Feb 252011

The 83rd Academy Awards take place this weekend and – big surprise – Randy Newman is nominated. Since 1988, Randy Newman has been nominated for 17 Oscars. Fans quibble that in that same time the renowned songwriter has released exactly three albums, but with the money he rakes in every picture, it’s a testament to him that he recorded anything else. His only win came for Monsters Inc.’s “If I Didn’t Have You,” but this year marks a three-peat for Toy Story nominations. Maybe Toy Story 3 marks Newman’s first trip to the podium for the Pixar films to which he is most closely associated. After all, Peter Jackson didn’t win his Oscar ’til The Return of the King.

Everyone knows “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” “When She Loved Me” (Toy Story 2) and “We Belong Together” (Toy Story 3) work in a similar childhood-sentimentality vein. To celebrate Newman’s contribution to the beloved franchise, we’ve got covers of all three below.

Farewell Fighter delivers a pop-punkish “You’ve Got a Friend” while Gipsy Kings translate the sound and music into Spanish. The Family Song Recordings strip “When She Loved Me” to a plaintive plea while Lolita takes it to a cheesy Euro disco. Finally, Yo La Tengo perform the currently-nominated “We Belong Together” as part of their Hanukkah residency.

: Yo La Tengo – We Belong Together (Randy Newman cover)

Watch the 83rd Academy Awards this Sunday on ABC.

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