Little Criminals is a 1977 album by Randy Newman. Like most of Newman's work, the album eschews traditional pop-music themes (there is not one love song on the album) in favor of musical story-telling, often featuring quirky characters and cynical views. The first song on the album – "Short People" – became a hit single in its own right. The album itself peaked at #9 on the US Billboard 200 chart, Newman's highest-charting album to date.
Some of the instrumental work and backing vocals on the album are performed by members of the Eagles. In particular, Glenn Frey played guitar on two tracks, Joe Walsh played guitar on three tracks, and Don Henley and Tim Schmit sang background vocals on one track each. Frey and J. D. Souther, who had earlier been the duo Longbranch Pennywhistle, sang background vocals on three tracks.
Newman wrote, conducted and played keyboards on all tracks. Synthesizers were programmed by Michael Boddicker.
In September 1977, the British music magazine, NME reported the following interview with Newman talking about his then new release. "There's one song about a child murderer," Newman deadpans. "That's fairly optimistic. Maybe. There's one called 'Jolly Coppers on Parade' which isn't an absolutely anti-police song. Maybe it's even a fascist song. I didn't notice at the time. There's also one about me as a cowboy called 'Rider in the Rain.' I think it's ridiculous. The Eagles are on there. That's what's good about it. There's also this song 'Short People.' It's purely a joke. I like other ones on the album better but the audiences go for that one."
The song "Baltimore" was covered by Nina Simone, Nils Lofgren, The Tamlins, David Gray and Billy Mackenzie. The song "I'll Be Home", meanwhile, had been written by Newman years before this album was recorded, and was originally performed in 1970 by Harry Nilsson on his album Nilsson Sings Newman.
Randall Stuart "Randy" Newman (born November 28, 1943) is an American singer-songwriter, arranger, composer, and pianist who is known for his distinctive voice, mordant (and often satirical) pop songs and for film scores.
Since the 1980s, Newman has worked mostly as a film composer. His film scores include Ragtime, Awakenings, The Natural, Leatherheads, James and the Giant Peach, Cats Don't Dance, Meet the Parents, Cold Turkey, Seabiscuit and The Princess and the Frog. He has scored seven Disney-Pixar films: Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Cars, Toy Story 3, and most recently, Monsters University.
Newman has been nominated for 20 Academy Awards, winning twice. He has also won three Emmys, six Grammy Awards, and the Governor's Award from the Recording Academy. Newman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2007, he was inducted as a Disney Legend. Newman was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2013.
Comes with splice, pads and 7 day money-back guarantee.