Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Nasty Little Feet

Randy Newman : Short People (live)

Irony. Something most people seemed to get in the 1970's when Randy Newman could write a song like "Short People", making fun of racists, sexists and what Newman called "sizists" and hit #2 in the U.S. Today, you visit the YouTube page of the video below and  you get comments like "THIS IS RACIST TOWARDS MIDGESTS, PLEASE, STOP IT NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and "It was the most offensive and stupid song of the seventies."

Granted, if you were beaten up in middle school by bullies who felt empowered by this song, you have every right to hate "Short People", the first single from the album Little Criminals which was released on September 23, 1977.

Randy should write a song called "Be Kind to Midgests" just to make up for all the turmoil he brought into the lives of bad spelling short people.

Here is the Playboy review of the album  :

Little Criminals is Randy Newman's first album in... hell, we don't even want to count the years. In his absence, a whole generation of semi-demented, would-be perverts calling themselves punk rockers has tried to cop his act. We aren't calling Newman the first punk rocker -- for one thing, he's intelligent. For another, his piano belongs in a Salvation Army band or a smoky San Francisco bawdyhouse. But we are calling Newman perverted, wry and one of our favorite crazies. The long-awaited album is everything we hoped for. There's a vicious song about short people. There's a song about a city that begins with the letter B (first "Birmingham," now "Baltimore." Next stop, Berkeley?). There are hypnotic love songs with simple phrases running over chords like worry beads. There's a patriotic number called "Sigmund Freud's Impersonation of Albert Einstein in America." The album's getting plenty of airplay; it might even make Newman a star.

And from Robert Christgau who gave the "disappointing" album a B+ grade:

Always the master craftsman, Newman doesn't waste a second here, doesn't permit an inept lyrical insight or musical fillip. But over the past three years he doesn't seem to have written one song that ranks with his best. Among all these explorations of America's dirty white underbelly, only the out-and-out jokes -- the gross intolerance of "Short People" and the Eagles music on "Rider in the Rain" -- distinguish themselves. Very disappointing.

1 comment:

  1. Nearly every review I've read by Robert Christgau, it seems as if he hasn't bothered listening to the album but just wants to see his name in print. How he can disregard great songs such as the beautiful "Texas Girl at the Funeral of Her Father", "Baltimore" and "Jolly Coppers on Parade" is beyond me.