Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones (1983)

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Artist & Band: Tom Waits
Title Of Album: Swordfishtrombones
Year Of Release: September 1983 (Audio CD (June 15, 1990))
Country: USA
Label: Island Records
Genre, Style: Jazz, Blues
Type, Quality: FLAC (IMG, +CUE), lossless; mp3, CBR 320 kbps
Total Time: 41:48
Total Size: FLAC - 188.64 MB; mp3 - 96.22 MB

Альбом «Swordfishtrombones», записанный в августе 1982, стал прорывом Уэйтса в другую музыку — жесткую, но трогательную. Многие профессиональные музыканты считая ее непрофессиональной и безвкусной, отмечают богатство палитры использованных инструментов и неповторимую, своеобразную мелодику.

Во многом экспериментам способствовало то, что он подписал контракт с лейблом Island Records, известным своей поддержкой нестандартных идей. В альбом вошли такие разные песни, как жесткая Underground, напоминающая блюз Shore Leave, и грохочущая 16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought-Six, трогательная Town With No Cheer, резкая по тексту Franks Wild Years, мелодичная Swordfishtrombones и полная чувств Soldiers Things.

Уэйтс, ранее игравший на пианино или гитаре, начал уставать от этих инструментов: «Руки – они как собаки, идущие в те же места, в которых они уже были. Следует быть осторожным, когда игра перестаёт происходить в голове, и переходит в пальцы. Нужно отбить у пальцев их привычки, или музыкальные исследования будут закончены, и начнётся игра только стандартной приятной музыки. Я пытаюсь, преодолеть привычки, играя на незнакомых мне инструментах, таких как фагот или вотерфон (англ. waterphone).»

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Few artists ever seek to completely re-invent themselves on record, and fewer still make the transformation as completely successfully as did Tom Waits. His 70's albums are revered for their delicate, string-landen piano work with Waits croaking out lyrical strands of barstool philosophizing in a pseudo-Louis Armstrong growl. These albums are good, strong efforts, but they had become somewhat predictable by the time of 1980's Heart Attack & Vine (although that album, and it's predecessor, Blue Valentine, had started to introduce new elements into Waits's music.) Swordfishtrombones, then, was a complete re-invention. Out go the strings and piano work (almost entirely in the case of the former, much less overt in the case of the latter), out go to late night bar-obsessed Beat poetry of the lyrics, out goes the Louis Armstrong growl. This album, instead, featured light, sparse, percussion-driven arrangements, with chugging basslines and occasional freakish burts of kaleidoscopic guitar. Lyrically, it was still drenched in weirdness, but moreso than ever - Waits's tales range from the insane poetry that would come to dominate his next album, Rain Dogs (Underground, Shore Leave), to his other typical 80's style song that he still leans on heavily in concert when he plays (16 Shells, Down, Down, Down), to the outright bizzarre and hilarous (Frank's Wild Years, In The Neighborhood.) We also see his vocals take on a more Howlin' Wolf-esque leaning - one critic described the album as sounding like "The Three Penny Opera as sung by Howlin' Wolf." Although this was the prototype for all the rest of his albums since it, it can be a bit hard to get used to (not that all of his albums aren't), if you are used to his earlier efforts. But, like any great album, it takes some time to grow on you. After several listens, you will come to appreciate that this is an album of unique genius. Rain Dogs would be the apex of this era of Tom's songwriting, and his masterpiece may indeed have come in 1992 with Bone Machine, but Swordfishtrombones is a brave, admirable total re-invention the likes of which we almost never see. It's an essential Waits album.

Song title:
01. Underground [02:01]
02. Shore Leave [04:18]
03. Dave The Butcher [02:20]
04. Johnsburg, Illinois [01:33]
05. 16 Shells From A 30.6 [04:33]
06. Town With No Cheer [04:28]
07. In The Neighbourhood [03:07]
08. Just Another Sucker On The Vine [01:46]
09. Frank's Wild Years [01:53]
10. Swordfishtrombone [03:08]
11. Down, Down, Down [02:16]
12. Soldier's Things [03:23]
13. Gin Soaked Boy [02:24]
14. Trouble Braids [01:18]
15. Rainbirds [03:14]

Musicians:
Tom Waits - Vocals, Piano, Harmonium, Hammond B-3 Organ, Synthesizer, Chair, Freedom Bell
Randy Aldcroft - Trombone, Baritone Horn
Ronnie Barron - Hammond Organm
Eric Bikales - Organ
Anthony Clark Stewart - Bagpipes
Greg Cohen - Acoustic Bass, Bass
Victor Feldman - Marimba, Bass Marimba, Snare, Hammond B-3 Organ, Bass Drum, Bass Drum with Rice, Snare Drum, Brake Drum, African Talking Drum, Dabuki Drum, Conga, Tambourine, Bells, Shaker, Bass Boo Bams, Bell Plate
Richard Gibbs - Glass Harmonica
Carlos Guitarlos - Electric Guitar
Stephen Taylor Arvizu Hodges - Drums, Glass Harmonica, Cymbals, Parade Drum, Parade Bass Drum
Dick (Slyde) Hyde - Trombone
Bill Reichenback - Trombone
Joe Romano - Trumpet, Trombone
Clark Spangler - Synthesizer Program
Fred Tackett - Electric Guitar, Banjo Guitar
Larry Taylor - Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass
Francis Thumm - Glass HArmonica, Metal Aunglongs

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