Tom Waits' "Swordfishtrombones" is the best musical work of all time.
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Factor

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As the title says, "Swordfishtrombones" by Tom Waits is the best single item of music of all times.



Don't bother responding to this thread unless you are in complete agreement. I will accept no conflicting opinions on the matter.
 
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blessingx

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You're absolutely right, though my friend, blessingx, says it's not even Waits best work (Franks Wild Years).
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Factor
As the title says, "Swordfishtrombones" by Tom Waits is the best single item of music of all times.




Even better than the New York Dolls?
 
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sno1man

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Calling one work by Tom Waits his best is like unequivocally saying that chocolate cake is better than prime rib.

That being said,

I submit 4 since they are all so different

Closing Time
Rain Dogs
Swordfish Trombones
Franks Wild Years
 
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rextrade

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great--been meaning to post a "recommend me some Tom Waits" thread.
 
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definitely one of my favorite albums. i also agree that, were i stranded on a desert island with only one tom waits cd to pick, i'd take Frank's Wild Years.

but the glorious triumvirate of Rain Dogs, swordfishtrombones and Frank's Wild Years qualifies as one of the most brilliant spans of any popular musician's career... up there with elvis costello's first five or six albums and frank zappa's stretch between the Grand Wazoo and One Size Fits All.
 
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blessingx

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Rain Dogs
Swordfishtrombones
Franks Wild Years

IMO aren't cake/steak different as they're usually called his cabaret trilogy, however

Closing Time
Rain Dogs
Bone Machine
Black Rider
Mule Variations

might be.


Many would call the above trilogy the musts, but I'd go one from each period

3 for 1 Box Set (okay cheating) or Asylum Years
Franks Wild Years or Beautiful Maladies
Mule Variations

as an intro. Plus for whatever it's worth every few years I keep going back to Bone Machine. FWY and MV get the most listens though.

There was a really great early anthology, however it was never released on CD. If anyone wants to reconstruct it with MP3s, etc. below is the track listing.

1. Old '55
2. Diamonds On My Windshield
3. Looking For The Heart Of Saturday Night
4. I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You
5. Martha
6. Tom Traubert's Blues
7. Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me), The
8. I Never Talk To Strangers
9. Somewhere (from "West Side Story")
10. Burma Shave
11. Jersey Girl
12. San Diego Serenade
13. Sight For Sore Eyes, A
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by blessingx
<snip>
3 for 1 Box Set (okay cheating) or Asylum Years
Franks Wild Years or Beautiful Maladies
Mule Variations<snip>



good suggestions, except i personally hate anthologies... so for the first period i'd recommend Small Change or Nighthawks at the Diner (severely underrated, IMHO).
 
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blessingx

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Saw this today and thought it was funny.
So, here's the question: how do you go from James Taylor comparisons to being mentioned in the same breath as weirdos Harry Partch, Captain Beefheart and William S. Burroughs? And the answer is: I don't know. Ask Tom Waits.
 
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Factor

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I'd say Swordfishtrombones is the best album of the Frank trilogy, and for the earlier albums it's a very tight race between Nighthawks, Blue Valentine and Foreign Affairs. If you told me that any of those three was the best album ever recorded I wouldn't argue. The problem with Closing Time for me is that despite the great songwriting, I enjoy the performances on Early Years better.

Somehow, even though I probably consider Tom Waits to be my favorite musician, the only album of his I've heard after Franks is Alice. I'm waiting on all of his late 80's-->current material until I own every single worthwhile thing he did before that.

Also, if there's anyone here who is into Waits but not into Nick Cave, you should remedy this immediately by picking up Tender Prey or Murder Ballads. I just got into Cave a few months ago and I'm totally pissed at myself that I didn't check him out sooner.
 
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How similar to Rain Dogs is it?

Rain Dogs was maybe the first Head-fi recommended album that I bought, but I don't really like it that much. Although I haven't listened to it for about three months, so maybe I will do that later today...
 
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Factor

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Rain Dogs is very similar to Swordfishtrombones but a half-notch less consistent, in the second half especially. It's also a tad more wily and carnivalesque where Swordfishtrombones is melancholy and understated. If you don't like one I'm guessing you won't like the other... but then again, you should like both, so maybe you just need to find the right in-point. The Frank trilogy is pretty inaccessible after all. Try going for some of his earlier stuff. Small Change or Nighthawks would make good in-points I think.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Factor
Also, if there's anyone here who is into Waits but not into Nick Cave, you should remedy this immediately by picking up Tender Prey or Murder Ballads. I just got into Cave a few months ago and I'm totally pissed at myself that I didn't check him out sooner.


Tender Prey is a fantastic album. i recommend you next pick up Kicking Against the Pricks, an unbelievable album of cover songs. also, From Her to Eternity is an (the?) essential Nick Cave album.

his stuff after Let Love In doesn't really turn me on much. a little too croony n moody. though his latest album is supposedly great.

oh, and rent the Wim Wenders movie, Wings of Desire. Cave has a brilliant cameo at the end.

"This is a song about a girl..."
 
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