Born Again (Randy Newman album)

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Born Again
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 18, 1979
StudioWarner Brothers Recording Studios, North Hollywood; A&M Studios, Hollywood
GenreRock, avant-pop[1]
LabelWarner Bros., Reprise
ProducerLenny Waronker, Russ Titelman
Randy Newman chronology
Little Criminals
Born Again
Trouble in Paradise
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[2]
Christgau's Record GuideB+[3]
Rolling Stone(unfavorable)[4]

Born Again is the sixth album by American composer Randy Newman. The album was released on August 18, 1979, to little sales and relatively poor reviews, which surprised Newman. Newman went on to say that Born Again was the strangest album that he had ever done.[5] The album cover famously features Randy Newman in a business office, wearing white and black face makeup (an obvious parody of Kiss), with dollar signs painted over his eyes. This was poking fun at the commercialization of rock music.


Newman expected the album to be a hit. Instead, the album sold relatively poorly, with worse reviews than its predecessor.[6] Stephen Holden, writing for Rolling Stone, criticized the album for its "snide" and "nihilistic" tone.[7] Newman called it "a larger insult,"[2] and reflected, "The mistake I made was that to do this, people have to know who you are in the first place."[8] "It's a weird album full of peculiar songs like the one about an ELO fan getting everything wrong. It's very idiosyncratic, with small subjects. If it had been a hit to follow it might have been different but I have always written the same way."[6] Ironically, Jeff Lynne would later be among the producers of Land of Dreams.

Track listing[]

All tracks written and arranged by Randy Newman.

  1. "It's Money That I Love" – 3:38
  2. "The Story of a Rock and Roll Band" – 2:53
  3. "Pretty Boy" – 4:00
  4. "Mr. Sheep" – 3:53
  5. "Ghosts" – 2:28
  6. "They Just Got Married" – 2:51
  7. "Spies" – 3:55
  8. "The Girls in My Life (Part One)" – 2:36
  9. "Half a Man" – 3:38
  10. "William Brown" – 1:50
  11. "Pants" – 3:06


Chart (1979) Position
United States (Billboard 200) 41
Australia (Kent Music Report)[9] 65


  • Tom Knox – engineer
  • Lee Herschberg – mixing
  • Mike Salisbury – art direction, cover design
  • Mark Feldman – cover photography


  1. ^ Grimstad, Paul. "What is Avant-Pop?". Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  2. ^ Jump up to: a b Born Again at AllMusic
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: N". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 8, 2019 – via
  4. ^ Rolling Stone
  5. ^
  6. ^ Jump up to: a b Martin Chilton. "". The Telegraph.
  7. ^ Rollingstone
  8. ^ Guilty: 30 Years of Randy Newman (Media notes).
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 216. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
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