“Sail Away” by Randy Newman - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1972Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

Keeping up his record of a new LP every two years, the third new music album from the 28-year-old singer-songwriter arrived in May, 1972. Two tracks repeat from the '71 stop-gap “Randy Newman Live”; “Lonely At The Top” and “Last Night I Had A Dream”. Although he operates in a field that I find difficult to love, I don't mind him at times - his lyrics often have some bite - and there's no doubt about his musical class or talent, exemplified on the fantastic “Burn On”. This was a disturbing moment in time captured wonderfully in song by Randy's cultured and satirical tones - he lays the blame squarely on mankind. On 22 June 1969, Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River, heavily polluted by oil, caught fire as a result of a spark from an overhead train – and not for the first time!

At least 13 fires have been reported on the Cuyahoga River, the first occurring in 1868. The largest river fire in 1952 caused over $1 million in damage to boats, a bridge, and a riverfront office building. After the 1969 episode Time Magazine wryly observed: “Some River! Chocolate-brown, oily, bubbling with subsurface gases, it oozes rather than flows” further noting that a person who meets their doom in the Cuyahoga “does not drown but decays”. Randy's lyrics sarcastically romanticizes this: “Cleveland, city of light, city of magic, Cleveland, city of light, you’re calling me, Cleveland, even now I can remember, ‘Cause the Cuyahoga River, goes smokin’ through my dreams, Burn on, big river, burn on, Burn on, big river, burn on.” The clean-up of the river had begun by the time of Newman’s song – a slow and laborious slog. In 1972 Congress finally passed the federal Clean Water Act. Five months after Randy’s song was issued, The Clean Water Act (CWA) became effective on October 18, 1972. If he's performed a better song I haven't heard it.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:56] 5.4.png Randy Newman - Sail Away (Randy Newman) Songwriter
A2 [02:32] 5.9.png Randy Newman - Lonely at The Top (Randy Newman) Crooner / Cabaret
A3 [01:53] 4.0.png Randy Newman - He Gives Us All His Love (Randy Newman) Songwriter
A4 [03:01] 4.6.png Randy Newman - Last Night I Had A Dream (Randy Newman) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
A5 [02:00] 3.5.png Randy Newman - Simon Smith And The Amazing Dancing Bear (Randy Newman) Crooner / Cabaret
A6 [02:42] 6.0.png Randy Newman - Old Man (Randy Newman) Songwriter
B1 [02:00] 4.5.png Randy Newman - Political Science (Randy Newman) Crooner / Cabaret
B2 [02:33] 8.0.png Randy Newman - Burn On (Randy Newman) Crooner / Cabaret
B3 [01:56] 4.8.png Randy Newman - Memo To My Son (Randy Newman) Pop
B4 [01:47] 5.5.png Randy Newman - Dayton, Ohio - 1903 (Randy Newman) Crooner / Cabaret
B5 [03:18] 4.8.png Randy Newman - You Can Leave Your Hat On (Randy Newman) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
B6 [03:36] 5.7.png Randy Newman - God’s Song (That’s Why I Love Mankind) (Randy Newman) Blues / Rhythm n Blues

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