Tony Randall / Lynn Redgrave

The Power Is You

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The Power Is You was a pretty bizarre musical project. It's difficult to get a handle on what its creators were attempting to do, and for whom. It is a sort of self-help album consisting of catchy Broadway-style show tunes about the power of human potential interspersed with preachy narration by the record's celebrity hosts, actors Tony Randall and Lynn Redgrave. The titles of the songs, written by lyricist Rosemary Caggiano and composer Bernie Fass, read like the chapter headings of a pop psychology text from the human potentialist movement of the '70s: "Your Power to Dream," "There's Always Room for Change," "The Power of Thinking," "Communication," "The Power to Love." The record's message, a call to live for personal fulfillment rather than material gain, is undeniably wholesome. But who was the target audience? The record was apparently intended for kids, but many of the concepts discussed by Randall and Redgrave seem likely to go over the heads of young children. In one segment, Redgrave admits "I, too, have blamed our problems on big corporations, but what convenience am I willing to give up that these corporations produce?" How many children are liable to be aware of corporate contributions to the world's environmental and social ills? This suggests that the project may have been intended for older audiences. The cover art depicts what appears to be a teenage boy. But the earnest tone and dopey music are likely to alienate teens. And Randall's concluding admonition that adults can't make the world a better place without the help of the younger generation would seem to preclude any speculation that the record is intended for grownups. As a result of this confusion, The Power Is You now bears little significance, outside of an embarrassing footnote to the careers of its famous hosts.