who completely defies categorization, her honest lyrics are often compared to fine poetry as she sings her narrative tales of Southern Gothic and heart-wrenching songs of love, heartbreak and desire. On this episode of Soundstage, Lucinda and her band perform favorites from her catalogue, as well as tunes from her newest album: World Without Tears.
Welcome To My Living Room
Runtime: 2 hr 12 minFilmed in Southern California in 2005, Welcome to My Living Room is an intimate, unadorned glimpse into Carole King's sold-out Living Room World Tour, featuring 21 Top 40 hits from one of the greatest songwriters in history!
Runtime: 1 hr 19 minThis film is the most intimate look at JJ Cale ever. Recorded in 1979 at the Paradise Studios in Los Angeles this rare and unique session with Leon Russell on keyboards, has never been seen before and gives fans the chance to see this unique talent at work in the studio.
Live in Montreux
Runtime: 55 minSuzanne Vega broke-through with her eponymous debut album in 1985 in both Europe and America. The album featured the hits Marlene On The Wall and Left Of Center. She hit even greater heights with her second album Solitude Standing, which contained the hits Luka and Toms Diner. In many ways, she opened the way for the rush of female singer-songwriters that followed in the late eighties and early nineties. She continues to have hit albums and to play to packed houses on both sides of the Atlantic.
Live at the Beacon Theatre
Runtime: 2 hr 8 minRecorded Live at the Beacon Theatre in 1998, acclaimed singer-songwriter James Taylor steps up to the microphone and offers a well-polished set drawn from his remarkable recording career, providing a generous selection of songs from his Grammy-winning album “Hourglass” engineered by Frank Filipetti. Featuring 14 classic tracks, including "Fire And Rain", "Wandering", "Your Smiling Face”, “You've Got a Friend” and the uplifting classic “How Sweet It Is”.
Runtime: 41 minICK LOWE A pivotal figure in UK pub rock, punk rock and new wave, Lowe has recorded a string of well-reviewed solo albums. He is best known for his songs "Cruel to Be Kind" (a US Top 40 single), and "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass" (a top 10 UK hit), as well as his production work with Elvis Costello, Graham Parker and others. Lowe also wrote "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding", a hit for Costello.
Nick Lowe rocked English pubs in the ￼￼￼70s, then produced punk greats like the Pretenders and finally found the blues by way of the country band Little Village. Nick explores the dichotomies in the classic blues motifs: fear of God, pact with the devil, domesticity and wanderlust and partying on a Saturday night before the Sunday morning church service.
Classic Album: Graceland
Runtime: 60 minSimon And Garfunkel are the most successful duo in recording history and following their split in 1971 both Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel have carried on to have hugely successful solo careers and enjoyed occasional reunions. This concert was filmed at Philadelphias Tower Theater in 1980 and captures Paul Simon in fine form with a superb backing band featuring most of Stuff. The setlist ranges across his career up to that point and includes both Simon and Garfunkel and solo hits.
I’ll Do Anything: Live in Concert
Runtime: 1 hr 45 minJackson Browne's I'll do Anything Live In Concert features over 90 minutes of music from Jackson's entire body of work. Recorded during his 2012 Tour at the Paramount Theatre in Denver, CO, the release also features Sara Watkins, Sean Watkins, Tyler Chester, Fritz Lewak, and Val McCallum.
Detour Live At Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Runtime: 1 hr 46 minElvis Costello brings his solo show Detour to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. Combining classic songs performed with guitar or at the piano with reminiscences of his family, life and career, it is by turns touching, humorous, thoughtful and uplifting. The set features recent songs such as “Church Underground” and “Jimmie Standing In The Rain” alongside much loved tracks from across his career including “Watching The Detectives, ” “A Good Year For The Roses, ” “Accidents Will Happen, ” “Shipbuilding” and “I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down” all given a new twist in their solo renditions. The show also features guest appearances by sister act Larkin Poe.
The Other Side of the Mirror
Runtime: 1 hr 49 minDylan’s historic Newport Folk Festival performances from 1963-65 are captured on The Other Side Of The Mirror. Watch his metamorphosis from folk prodigy to rock’s fiercely confrontational poet, as he electrified and inspired an entire nation.
Beneath this Gruff Exterior
Runtime: 54 minInventive performer and poignant songwriter John Hiatt captures the attention of fans and critics alike. In this Soundstage performance, which features Dar Williams and Robinella and the CCstringband, Hiatt performs "My Baby Blue" from his most recent album Beneath This Gruff Exterior. He also showcases timeless pieces like "The Thing Called Love" and "Memphis in the Meantime." Folk-rocker Dar Williams takes the stage to perform "I Saw a Bird Fly Away," a piece which encapsulates Williams' ability to combine sensitivity with not only pathos, but also a sharp wit. East Tennessee natives Robinella and the CCstringband close out the show with new songs including "Honey Honey Bee" and "Man Over." Both songs are a testament to the acclaim that this jazz-bluegrass-swing band has earned from not just critics, but fans and peers alike.
Painting With Words And Music
Runtime: 1 hrJoni Mitchell, Canadas queen of folk/pop, performs before an intimate audience on the Warners Lot in Los Angeles, in a specially set up auditorium displaying a gallery of her own paintings. Playing in the round with a small band she delivers tracks from across her career including all her best loved songs.
Live at Soundstage
Rickie Lee Jones
Runtime: 54 minRickie Lee Jones is one of the most complex singer-songwriters of our time. Her career, which spans nearly three decades, has been full of unique musical expression. Jones’ style has crossed many genres including folk, rock, jazz, soul, spoken word and pop. Her voice echoes that of a 40’s jazz era performer, and has been an influence to many of today’s performers including Sheryl Crow and Tori Amos.
Rickie Lee Jones’s inimitable Soundstage performance is a celebration of her career. She performs the classic songs “Coolsville” and “Last Chance Texaco” as well as many selections from her new album Sermon on Exposition Boulevard. Highlights include “Falling Up” and “Nobody Knows My Name.”