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Tom Waits - Rain Dogs

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Rain Dogs

Tom Waits

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With its jarring rhythms and unusual instrumentation -- marimba, accordion, various percussion -- as well as its frequently surreal lyrics, Rain Dogs is very much a follow-up to Swordfishtrombones, which is to say that it sounds for the most part like The Threepenny Opera being sung by Howlin' Wolf. The chief musical difference is the introduction of guitarist Marc Ribot, who adds his noisy leads to the general cacophony. But Rain Dogs is sprawling where its predecessor had been focused: Tom Waits' lyrics here sometimes are imaginative to the point of obscurity, seemingly chosen to fit the rhythms rather than for sense. In the course of 19 tracks and 54 minutes, Waits sometimes goes back to the more conventional music of his earlier records, which seems like a retreat, though such tracks as the catchy "Hang Down Your Head," "Time," and especially "Downtown Train" (frequently covered and finally turned into a Top Ten hit by Rod Stewart five years later) provide some relief as well as variety. Rain Dogs can't surprise as Swordfishtrombones had, and in his attempt to continue in the direction suggested by that album, Waits occasionally borders on the chaotic (which may only be to say that, like most of his records, this one is uneven). But much of the music matches the earlier album, and there is so much of it that that is enough to qualify Rain Dogs as one of Waits' better albums.
© William Ruhlmann /TiVo

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Rain Dogs

Tom Waits

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1
Singapore
00:02:44

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Clap Hands
00:03:46

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Cemetery Polka
00:01:46

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Jockey Full Of Bourbon
00:02:46

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Tango Till They're Sore
00:02:51

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Big Black Mariah
00:02:43

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Kathleen Brennan, Producer

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Diamonds And Gold
00:02:32

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Hang Down Your Head
00:02:31

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Time
00:03:54

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Kathleen Brennan, Producer

℗ 1985 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

10
Rain Dogs
00:02:55

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Midtown (Instrumental)
00:01:03

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
9th & Hennepin
00:01:56

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Gun Street Girl
00:04:37

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Kathleen Brennan, Producer

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
Union Square
00:02:23

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
Blind Love
00:04:20

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

16
Walking Spanish
00:03:05

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

17
Downtown Train
00:03:49

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

18
Bride Of Rain Dog (Instrumental)
00:01:08

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

19
Anywhere I Lay My Head
00:02:47

Tom Waits, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album Description

With its jarring rhythms and unusual instrumentation -- marimba, accordion, various percussion -- as well as its frequently surreal lyrics, Rain Dogs is very much a follow-up to Swordfishtrombones, which is to say that it sounds for the most part like The Threepenny Opera being sung by Howlin' Wolf. The chief musical difference is the introduction of guitarist Marc Ribot, who adds his noisy leads to the general cacophony. But Rain Dogs is sprawling where its predecessor had been focused: Tom Waits' lyrics here sometimes are imaginative to the point of obscurity, seemingly chosen to fit the rhythms rather than for sense. In the course of 19 tracks and 54 minutes, Waits sometimes goes back to the more conventional music of his earlier records, which seems like a retreat, though such tracks as the catchy "Hang Down Your Head," "Time," and especially "Downtown Train" (frequently covered and finally turned into a Top Ten hit by Rod Stewart five years later) provide some relief as well as variety. Rain Dogs can't surprise as Swordfishtrombones had, and in his attempt to continue in the direction suggested by that album, Waits occasionally borders on the chaotic (which may only be to say that, like most of his records, this one is uneven). But much of the music matches the earlier album, and there is so much of it that that is enough to qualify Rain Dogs as one of Waits' better albums.
© William Ruhlmann /TiVo

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