Randy Newman compares himself to James Taylor

In an interview with the Santa Barbara Independent to promote his new album Harps and Angels, Randy Newman compares himself to James Taylor.

Q: Satire is a huge part of your style. You write in character, and you’re the quintessential storyteller. In a world filled with sound bites and elevator music, how do you feel about your place in music and the way you’re perceived?

A: Sometimes I feel like I’ve picked the wrong medium because people don’t just listen to music much, unless they’re going to a show. They’re cooking or reading or riding in a car. And if you don’t listen to my stuff, it’s no good to you. If you miss a few lines you don’t know where the hell you are—and I don’t have a beautiful voice. James Taylor’s a great songwriter, but he’s also got a great voice. You can put him on at a party and eat potato chips and drink cola and its fine. But me? I don’t know…


Q: Given the freedom of your writing style, how different is it to play for an audience?

A: It’s a conservative kind of medium, where if something works, you keep it in. James Taylor’s been telling some of the same stories for 30 years—as have I—because people laugh. They expect them almost. But you know, you can’t keep changing your set list …


About Corey Blake

Corey Blake does things on the Internet, and sometimes even in real life.
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