Thursday, July 29, 2010

You First: You Can Leave Your Hat On

you can leave your hat on
art by Michele Hyacynth

Randy Newman: You Can Leave Your Hat On


Joe Cocker: You Can Leave Your Hat On


Tom Jones: You Can Leave Your Hat On


Marc Broussard: You Can Leave Your Hat On


Let's call this post "Four Decades of Soft-Core Sexual Suggestion."

Got your attention now?

I'm going to declare Randy Newman the King of Intellectual Musical Wit (the heir-apparent, though, might be Steely Dan). Here's a test for our clearly above-average Star Maker Machine reader: did you get all OMG offended! at his epic song 'Short People' and lobby your state legislature to make playing it on the radio a crime (as Maryland attempted), or did you see it as the anti-prejudicial statement it really was? In other words, do you get Randy Newman?

'You Can Leave Your Hat On' is another in Newman's wink-wink-nudge-nudge repertoire. The title phrase seems to be the only item of clothing the narrator doesn't want removed. Newman released his version in 1972 (on 'Sail Away'); it was picked up in a big way by English blues rocker Joe Cocker in 1986 and featured in a strip scene in the film '9½ Weeks'. Tom Jones, the Welsh crooner, did the same favor in 1997 for the film 'The Full Monty'. (And he sang it live in 2002 at 'Party at the Palace', a pop concert at Buckingham Palace honoring Queen Elizabeth's 50 years on the throne. Somehow imaging Queen Liz shaking her booty to this tune keeps crawling into my brain. Bad! Bad!) Finally, blues-rock artist Marc Broussard paid homage to it on the 2006 Newman tribute album, 'Sail Away: The Songs of Randy Newman'.

You give me reason to live…You give me reason to live…You give me reason to live…

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