Randy Newman: My Life in 15 Songs

Here's how a comic genius built one of American music's greatest catalogs

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"Feels Like Home"

I read the original, Goethe's Faust Part One. It's like bumping into a great mind, someone who wants to learn everything in the world. Something in me wanted to take the exaltation out. I made it about a freshman at Notre Dame who doesn't know what he wants. I had a script and showed it to [film director] Mike Nichols. He said, "The kid doesn't have any arc. Nothing happens to him." But I liked that. It makes for a gruesome evening of theater [laughs]. I had Henley, Elton John and Linda Ronstadt sing the songs. I wrote this one for Bonnie Raitt to sing to the Devil, to trick him. Bonnie's great in it. But something is wrong with me – that's how convoluted it has to be for me to write a fucking love song.

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