“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. He ain’t gonna do that. 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. It’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 (1991)
Good Old Boys is the fifth album by Randy Newman, released 10 September 1974 on Reprise Records. 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.
This is one of the best records about “The South” that has ever been made. Randy Newman is cruel but, oh, so witty.
The album’s scabrous opening cut, “Rednecks,” is guaranteed to offend practically anyone with its tale of a slow-witted, willfully (and proudly) ignorant Southerner obsessed with “keeping the n—–s down.” “A Wedding in Cherokee County” is more polite but hardly less mean-spirited, in which an impotent hick marries a circus freak; if the song’s melody and arrangement weren’t so skillful, it would be hard to imagine anyone bothering with this musical geek show. … Good Old Boys is one of Newman’s finest albums; it’s also one of his most provocative and infuriating, and that’s probably just the way he wanted it.
–Mark Demming (Allmusic.com)
A lot of GREAT music was released in 1970, here are my 20 chosen songs.
Into the Mystic – Van Morrison
“Into the Mystic” is one of Morrison’s warmest ballads, an Otis Redding-style reverie with acoustic guitar and horns. The lyrics are truly mysterious: “People say, ‘What does this mean?’ ” said Morrison. “A lot of times I have no idea what I mean. That’s what I like about rock & roll — the concept. Like Little Richard — what does he mean? You can’t take him apart; that’s rock & roll to me.”
Written by Van Morrison and featured on his 1970 album Moondance. It was also included on Morrison’s 1974 live album, It’s Too Late To Stop Now. It was recorded during the Moondance sessions at A&R Recording Studios in New York City in September to November 1969. Elliott Scheiner was the engineer.
– We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the mystic
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic
President Nixon makes unprecedented eight-day visit to Communist China and meets with Mao Zedong (Feb. 17).
Britain takes over direct rule of Northern Ireland in bid for peace (March 24).
Eleven Israeli athletes at Olympic Games in Munich are killed after eight members of an Arab terrorist group invades Olympic Village; five guerrillas and one policeman are also killed (Sept. 5).
Nixon orders “Christmas bombing” of North Vietnam (Dec)
Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama is shot by Arthur H. Bremer at Laurel, Md., political rally (May 15)
US Supreme Court rules that death penalty is unconstitutional (June 29)
Only one song per artist/group
The song must be released that specific year
Songs from live albums not allowed (that’s another & more complicated list)
Please feel free to publish your own favorite songs from 1972 in the comments section…
AND lists like this are supposed to be fun! Don’t take it too seriously.
Here we go…
Shine A Light – The Rolling Stones
Released on “Exile on Main St.” – a double album by English rock band The Rolling Stones. It was released on 12 May 1972 by Rolling Stones Records. The album’s music incorporates rock and roll, blues, soul, country, and gospel genres. In 2003, the album was ranked 7th on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Saw you stretched out in Room Ten O Nine With a smile on your face and a tear right in your eye. Oh, couldn’t see to get a line on you, my sweet honey love.
Berber jew’lry jangling down the street, Make you shut your eyes at ev’ry woman that you meet. Could not seem to get a high on you, my sweet honey love.
May the good Lord shine a light on you, Make every song (you sing) your favorite tune. May the good Lord shine a light on you, Warm like the evening sun.
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)