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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Music That Matters: Top 50 Movie Symphonies (#31 Knock The Cover Off The Ball by Randy Newman)

Although I have never seen the complete movie, I have probably watched the classic scene in The Natural where Roy Hobbs hits the final home run right toward the outfield lights causing some pretty massive fireworks numerous times. What makes the scene so thrilling is the music you hear during this scene from Randy Newman. Yes, Randy Newman. The same guy best known for pop hits like I Love L.A., Money That Matters, and Short People. Randy Newman, the guy who finally won an Oscar in 2001 for his hit song If I Didn't Have You from Monsters, Inc. Although Newman had a brilliant career as a singer and songwriter, he has been primarily composing scores for films since the mid-80's such as Toy Story, Cars, Parenthood, Three Amigos, A Bug's Life, and Meet The Parents. You'll definitely know you are listening to a Randy Newman sung tune when you hear it as his voice in indistinguishable and his piano melodies sound the same on every tune. Check out the tribute to Randy Newman from an episode of Family Guy.

Although, you would have never guessed the score from The Natural in 1984 was composed by Randy Newman!!! Sounding nothing like anything he has ever done, Newman composed music for The Natural that very similar to the style of classical composer, Aaron Copeland. It's not your typical happy piano themed tune sung by Randy Newman, but instead performed by full-blown orchestra. Newman received an Oscar nomination in 1984 for The Natural, but came up on the short end of the stick. It would take 11 more nominations until he received his first award in 2002. Knock The Cover Off The Ball has been used during baseball games when honoring players, and in many television and film previews. It was also used in the John McCain campaign when introducing Sarah Palin. Snippets of the song were included in the End Titles which you also might know as the song used for The Wonder Years series finale when we learn of what happened to the Arnold family. Below is the actual scene from the movie, the music begins around the three minute mark. Good stuff indeed!

Ladies and gentlemen.. #31 Knock The Cover Off The Ball by Randy Newman

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