500 Greatest Songs of All Time

268

Randy Newman, 'Sail Away'

Writer: Newman
Producer: Lenny Waronker
Released: June '72, Reprise
Did not chart

Singers from Ray Charles to Etta James covered this portrait of America from the perspective of a slave trader. As usual for Newman, it combines lush melody with painful satire. "One thing with my music," he said, "you can’t sit and eat potato chips, and have it on in the background at a party."

Appears on: Sail Away (Rhino)

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