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Tom Waits

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Foreign Affairs

 

Tracklist

(Vinyl)
A1   Cinny's Waltz      2:16
A2   Muriel      3:33
A3   I Never Talk To Strangers      3:37
A4   Medley: Jack & Neal / California, Here I Come      5:00
A5   A Sight For Sore Eyes      4:39
B1   Potter's Field      8:38
B2   Burma-Shave      6:32
See more tracks

* Items below may differ depending on the release.

          

Review


The admiring audience that Tom Waits built up with his early work now worries about him in a way that does his derelict's persona proud: when is that old boy gonna straighten up? Closing Time was a quiet classic in 1973, but with The Heart of Saturday Night, Small Change and Nighthawks at the Diner, the singer songwriter's beaten raps, overflowing with pathos and Americana, had turned self-indulgent.

Foreign Affairs, fortunately, shows a resuscitation of Waits' voice and ability to write moving lyrics. "A Sight… Read More

for Sore Eyes," like his earlier "Tom Traubert's Blues." reaches through its borrowed melody to grasp you by the shoulder; the speaker is a still-sharp, piano-playing rummy, desperately lonely and trying to sound offhand.

Likewise. "Burma Shave" cannot be ignored. As elsewhere on this spare, unsweetened album (no overdubs or multitracking). Waits plays his own trailing piano accompaniment as he stacks up fresh, filmic images that make you care about this cowboy punk and the small-town girl who hopped into his wreck. His gruff, stolid singing gives us too little, and a bright trumpet coda gives us too much, but the song's integrity survives.

Waits does repeat some mistakes from his last two albums: the chief sin he can't shake is an overabundance of the facile, researched-and-rehearsed jive talk that is meant to dazzle but in fact fatigues the listener. "Foreign Affair," a song of no musical distinction, piles up smart-guy words just coy enough to fall short of a Cole Porter parody. A second puzzling number is "Barber Shop," which portrays some insufferable Penrod (who talks like Satchmo) bugging two neighborhood barbers.

But at least Waits is, aside from the lengthy "Potter's Field," no longer the rag picker of mission-house cliches that we heard on the four live sides of Nighthanks. His fascination with what Allen Ginsberg called the "spontaneous bop prosody" of Jack Kerouac is hammered into a deft road rap called "Jack & Neal." If "a redhead in a uniform will always get you horny" is not a quote from Dean Moriarty, it deserves to be. The song works as a Keystone Kops montage stitched together with a tenor sax.

It seems that Waits has gotten out from under the seedy scatman's persona that marred his recent work. His singing again shows traces of that gritty but well-modulated, Fred Neil-like style that made Closing Time so insistent; his duet with Bette Midler on "I Never Talk to Strangers" is ragged but right.

Tom Waits is never less than intent and honest—he pushes to his own slow, heartfelt beat. Uneven though Foreign Affairs may be, it shows that Waits is still the kind of performer who can make us say. "You must be reading my mail." (RS 252)


FRED SCHRUERS




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  Artist   Title   Format   Condition   Seller Price    
Tom Waits - Foreign Affairs   Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
Label: Elektra, Published: 1977 (repress)[] Canada, Elektra, Cd1117
  CD   USED recordsale
Germany
$4.36    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
Uk & Europe, Elektra, 7559606182, 1995-03
  CD   GOOD PLUS (G+)/NEAR MINT (NM OR M-) Necromonicon
Belgium
$4.47    
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  TOM WAITS   Foreign Affairs
7559-60618-2 : Ger, Elektra, 1977
  CD   M/EX Rocktrade
United Kingdom
$6.62    
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Foreign Affairs - Tom Waits   Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
9 Track (7559606182) European, Elektra, 7559606182
  CD   EX/EX Vinyl Tap
United Kingdom
$7.93    
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  TOM WAITS   Foreign Affairs
2 copies
CD   Action
United Kingdom
$9.13 - $10.80     
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  TOM WAITS   Foreign Affairs
  CD   Action
United Kingdom
$9.13    
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  TOM WAITS   Foreign Affairs
  CD   Action
United Kingdom
$10.80    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs (1977)
, 3 copies
  CD   EX Fun Records
Germany
$9.57    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
11 copies
CD   BRAND NEW! GENERALLY SEALED. MERLIN MOOSI
United Kingdom
$10.25 - $14.74     
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
Dispatched As Soon As Possible By Independent Uk Seller. Please Contact Me If Item Is Not Dispatc...
  CD   BRAND NEW! GENERALLY SEALED. MERLIN MOOSI
United Kingdom
$10.25    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
Dispatched As Soon As Possible By Independent Uk Seller. Please Contact Me If Item Is Not Dispatc...
  CD   BRAND NEW! GENERALLY SEALED. MERLIN MOOSI
United Kingdom
$14.74    
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TOM WAITS - Foreign Affairs Album   TOM WAITS   Foreign Affairs
Unplayed 9 Track - Cd Album Not Vinyl Copy Eec, Elektra
  CD   EX/EX Record Mill
United Kingdom
$10.30    
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  TOM WAITS   Foreign Affairs
Dispatched As Soon As Possible By Independent Uk Seller. Please Contact Me If Item Is Not Dispatc...
  CD   BRAND NEW! GENERALLY SEALED. MERLIN MOOSI
United Kingdom
$10.40    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
|| Elektra
  CD   ARTMUSIC
Portugal
$12.71    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
Out Of Print U.s.a., Elektra / Wea, 1977
  CD   USED, LIKE NEW Forever Youn
United States
$14.98    
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  tom waits   Foreign Affairs
2 copies
CD   CDExpress
Netherlands
$20.01     
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  tom waits   Foreign Affairs
2,99e+08 cd, Album, Re Elektra 7559-60618-2 Used,cond Me... Special Order
  CD   CDExpress
Netherlands
$20.01    
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  tom waits   Foreign Affairs
Ea1117.2 cd Tom Waits Has Enjoyed A Great Deal Of My Listening Time Over The Past Five Years Or ... Special Order
  CD   CDExpress
Netherlands
$20.01    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
Uk
  CD   EX/EX Vinylshop Re
United Kingdom
$29.00    
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  TOM WAITS   Foreign Affair
Sample Copy, With Obi & Lyrics Japan, Elektra, Wpcr-347, 1995
  CD   M-/M- Japan Pressi
Japan
$34.50    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
Ex Item. Us, Elektra, 11172, 1990-05
  CD   NEAR MINT (NM OR M-)/NEAR MINT (NM OR M-) robtetmarty
Italy
$44.72    
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  waits tom   Foreign Affairs
2 copies
CD   CDExpress
Netherlands
$12.18 - $22.25     
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  waits tom   Foreign Affairs
160594 cd/ New Copy/ Holland Barcode: 0075596061827 Title: Foreign Affairs Special Order
  CD   CDExpress
Netherlands
$12.18    
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  waits tom   Foreign Affairs
75596061827 Special Order
  CD   CDExpress
Netherlands
$22.25    
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Waits Tom - Foreign Affairs Record   Waits Tom   Foreign Affairs
Ger, Elektra 7559606182
  CD   M/ NEW Asbury Park
Italy
$12.52    
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  Waits,Tom   Foreign Affairs
  CD   NEW CMS Music
United Kingdom
$7.05    
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WAITS, TOM - Foreign Affairs LP   WAITS,TOM   Foreign Affairs
9 Track Cd Of Waits' 1977 Album. Russia
  CD   Jack Wolak's
United States
$8.24    
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  Waits,tom   Foreign Affairs
9 Track Eu, Elektra, 7559-60618-2
  CD   EX EX Steve Fisher
United Kingdom
$8.83    
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  Waits,Tom   Foreign Affairs
  CD   AlternativeM
United States
$9.99    
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WAITS, TOM - Foreign Affair   WAITS,TOM   Foreign Affair
Russia, Jpcd9706361
  CD   MINT/MINT Apex Music
Belarus
$11.00    
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  Waits,Tom   Foreign Affairs
Eu, Warner, 7559-60618-2, 13/03/1990 Special Order
  CD   NEW/NEW Polish Music
Poland
$13.81    
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WAITS, TOM - Foreign Affairs CD   WAITS,TOM   Foreign Affairs
Elektra, 7559606182, 5/15/1990
  CD   MINT importcd
Netherlands
$14.52    
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  WAITS,TOM   Foreign Affairs
5/11/90 , 13 copies
  CD   NEW GrooveNet
United States
$16.99    
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Waits, Tom - Foreign Affairs Single   Waits,Tom   Foreign Affairs
Items Ships In 3-5 Working Days.
  CD   NEW Leftovers!
Netherlands
$18.42    
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  Waits,Tom   Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs
  CD   7559-60618-2 Black Rhythm
Netherlands
$24.10    
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  WAITS,TOM   Foreign Affair
Brand New, In-stock Item. Free U.s. Shipping. No Minimum Purchase. Ships Fast And Secure. Add To ..., 19 copies
  CD   NEW NORTH ATLANT
United States
$27.64    
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Waits, Tom - Foreign Affairs EP   Waits,Tom   Foreign Affairs
Tom Waits Foreign Affairs (2010 Japanese Exclusive Limited Edition 9-track Digitally Remastered ...
  CD   EX TO MINT eil / esprit
United Kingdom
$48.53    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
France, Asylum Records, 7e1117, 1977 Special Order
  LP   VERY GOOD PLUS (VG+)/FAIR (F) beatcall
Spain
$10.94    
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  TOM WAITS   Foreign Affairs
  LP   Bridgwater
United Kingdom
$17.65    
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Tom Waits - Foreign Affairs Vinyl   Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
3 copies
LP   VG/EX-/ TOSCA
United States
$21.60 - $31.20     
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Tom Waits - Foreign Affairs Vinyl   Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
Us Original On Asylum; Cover Has Heavier Shelf/edge/spine Wear And A Hint Of Ring Wear, Name Writ...
  LP   VG/EX-/ TOSCA
United States
$21.60    
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Tom Waits - Foreign Affairs Vinyl   Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
1977 Us Original; Cover With Light Ring/shelf/edge Wear, Slight Yellowing And Some Pin Holes Bott...
  LP   VG/EX+/ TOSCA
United States
$26.40    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
1977 Us Original; Cover With Light Ring/shelf/corner Wear And Lighter Creases, Lp Is Ex- To Ex Wi...
  LP   VG+/EX/ TOSCA
United States
$31.20    
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  TOM WAITS   Foreign Affairs
W.inner. Asylum 7e 1117. Minor Wear On Cover Aus
  LP   VG+/NM Vicious Slot
Australia
$27.76    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
Original 1970s Edition Usa, Asylum, 7e-1117
  LP   NM bluenoteplus
United States
$30.00    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
Actual Images, Factory Cut Corner. Us, Asylum Records, 7e1117, 1977
  LP   NEAR MINT (NM OR M-)/NEAR MINT (NM OR M-) Audio Nerd
United States
$31.99    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
Asylum 7e-1117, 1977, Light Blue Label, Lyric Sleeve, Jacket Near M- vinyl Record Album
  LP   VG+/M- Brothers Rec
United States
$38.50    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
Label: Asylum Records, Published: 1977 Scratch Mark On Cover A Mr. Bones Production Every Perf...
  LP   EX / NM recordsale
Germany
$40.29    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
9 Track With Inner (k53068) German, Asylum, K53068, 1977
  LP   VG+/EX Vinyl Tap
United Kingdom
$46.05    
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  TOM WAITS   Foreign Affairs
White Label Promo Copy, With Obi & Insert Japan, Asylum, P-10432y, 1977
  LP   M-/EX+ Japan Pressi
Japan
$57.50    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs (+ Insert )
Usa, Asylum
  LP   EX+/EX+ Vinylshop Re
United Kingdom
$62.00    
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  Waits,Tom   Foreign Affairs
Vintage 1977 Album With Lyrics Inner Sleeve. 9 Tracks Asylum, 7e-1117
  LP   VG++/NM Gatefold
United States
$22.00    
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  Waits,Tom   Foreign Affairs
Asylum 53068, Reissue, + Inner Sleeve, Cover Slightly Scratched De, 1977
  LP   VG(+)/VG+ Bluesite
Germany
$24.59    
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  Waits,Tom   Foreign Affairs
2 copies
LP   VG/VG+ Bananas
United States
$29.00 - $39.00     
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  Waits,Tom   Foreign Affairs
Bumped Corners, Watermark On Edge s Asylum, 7e-1117
  LP   VG/VG+ Bananas
United States
$29.00    
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  Waits,Tom   Foreign Affairs
White Label Promo, Edge Wear s Asylum, 7e-1117
  LP   VG+/VG++ Bananas
United States
$39.00    
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  Waits,Tom   Foreign Affairs
3 copies
LP   M- Audiophileus
United States
$44.00 - $110.00     
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  Waits,Tom   Foreign Affairs
Beautiful 1977 White Label Promo Rarity In Custom Inner Sleeve Gold Promo Stamp On Back Jacket ...
  LP   M- Audiophileus
United States
$44.00    
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  Waits,Tom   Foreign Affairs
Factory Sealed 1977 Original With Custom Inner Sleeve Clean Promotional Cut Out Hole Crisp Co...
  LP   SS Audiophileus
United States
$110.00    
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  Tom Waits   Foreign Affairs
Usa/lp w/lyrics 1977 Asylum 7e-1117
  Other   VG/EX A&J Viny
Japan
$16.72    
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