From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
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 the Eagles, who are listed in the album credits individually, not by group name.
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."