I started recording because I was always complaining about the records that I was getting of my songs. At least if I did them and messed them up, I wouldn’t have anyone else to blame.
To me, someone who writes really good songs is Randy Newman. There’s a lot of people who write good songs. As songs. Now Randy might not go out on stage and knock you out, or knock your socks off. And he’s not going to get people thrilled in the front row. But he’s gonna write a better song than most people who can do it. You know, he’s got that down to an art. Now Randy knows music. He knows music. But it doesn’t get any better than “Louisiana” or “Cross Charleston Bay” [Sail Away]. It doesn’t get any better than that. That’s like a classically heroic anthem theme. He did it. There’s quite a few people who did it. Not that many people in Randy’s class.
~Bob Dylan (to Paul Zollo, April 1991)
Sail Away – (Live at the Old Grey Whistle):