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Tom Waits

Swordfishtrombones: Remastered Edition

CD: $13.99 UNAVAILABLE
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2023 Marks forty years since Tom Waits released Swordfishtrombonesushering in a new and critically acclaimed musical era for Waits and his longtime songwriting and production partner, Brennan. Waits went from ‘70’s-era “bluesy, boozy” wordsmith and melodist with seven albums behind him to sound sculptor, miner of the subconscious, abstract orchestrator, sonic cubist—while retaining his innate lyricism, melodic invention, humanity. As he put it in a 1983 interview: “I tried to listen to the noise in my head and invent some junkyard orchestral deviation—a mutant apparatus to drive this noise into a wreck collection.”  It’s a Waits-arranged pastiche, a variety of atmospheres from different sound planets. There is the warped, marching-army-ants music of “Underground,” an impressionist chant about people living below cities, but there was also the poignancy of the spare piano ballad, “Soldier’s Things,” the good bar yarn, “Frank’s Wild Years”, the tender, minimalist paean to Waits’ wife and muse, Kathleen, “Johnsburg, Illinois,” and the raggedy anthem to neighborhood chaos, “In the Neighborhood.”

“On Swordfishtrombones, Waits has made a breakthrough – he’s found music as evocative as his words. Waits’s grumble of a voice now bounces off a peculiar assortment of horns and percussion and organ and keyboards, as if he’d led a Salvation Army band into a broken-down Hong Kong disco. It’s as if he’s shifted from monologues to screenplays…” – Jon Parales January 1984 – GQ Magazine

The album is newly remastered for the first time ever from the original EQ’ed ½” production master tape and personally overseen by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering under the guidance of Waits’ longtime audio engineer, Karl Derfler. The album packaging has also been restored. Available as a CD digipack.

Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones: Remastered Edition
$13.99 Video
Quick View

2023 Marks forty years since Tom Waits released Swordfishtrombonesushering in a new and critically acclaimed musical era for Waits and his longtime songwriting and production partner, Brennan. Waits went from ‘70’s-era “bluesy, boozy” wordsmith and melodist with seven albums behind him to sound sculptor, miner of the subconscious, abstract orchestrator, sonic cubist—while retaining his innate lyricism, melodic invention, humanity. As he put it in a 1983 interview: “I tried to listen to the noise in my head and invent some junkyard orchestral deviation—a mutant apparatus to drive this noise into a wreck collection.”  It’s a Waits-arranged pastiche, a variety of atmospheres from different sound planets. There is the warped, marching-army-ants music of “Underground,” an impressionist chant about people living below cities, but there was also the poignancy of the spare piano ballad, “Soldier’s Things,” the good bar yarn, “Frank’s Wild Years”, the tender, minimalist paean to Waits’ wife and muse, Kathleen, “Johnsburg, Illinois,” and the raggedy anthem to neighborhood chaos, “In the Neighborhood.”

“On Swordfishtrombones, Waits has made a breakthrough – he’s found music as evocative as his words. Waits’s grumble of a voice now bounces off a peculiar assortment of horns and percussion and organ and keyboards, as if he’d led a Salvation Army band into a broken-down Hong Kong disco. It’s as if he’s shifted from monologues to screenplays…” – Jon Parales January 1984 – GQ Magazine

The album is newly remastered for the first time ever from the original EQ’ed ½” production master tape and personally overseen by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering under the guidance of Waits’ longtime audio engineer, Karl Derfler. The album packaging has also been restored. Available on 180g black vinyl.

Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones: Remastered Edition [LP]
$29.99 Video
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Tom Waits

Rain Dogs: Remastered Edition

CD: $13.99 UNAVAILABLE
Video

Noted as Tom Waits’ most critically acclaimed album, Rain Dogs follows the new musical path Waits had taken with Swordfishtrombones. Considered the middle of a de facto trilogy with Swordfishtrombones and Franks Wild YearsRain Dogs is the first of Waits’ albums to be written in New York, in a Lower Manhattan basement. A 53-minute, 19-track monster, Rain Dogs is a kind of mutant, late 20th century musical “Canterbury Tales” with a shape-shifting band. There are banjos and marimbas and bowed saw and parade drum and howling horns (and Keith Richards and Marc Ribot) on this rollicking, rough-hewn opus—and Waits, using his voice in increasingly weird-and-wild ways. The songs are stories, sagas, laments, breakdowns, character studies, comedies and cabaret numbers. There’s the aching “Hang Down Your Head,” and the moving anthem, “Downtown Train,” which was covered by Patti Smith and Rod Stewart.

Waits coined the term, “rain dog,” a reference to dogs who lose their way when touchstone scents are washed away in storms. Among the lost dogs on the album: gruff, wandering merchant marines (“Singapore”), an accordion player in a slaughterhouse (“Cemetery Polka”), a “jockey full of bourbon” (also the song title), an abandoned, withdrawn woman (“Time”), a “gun street girl,” the old drunks and hustlers of Union Square, and even Waits, himself: Aboard a shipwreck train / Give my umbrella to the Rain Dogs / For I am a Rain Dog, too...

Originally released in 1985 on Island Records, the album is newly remastered for the first time ever from the original ½” flat master tape and personally overseen by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering under the guidance of Waits’ longtime audio engineer, Karl Derfler. The album packaging has also been restored. Rain Dogs includes tracks such as “Downtown Train,” “Clap Hands” and “Jockey Full Of Bourbon.” Available as a CD digipack.

Tom Waits - Rain Dogs: Remastered Edition
$13.99 Video
Quick View

Noted as Tom Waits’ most critically acclaimed album, Rain Dogs follows the new musical path Waits had taken with Swordfishtrombones. Considered the middle of a de facto trilogy with Swordfishtrombones and Franks Wild YearsRain Dogs is the first of Waits’ albums to be written in New York, in a Lower Manhattan basement. A 53-minute, 19-track monster, Rain Dogs is a kind of mutant, late 20th century musical “Canterbury Tales” with a shape-shifting band. There are banjos and marimbas and bowed saw and parade drum and howling horns (and Keith Richards and Marc Ribot) on this rollicking, rough-hewn opus—and Waits, using his voice in increasingly weird-and-wild ways. The songs are stories, sagas, laments, breakdowns, character studies, comedies and cabaret numbers. There’s the aching “Hang Down Your Head,” and the moving anthem, “Downtown Train,” which was covered by Patti Smith and Rod Stewart.

Waits coined the term, “rain dog,” a reference to dogs who lose their way when touchstone scents are washed away in storms. Among the lost dogs on the album: gruff, wandering merchant marines (“Singapore”), an accordion player in a slaughterhouse (“Cemetery Polka”), a “jockey full of bourbon” (also the song title), an abandoned, withdrawn woman (“Time”), a “gun street girl,” the old drunks and hustlers of Union Square, and even Waits, himself: Aboard a shipwreck train / Give my umbrella to the Rain Dogs / For I am a Rain Dog, too...

Originally released in 1985 on Island Records, the album is newly remastered for the first time ever from the original ½” flat master tape and personally overseen by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering under the guidance of Waits’ longtime audio engineer, Karl Derfler. The album packaging has also been restored. Rain Dogs includes tracks such as “Downtown Train,” “Clap Hands” and “Jockey Full Of Bourbon.” Available on 180g black vinyl.

Tom Waits - Rain Dogs: Remastered Edition [LP]
$29.99 Video
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Tom Waits

Franks Wild Years: Remastered Edition

CD: $13.99 UNAVAILABLE
Video

Originally released in 1987 on Island Records, Franks Wild Years is Tom Waits’ 10th studio album. Titled for a play of the same name and authored by Waits and his wife, Kathleen Brennan, Franks Wild Years was performed by Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 1986. Franks Wild Years is an iteration of the track “Frank’s Wild Years” from Waits’ 1983 album Swordfishtrombones.

The album divides the story neatly into two acts and although titled “un operachi romantic”, there is no opera in Franks. There is a hilarious touch of operatic styling by Waits himself in the song “Temptation.” His vocal character varies wildly throughout the work’s 17 songs, and is no more impressive than when the gruff, growly singer turns to impeccable Sinatra-esque phrasing on the Vegas number, “Straight To The Top.” While Franks featured a 14-member cast on stage, the album is all-Waits—yet suggests a multitude of characters by virtue of his chameleon vocals. The album is a startling group of lost dreams, bad dreams, dreams that might not even be dreams. The music is nightmarish, ethereal, beautiful. Think broken calliopes played by genius children, horns played at dawn in a graveyard, banjos leaking through practice room walls. Titles evoke Frank’s dime-store Odyssey:  “Straight To The Top,” “Blow Wind Blow,” “Temptation,” “I’ll Be Gone.”  NME ranked the work the number five album of 1987.

Newly remastered for the first time ever from the original ½” flat master tape and personally overseen by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering under the guidance of Waits’ longtime audio engineer, Karl Derfler. The album packaging has also been restored. Franks Wild Years includes tracks such as “Cold Cold Ground,” “Way Down In The Hole” – versions of which were used as the theme music of HBO’s series The Wire –  and “Temptation.” Available as a CD digipack.

Tom Waits - Franks Wild Years: Remastered Edition
$13.99 Video
Quick View

Originally released in 1987 on Island Records, Franks Wild Years is Tom Waits’ 10th studio album. Titled for a play of the same name and authored by Waits and his wife, Kathleen Brennan, Franks Wild Years was performed by Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 1986. Franks Wild Years is an iteration of the track “Frank’s Wild Years” from Waits’ 1983 album Swordfishtrombones.

The album divides the story neatly into two acts and although titled “un operachi romantic”, there is no opera in Franks. There is a hilarious touch of operatic styling by Waits himself in the song “Temptation.” His vocal character varies wildly throughout the work’s 17 songs, and is no more impressive than when the gruff, growly singer turns to impeccable Sinatra-esque phrasing on the Vegas number, “Straight To The Top.” While Franks featured a 14-member cast on stage, the album is all-Waits—yet suggests a multitude of characters by virtue of his chameleon vocals. The album is a startling group of lost dreams, bad dreams, dreams that might not even be dreams. The music is nightmarish, ethereal, beautiful. Think broken calliopes played by genius children, horns played at dawn in a graveyard, banjos leaking through practice room walls. Titles evoke Frank’s dime-store Odyssey:  “Straight To The Top,” “Blow Wind Blow,” “Temptation,” “I’ll Be Gone.”  NME ranked the work the number five album of 1987.

Newly remastered for the first time ever from the original ½” flat master tape and personally overseen by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering under the guidance of Waits’ longtime audio engineer, Karl Derfler. The album packaging has also been restored. Franks Wild Years includes tracks such as “Cold Cold Ground,” “Way Down In The Hole” – versions of which were used as the theme music of HBO’s series The Wire –  and “Temptation.” Available on 180g black vinyl.

Tom Waits - Franks Wild Years: Remastered Edition [LP]
$29.99 Video
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Originally released in 1992 on Island Records, Bone Machine is Tom Waits’ 11th studio album. 5 years after Franks Wild Years, Bone Machine is a return to studio albums for Tom Waits. The album features David Hidalgo, Les Claypool, Brain and Keith Richards and won a GRAMMY for Best Alternative Music Album.

Bone Machine is rather pointedly otherworldly… another edge pusher – his most poetically and sonically daring work yet. Writing again with his longtime collaborator and wife, Kathleen Brennan, Waits acknowledges writing ‘darker’ material saying “A great many songs live there, so that’s where I’ve been digging lately.”

Waits calls the songs on Bone Machine “little movies for the ears.” He sometimes wrote them entirely from a percussion pattern—which he played on array of largely homemade instruments. One, the “conundrum,” was rusted pieces of farm equipment hung from a large iron crucifix. As Waits explained at the time, “I have a lot of very strong rhythmic impulses, but this is not my world. I just pick something up and I hit it, and if I like the sound, it goes on. Sometimes my idiot approach serves the music.”

Mortality is a recurrent theme, from “Dirt In The Ground” (“We’re all gonna be. . .”) to “All Stripped Down,” “The Ocean Doesn’t Want Me” (a tale of contemplated suicide), “Jesus Gonna Be Here,” the rambunctious paean to childhood, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up,” and certainly the broken-hearted, confessional classic Waits ballad, “Whistle Down The Wind.” Waits explained at the time: “Yeah, ultimately, it will be a subject that you deal with. Some deal with it earlier than others, but it will be dealt with. Eventually we’ll all have to line up and kiss the devil’s arse.” Yet the album actually ends upliftingly, with “That Feel” co-written with Keith Richards.

Newly remastered for the first time ever from the original ½” flat master tape and personally overseen by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering under the guidance of Waits’ longtime audio engineer, Karl Derfler. The album packaging has also been restored. Bone Machine includes tracks such as “Goin’ Out West,” “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” and “Jesus Gonna Be Here.” Available as a CD digipack.

Tom Waits - Bone Machine: Remastered Edition
$13.99 Video
Quick View

Originally released in 1992 on Island Records, Bone Machine is Tom Waits’ 11th studio album. 5 years after Franks Wild Years, Bone Machine is a return to studio albums for Tom Waits. The album features David Hidalgo, Les Claypool, Brain and Keith Richards and won a GRAMMY for Best Alternative Music Album.

Bone Machine is rather pointedly otherworldly… another edge pusher – his most poetically and sonically daring work yet. Writing again with his longtime collaborator and wife, Kathleen Brennan, Waits acknowledges writing ‘darker’ material saying “A great many songs live there, so that’s where I’ve been digging lately.”

Waits calls the songs on Bone Machine “little movies for the ears.” He sometimes wrote them entirely from a percussion pattern—which he played on array of largely homemade instruments. One, the “conundrum,” was rusted pieces of farm equipment hung from a large iron crucifix. As Waits explained at the time, “I have a lot of very strong rhythmic impulses, but this is not my world. I just pick something up and I hit it, and if I like the sound, it goes on. Sometimes my idiot approach serves the music.”

Mortality is a recurrent theme, from “Dirt In The Ground” (“We’re all gonna be. . .”) to “All Stripped Down,” “The Ocean Doesn’t Want Me” (a tale of contemplated suicide), “Jesus Gonna Be Here,” the rambunctious paean to childhood, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up,” and certainly the broken-hearted, confessional classic Waits ballad, “Whistle Down The Wind.” Waits explained at the time: “Yeah, ultimately, it will be a subject that you deal with. Some deal with it earlier than others, but it will be dealt with. Eventually we’ll all have to line up and kiss the devil’s arse.” Yet the album actually ends upliftingly, with “That Feel” co-written with Keith Richards.

Newly remastered for the first time ever from the original ½” flat master tape and personally overseen by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering under the guidance of Waits’ longtime audio engineer, Karl Derfler. The album packaging has also been restored. Bone Machine includes tracks such as “Goin’ Out West,” “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” and “Jesus Gonna Be Here.” Available on 180g black vinyl.

Tom Waits - Bone Machine: Remastered Edition [LP]
$29.99 Video
Quick View

2023 Marks 30 years since Tom Waits released The Black Rider. Originally released in 1993 on Island Records, The Black Rider is Tom Waits’ 12th studio album. The Black Rider is a musical comedy/horror collaboration between artists: Robert Wilson (director/designer) writer/Beat guru, William S. Burroughs (text) and Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan (music). Not a cast album, this Island Records release is Tom’s interpretation and performance of the songs he had originally created for the stage production of The Black Rider. The music is a Waitsian concoction of pop, vaudeville, rock, cabaret and blues – a brew that is strangely familiar yet absolutely fresh.

The unlikely source material is rooted in German Romantic literature and the Weber opera, “Der Freischutz” (although Waits’ music does not quote from the Weber score), The story concerns a marksman who makes a pact with the devil (in the guise of a shadowy horseman) in order to win a shooting contest and hence claim his bride.

A cross between the musical, Cabaret and The Threepenny Opera, The Black Rider is brimming with the sort of inspired originality that can only flow from the mind of Tom Waits.

The album is newly remastered for the first time ever from the original ½” flat master tape and personally overseen by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering under the guidance of Waits’ longtime audio engineer, Karl Derfler. The album packaging has also been restored. The Black Rider includes tracks such as “November,” “Russian Dance” and “The Briar And The Rose.” Available as a CD digipack.

Tom Waits - The Black Rider: Remastered Edition
$13.99 Video
Quick View

2023 Marks 30 years since Tom Waits released The Black Rider. Originally released in 1993 on Island Records, The Black Rider is Tom Waits’ 12th studio album. The Black Rider is a musical comedy/horror collaboration between artists: Robert Wilson (director/designer) writer/Beat guru, William S. Burroughs (text) and Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan (music). Not a cast album, this Island Records release is Tom’s interpretation and performance of the songs he had originally created for the stage production of The Black Rider. The music is a Waitsian concoction of pop, vaudeville, rock, cabaret and blues – a brew that is strangely familiar yet absolutely fresh.

The unlikely source material is rooted in German Romantic literature and the Weber opera, “Der Freischutz” (although Waits’ music does not quote from the Weber score), The story concerns a marksman who makes a pact with the devil (in the guise of a shadowy horseman) in order to win a shooting contest and hence claim his bride.

A cross between the musical, Cabaret and The Threepenny Opera, The Black Rider is brimming with the sort of inspired originality that can only flow from the mind of Tom Waits.

The album is newly remastered for the first time ever from the original ½” flat master tape and personally overseen by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering under the guidance of Waits’ longtime audio engineer, Karl Derfler. The album packaging has also been restored. The Black Rider includes tracks such as “November,” “Russian Dance” and “The Briar And The Rose.” Available as a CD digipack.

Tom Waits - The Black Rider: Remastered Edition [LP]
$29.99 Video

        
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