Chris Willman
June 07, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Good Old Boys

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Randy Newman
genre
Pop

We gave it an A

RANDY NEWMAN Sail Away; Good Old Boys; Ragtime (Rhino) When it comes to the ”untrustworthy narrator,” the territory is Newman’s own. They don’t come nastier than the slave trader serenading Africans in Sail’s 1972 title track. (An alternate version here ends even more creepily, with jungle drums.) Race baiting moves closer to home in Boys, Newman’s Southern-themed ’74 follow-up. (Good ole bonus: a second disc demoing a narrative-driven early concept.) Want romantic orchestration sans ironic interruptions from N-word-brandishing protagonists? His 1981 score for Ragtime — one of EW’s 100 Greatest Soundtracks — makes its CD debut. All three are masterpieces…trust us. No, really. All:

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