Of course, with those already done first time around, things drop off slightly for Volume 2, but there's still Dixie Flyer, the once lightweight but increasingly relevant Yellow Man, Losing You, My Life Is Good, Birmingham and Last Night I Had a Dream.

And it's not as if he doesn't have the material to make a decent third volume, and that's without Hughesy's long-hoped-for reworking of his earliest material, largely written for other voices.

He''s still got room for, say, Davy the Fat Boy, I Want Everybody to Like Me, Love Story, Mama Told Me Not To Come and Rider In The Rain for starters, and I'd love to hear what he could do revisiting I've Been Wrong Before, Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear and, most particularly, So Long Dad.

If you've already got the albums or the Guilty: 30 Years of Randy Newman box set, the two Songbooks might not seem essential, but if you're new to the man and his music or only know the name from his movie soundtrack work or Short People they're a bloody good place to start acquainting yourself with one of the all-time great songwriters.

Some links:

© Ian Hughes 2012