This 1992 album was Tom Waits' darkest release yet. Full of dark "cyber drama" and vicious guitar strings, he had totally dropped his piano onto the city sidewalk. Here we find Goin' Out West, Murder In The Red Barn, and the delicate suicide story, The Ocean Doesn't Want Me. Waits' voice sounds stepped on and burned out, but the songs are more amazing than ever because of it.
An excerpt from Bone Machine's-
Well they've stopped trying to hold him
With mortar, stone and chain
He broke out of every prison
Well the boots mount the staircase
The door is flung back open
He's not there for he has risen
He's not there for he has risen
Well he once killed a man with a guitar string
He's been seen at the table with kings
Well, he once saved a baby from drowning
There are those who say beneath his coat there are wings
Tom Waits' fifth studio album, from 1978, Blue Valentine is an amazing work of art. This album was really the turning point between classic Waits, and the more avant-garde Waits. His voice became much more gravelly in his hiatus, and he added more low-lifes and hard-lucks to the songs. One of the best songs he has ever recorded is here, Romeo Is Bleeding, along with $29.00, and Blue Valentines.
An excerpt from Blue Valentine's-
A Sweet Little Bullet From A Pretty Blue Gun
I'd rather die before I wake
Like Marilyn Monroe
And throw my dreams out in
The street and the
Rain will make em grow
1. The twelfth song on Tom Waits' '85 album, Rain Dogs. It is a chilling, but beautiful, description of the bad part of town.
2. A street corner, or part of town know for prostitution, drugs, and crime. A hooker here could be called a Hennepin girl. Cops would be crooked, the food rotten, the bars bloodied, and the sky dark.
Well, it's 9th & Hennepin
And all the donuts have
Names that sound like prostitutes
And the moon's teeth marks are
On the sky like a tarp thrown over all this
And the broken umbrellas like
Dead birds and the steam
Comes out of the grill like
The whole goddamned town is ready to blow.
Closing Time was Tom Waits' debut album, from 1973. It held twelve beautiful tracks, and lasted a great forty-five minutes. Some highlights from the album are Ol' 55, Ice Cream Man, and Grapefruit Moon. The music relies heavily on Waits' exceptional piano-playing skills, and his vocals.
An excerpt from Closing Time's ninth track-
Ice Cream Man
Clickin' by your house about two forty-five
With a sidewalk Sundae Strawberry Surprise,
I got a cherry popsicle right on time
A big stick, mamma, that'll blow your mind
'Cause I'm your ice cream man,
I'm a one-man band (yeah)
I'm your ice cream man, honny,
I'll be good to you.
This album was Tom Wait's 1987 release. In all actuality, it was the soundtrack to a play of the same name that Waits had written and starred in, it was about a murderous accordion player. One of his most popular songs, Innocent When You Dream, is on the album. More Than Rain is here with I'll Be Gone, as well. It is a sad sort of album, but with plenty of up tempo music and a bit of old style jazziness to it.
An excerpt from Frank's Wild Years'
Straight Up To The Top (Rhumba)-
I'm going straight up to the top
Up where the air is fresh and clean
I know that I will never stop, no no
Until I know I'm wild and free
I'm like a champagne bubble
Pop pop pop
Tom Waits' sixth album, from 1980, had nine tracks and lasted for forty-five glorious minutes. As soon as it starts playing you get a smooth blast of drum, and a jagged slice of guitar. Half of the album's songs are jumpy and dangerous, while the other half are slow and beautiful. Some high points are Jersey Girl - a love song, and 'Til The Money Runs Out, a loud-mouth fighting song.
An excerpt from Heartattack and Vine's-
I shot the morning in the back
With m' red wings on
I told the sun he'd better go back down
And if I can find a book of matches
I'm goin' to burn this hotel down
You got to tell me brave captain
Why are the wicked so strong
How do the angels get to sleep
When the devil leaves the porch-light on
A term coined by Tom Waits. It's quite obviously just heart attack without a space, but it is taken to mean a life and death of shit and revelry. The word was used in the title for his 1980 album, Heartattack and Vine, which had a song of the same name.
An excerpt from Heartattack And Vine
From the album Heartattack And Vine
by Tom Waits,
"See that little Jersey girl in the see-through top
With the peddle pushers sucking on a soda pop
Well I bet she's still a virgin but it's only twenty-five 'til nine
You can see a million of 'em on heartattack and vine
Better off in Iowa against your scrambled eggs
Than crawling down Cahuenga on a broken pair of legs
You'll find your ignorance is blissful every goddamn time
You're waitin' for the RTD on heartattack and vine"