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  • Published: Willowdale, Ont. : Island, [1987], p1983.
  • Year Published: 1983
  • Description: 1 disque : numérique ; 12 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: CD

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 042284246927


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by Waits, Tom, 1949-

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Where To Find It

Call number: CD Rock Waits Swordfish

Additional Details

Disque compact.

Underground -- Shore leave -- Dave the butcher (instrumental) -- Johnsburg, Illinois -- 16 shells from a thirty-ought-six -- Town with no cheer -- In the neighborhood --Just another sucker on the vine (instrumental) -- Frank's wild years -- Swordfishtrombone -- Down, down, down -- Soldier's things -- Gin soaked boy -- Trouble's braids -- Rainbirds (instrumental).

Tom Waits, voix, piano, autres instruments ; accompagné de musiciens.

Community Reviews

Franks and

Swordfishtrombones is an underground carnival tent packed with gin soaked sailors playing shotguns for musical instruments. Tom Waits is center stage, on stilts with a megaphone, hollering out the dance steps, and his wife and co-composer, Kathleen Brennan, is keeping them all in tune.

This album is the advent of the falsetto howling Tom Waits. The mule one with plows for feet. We'd grown to love the boozy bluesman Waits, surrounded by his compatriots, the lowdown and the bitter. We'd made friends with the oddballs, freaks, and disenfranchised, but on this record, they actually come home with us.

Songs like the stomping, smog-caked, "Underground" were nowhere to be found amidst the barlight ballads on Small Change or One From the Heart, but here the song is Waits' toothless concierge, the opening track inviting you "down, down, down" the rabbit hole. "16 Shells from a Thirty-ought-six" is best served, as 33 1/3 writer David Smay says, as a karaoke tune when you're home alone shouting along and pointing at nothing in particular.

Swordfishtrombones is not Waits' best -- I'd reserve that for his next album, Rain Dogs -- as I think the three instrumentals detract from his most compelling artistic aspects: his voice and lyrics. But it is a great first step in a new and more dynamic reshaping of his music, vision, and persona.

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