Wednesday, April 23, 2008

559. Tom Waits - Rain Dogs (1985)

Track Listing

1. Singapore
2. Clap Hands
3. Cemetery Polka
4. Jockey Full Of Bourbon
5. Tango Till They're Sore
6. Big Black Mariah
7. Diamonds And Gold
8. Hang Down Your Head
9. Time
10. Rain Dogs
11. Midtown
12. 9th & Hennepin
13. Gun Street Girl
14. Union Square
15. Blind Love
16. Walking Spanish
17. Downtown Train
18. Bride Of Rain Dog
19. Anywhere I Lay My Head


Now I spit out the bitter taste of Morrissey and replace it with the manna that is Tom Waits, of course this manna tastes a bit of cigarette ashes mixed with coffee and Bourbon, but that is a taste incomparably better than the Santorum of Morrissey.

Waits keeps on the same line that he was taking for Swordfishtrombones, even if this is a slightly poppier release, and he does it again, another brilliant album. The lyrics are just as amazing as the innovative music and instrumentation.

Possibly the best move that Waits ever did was to ditch the piano based stuff and go all hog with the instrumentation, the music sounds mysterious, seedy and beautiful all at the same time. It sounds fresh, as fresh today as then, because it sounds completely out of time, like a nostalgia of a time that never was, almost mythical in its portrayal of what feels like the first half of the 20th century, but one populated by one armed midgets, Puerto Rican mistresses with one wooden leg all in a haze. Like an album that has seeped from the Twin Peaks world of the Red Room into our universe, alien, fascinating, beautiful and slightly unsettling in the best way possible.

Track Highlights

1. Singapore
2. Time
3. Cemetery Polka
4. Rain Dogs

(this was hard, all the tracks are excellent)

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Despite the facial similarity, the man on the cover of Rain Dogs is not Tom Waits. The photograph is one of a series taken by the Swedish photographer Anders Petersen at Café Lehmitz (a café near the Hamburg red-light boulevard Reeperbahn) in the late sixties. The man and woman depicted on the cover are called Rose and Lily. The cover typography is similar to that of Elvis Presley's self-titled debut. k.d. lang's 'Reintarnation' and The Clash's London Calling have also used similar designs.

The European version of the cover features red rather than blue text.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love this album - almost (but not quite) as great as Swordfishtrombones.

I do think you should seek out psychiatric help for your obsession with Morrissey though.