Jul 032014

Toy Story…who doesn’t love it? I’m a pretty big fan of all three films and have had a nostalgic re-viewing of each of them over the last couple of weeks. I promise I won’t get too sentimental today, but these films (mostly the first two) really bring me back to my childhood. Take away the reminiscing factor and they are still three great films! For me, one of the things that I love most about them is the soundtrack. Randy Newman is the man behind the scoring, which has always seemed an unusual choice but somehow right to me as I’ve often thought of Randy Newman as a quirky musical cocktail where the recipe might look something like this:

A splash of Billy Joel’s ability to write a frighteningly catchy tune
A dash of Elton John’s percussive pianistic skills
A smattering of say, Tim Minchin or Bill Bailey’s musical comedy chucked in for good measure

Everyone know’s the classic ‘You Got a Friend in Me’ which certainly applies to the first part of our cocktail recipe – it’s just a great melody. For the second part, I’d point you in the direction of ‘My Life is Good’. Finally, the musical comedy side of his music is present in a lot of his work, but prominently in the likes of ‘Political Science’ (which also may be less offensive to some than the infamous ‘Short People’…).

There’s something missing from the recipe… it needs a little something to sweeten the flavour. Well, how about a lashing of his unique ability to pull at your heartstrings.

Toy Story is a film about talking pieces of plastic. Ok, I’m being a bit simplistic… the story makes us care for the pieces of plastic as do the voice actors and the characters, but it’s moments like Jessie’s heartbreaking back story where Newman pulls out the big guns on creating something that resonates so strongly with so many people. My version of ‘When She Loved Me’ has been on my soundcloud page for a while, but I’ve posted it below if you’d like another listen.

I’m not copping out this week and only bringing up old material though so I’ve done another new recording for you. I’ve put together a version of ‘I Will Go Sailing No More’ as I think it falls into the shadow of ‘When She Loved Me’ despite being (in my opinion) just as much of a powerful song. Enjoy!

novel focus

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