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Randy Newman

Randall Stuart "Randy" Newman (born November 28, 1943) is a singer/songwriter, arranger, composer, and pianist who is notable for his mordant (and often satirical) pop songs and for his many film scores.

Newman is noted for his practice of writing lyrics from the perspective of a character far removed from Newman's own biography. For example, the 1972 song "Sail Away" is written as a slave trader's sales pitch to attract slaves, while the narrator of "Political Science" is a U.S. nationalist who complains of worldwide ingratitude toward America and proposes a brutally ironic final solution. One of his biggest hits, "Short People" was written from the perspective of "a lunatic" who hates short people. Since the 1980s, Newman has worked mostly as a film composer. His film scores include Ragtime, Awakenings, The Natural, Leatherheads, James and the Giant Peach, Meet the Parents, Seabiscuit and The Princess and the Frog. He has scored six Disney-Pixar films: Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Cars and most recently Toy Story 3.

He has been awarded an Academy Award, three Emmys, four Grammy Awards, and the Governor's Award from the Recording Academy. Newman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2007, Newman was inducted as a Disney Legend.

Newman grew up in a musical family with Hollywood connections; his uncles Alfred and Lionel both scored numerous films. By age 17, Randy was staff writer for a California music publisher. One semester short of a B.A. in music from UCLA, he dropped out of school. Lenny Waronker, son of Liberty Records’ president, was a close friend and, later, as a staff producer for Warner Bros., helped get Newman signed to the label.

Newman’s early songs were recorded by a number of performers. His friend Harry Nilsson recorded an entire album with Newman on piano, Nilsson Sings Newman, in 1970. Judy Collins (“I Think It’s Going to Rain Today”), Peggy Lee (“Love Story”), and Three Dog Night - for whom “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)” hit #1 - all enjoyed success with Newman’s music.

Newman became a popular campus attraction when touring with Nilsson. His status as a cult star was affirmed by his critically praised debut, Randy Newman, in 1968, which featured his own complex arrangements for full orchestra, and later by 1970’s 12 Songs. He also sang “Gone Dead Train” on the soundtrack of Performance (1970). Live and Sail Away were Newman’s first commercial successes, but his audience has been limited to some degree because his songs are often colored by his ironic, pointed sense of humor, which is rarely simple and frequently misunderstood.

Good Old Boys, for example, was a concept album about the South, with the lyrics expressing the viewpoint of white Southerners. Lyrics such as “We’re rednecks, and we don’t know our ass from a hole in the ground” made people wonder whether Newman was being satirical or sympathetic. He toured (to Atlanta and elsewhere) behind the album with a full orchestra that played his arrangements and was conducted by his uncle Emil Newman.

Little Criminals, in 1977, contained Newman’s first hit single, “Short People,” which mocked bigotry and was taken seriously by a vocal offended minority. “Baltimore” from that album was covered by Nina Simone. Following that album’s release, Newman toured for the first time since 1974. He claimed that in the interim he’d done nothing but watch television and play with his three sons. In 1979 his Born Again featured guest vocals by members of the Eagles. In 1981 Newman composed the soundtrack for the film Ragtime (the first of many soundtrack assignments) and was nominated for two Oscars (Best Song, Best Score). His 1983 album, Trouble in Paradise, included guest appearances by Linda Ronstadt, members of Fleetwood Mac, and Paul Simon, who sang a verse of “The Blues.” That album’s “I Love L.A.” became something of an anthem, thanks in part to a flashy music video directed by Newman’s cousin, Tim Newman (who went on to shoot popular videos for ZZ Top, among others). Land of Dreams (#80, 1988) spawned a minor hit in “It’s Money That Matters” (#60, 1988). It would take Newman 10 more years to make another studio album, 1999’s critically acclaimed Bad Love. With that record peaking at #194, he continues to meet his biggest success in Hollywood, where he spent most of the ’90s becoming one of the town’s most sought-after film composers. Although the material on his own records is literate and biting, the songs he writes for movies are decidedly simpler and with a sunnier outlook - and they usually meet with more success. Both “I Love to See You Smile” from Parenthood and “When She Loved Me” from Toy Story 2, for instance, were nominated for Oscars; in 1998 alone, Newman garnered three Oscar nominations for three different movies.

In 1995 Newman wrote a musical adaptation of Goethe’s Faust. Both the play and the accompanying CD (which featured guests such as Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Elton John, Don Henley, and James Taylor in the role of God) were commercially unsuccessful. In 2000 he received the Billboard Century Award. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.

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Kronos Quartet

Kronos Quartet is a string quartet founded by violinist David Harrington in 1973. Since 1978, the quartet has been based in San Francisco, California. The longest-running combination of performers (1978–1999) had Harrington and John Sherba on violin, Hank Dutt on viola and Joan Jeanrenaud on cello. Jennifer Culp replaced Jeanrenaud on cello in 1999. Jeffrey Zeigler replaced Culp on cello in 2005.

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Band Of Brothers

From the series Band of Brothers Based on the men in 101st Airborne who fought together to stop the Nazi onslaught during World War II and became one of the most higly decorated units to have ever served anywhere.

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Edison

There are at least three acts under Edison name: 1) American rock band, Edison,
2) Misteriouse one man act from Japan, responsible for the animated adaptation of the BLACK LAGOON manga, EDISON.
3) Australian skramz/post punk band from Woodend, Victoria. 1) Edison: Ethan Isaac — Vocals Jonathan Svec — Guitar Joel Kelley — Guitar Todd Budich — Drums Anton Kreisl — Bass Edison, like their namesake, strives for invention and passion in the music they create. Their sound and unique lifestyle, is roots-based and hard-driving.

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Robin Williams

American comedian Robin McLaurin Williams (born July 21, 1951 in Chicago, IL) began his career as a cocaine-addled improv stand-up comedian, who made a living on tips in the late '70s. Soon after, he achieved national fame as the TV character Mork, an alien who guest-debuted on Happy Days before starring in the successful ABC series Mork & Mindy. Suffering a divorce and achieving sobriety in the late-'80s, his career was even further boosted with a series of sobering late-'80s dramas (Good Morning, Vietnam and Dead Poets' Society) and numerous '90s family films (Aladdin and Mrs.

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Disney Characters

Disney Characters is used as a general “placeholder artist” for songs from Disney movies, series, theme park, storyteller and / or song albums. Usually it is used if no definite artist credits are available, however there are a few soundtrack releases or compilations with songs from soundtracks which actually credit “Disney Characters” as artist in the official liner notes. If this non-artist appears in your charts, please fix your tags.

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John Hardy

John Hardy is a British composer for live performance and film. His music has been described by listeners as 'heart-warming', 'incredibly moving' and 'brilliant', and by critics as 'gripping and intensely theatrical' (Opera Now), 'engrossing...unique' (Guardian) 'epic' (Daily Telegraph) and 'achingly beautiful' (Composers of Wales). More of John's music is available at www.johnhardymusic.com or at record label www.ffinrecords.co.uk

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Barry Adamson

Audio artist Barry Adamson started out as bass player for British punk band Magazine, however, he's since carved more of a name for himself equally for being a founding member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and also for composing a large chunk of the score of David Lynch's Lost Highway. Adamson's solo work varies heavily between Film Noir and classic to industrial rock, whilst taking in everything in between, making him almost impossible to pigeonhole.

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Nobuo Uematsu

Nobuo Uematsu (Born March 21, 1959) is best known for his composition for the Squaresoft (now Square Enix) games company throughout the 1980s and 1990s, most notably on the Final Fantasy series of games. Composing all his work on the keyboards, he has been hailed as one of the most popular and beloved composers of video game soundtracks. Uematsu enjoyed commercial success with the track “Eyes on Me” from Final Fantasy VIII, performed by Hong Kong singer Faye Wong (Wang Fei - 王菲).

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Urge Overkill

Urge Overkill are an alternative rock band from Chicago that attracted underground attention in the late 80s and early 90s. While their ironic reshaping of 70's arena and glam rock left them marginalized during the height of grunge, they managed to appear on the charts with their cover of the Neil Diamond classic "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, which hit #50 on the US Charts, and #11 on the Modern Rock charts.