Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Putin by Randy Newman

Before Randy Newman spent most of his time composing music for movies (Toy Story) and television shows (the theme for Monk), following the family trade, he was a brilliant solo recording artist whose lyrics satirized the insanities he saw around him.

His LP, Sail Away, from 1972, remains one of my favorites. (It includes a song used in the Norman Lear-Bud Yorkin film, Cold Turkey, which starred Dick Van Dyke and Bob Newhart.)

Happily, Newman has been back in the studio. Two tracks from Dark Matter, a new LP which comes out on Friday, have been released.

One of them is Putin, a hilarious and brutally honest send-up of the thuggish and pretentious Vladimir Putin. Like all dictators--a description which may be too charitable to Putin, since he's more like a mafiosi--Putin is increasingly a parody of himself, which may make him all too easy a target for Newman. But this song is delicious.

[Blogger Mark Daniels is pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church in Centerville, Ohio.]

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