Swordfishtrombones

by Tom Waits

(1982) Island #422-842469-4

Personnel Tom Waits (piano, vocals, fiddle, synthesizer, harmonium, organ) A whole bunch of other people (a whole bunch of other instruments)
Description Tales of losers and weirdos wound around eclectic arrangements of instruments.
Posted By Maciek Sakrejda (8047)
Directory Recordings: Other
Rate/Review This Resource
Overall Rating: 4.7 (of 5)
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From 3 votes total

Member Reviews


On 8/15/2002, Karl Haikara (2330) posted:
Overall Rating:
The first album of dark landscapes of hookers and screams, and bone machines running wild. Plenty of metal rattles and very little of strings, and just a bit of piano.
Perfect for your darker moods when you feel like the whole world is one dark scum bucket.
On 6/15/2000, Josh Lopes (152) posted:
Overall Rating:
Tom waits is definitely a must for people looking to expand their tastes without going to far away from the guitar. Although Marc Ribot isn't playing guitar on this album (try Big Time!), it is still full of a yummy type of weirdness. I just wish that someone would tell Tom that he isn't Rod stewart or James Taylor, and that he should stop singing the ballads.
On 12/11/1999, Maciek Sakrejda (8047) posted:
Overall Rating:
    Tom Waits is definitely not for everybody, but I think he's great. I haven't heard anything else from him but I hear this album was a turning point for him, and I think he sure made the right turn. No one can make me feel as bad as Tom Waits. And I mean that in a good way.

    The songs paint pictures of lost love and broken lives, and the music that backs them works very well. On "Shore Leave", for example, Waits accomplishes an Eastern feel very unorthodoxly, and it really gives a feel of the back alleys of Hong Kong in the rain. His warm though creepy growl works very well for the subject matter, and especially on stompers like "Underground" or the faster "Down, Down, Down" (which reminds me of Dylan's version of "You're Gonna Need My Help Someday"), where he sounds positively psychotic.

    I recommend this highly, though, again, it's definitely not for everyone. It's a sort of Leonard-Cohen-meets-Frank-Zappa combination...