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Tom Waits

 - 

Franks Wild Years

 

    The champagne wishes and caviar dreams of two-bit drifters have been Tom Waits's stock in trade through a fourteen-year career. And this album, subbilled as Un Operachi Romantico in Two Acts and comprising songs drawn from Waits's stage play of the same name (co-written by his wife, Kathleen Brennan), pretty well summarizes his world view. This rags-to-rags tale completes the trilogy that began with 1983's Swordfishtrombones (featuring the song "Frank's Wild Years," in which the protagonist torches his suburban SoCal house and heads... Read More

north on the Hollywood Freeway). Then came 1985's Rain Dogs, which mixed Brecht-Weill drama with Captain Beefheart bizarreness for an effect that conjured up a Saturday-night fish fry in the freak show of a decrepit circus.

But the down-and-out losers, boozers and life abusers of this presentation are the same folk Waits has lived with all along. The story basically follows Frank on a hazy, ill-fated Orphic journey "Straight to the Top (Vegas)" (as one song is titled) through "Temptation," "Way Down in the Hole" and, finally, out on the "Cold Cold Ground." At the road's end lies "Innocent When You Dream (78)," a moral that is told to Frank early on but doesn't hit home until the end, when it is heard in a lovely, tinnily nostalgic rendition.

The songs are alternately (and sometimes simultaneously) bitter and hopeful. Everything from sleazy strip-show blues to cheesy waltzes to supercilious lounge lizardry is given spare, jarring arrangements using various combinations of squawking horns, bashed drums, plucked banjo, snaky double bass, carnival organ and jaunty accordion (the last provided by Los Lobos' David Hidalgo on two tracks). But it's Waits's gravel-pit voice, from which he digs a number of distinct characterizations, that remains the most striking instrument.

Waits neophytes might be better off starting with Rain Dogs or Swordfishtrombones or, better yet, going back to Waits's 1973 debut and enjoying the surreal pleasure of watching the characters and their ringmaster develop from the beginning. But Franks Wild Years works both as an effective teaser for Waits's stage play and on its own downwardly mobile terms. (RS 510)


STEVE HOCHMAN





Tom Waits Discography        Be alerted when this title gets listed  Add Alert

CD
  Artist   Title   Format   Condition   Seller Price    
  Tom Waits   Franks Wild Years
Brand New But Not Sealed - Shop Stock - Island Records, Island Masters, 842 357-2, Imcd 50
  CD   MINT (M)/MINT (M) Spiritus Mus
Croatia
  $7.59     Details
  Tom Waits   Frank's Wild Years
Brand New From A Seller With A High Star Rating 06/15/1990
  CD   BRAND NEW EverCheap
United States
  $9.25     Details
  TOM WAITS   Franks Wild Years
  CD   Action
United Kingdom
  $9.71     Details
  Tom Waits   Franks Wild Years
Usa, Island, 042284235723
  CD   NEW Mantis Music
United States
  $12.94     Details
Tom Waits - Franks Wild Years - 17 Track Cd   Tom Waits   Franks Wild Years - 17 Track Cd
Item Pictured Is The Actual Item Being Offered For Sale. 17 Great Tracks Island, Imcd50, 1987
  CD   EX/EX Folkadelic
United Kingdom
  $12.84     Details
  Tom Waits   Franks Wild Years
Eu, Island Masters/island Records
  CD   Bazelpalace 
Netherlands
  $12.65     Details
  Tom Waits   Franks Wild Years (1987)
  CD   EX Fun Records
Germany
  $14.72     Details
  Tom Waits   Frank's Wild Demos
New Zipperman, Zip-020
  CD   MINT (M)/MINT (M) Extreme Soun
United States
  $15.00     Details
  TOM WAITS   Frank's Wild Years
  CD   EX/EX F-seventies
France
  $37.25     Details
  TOM WAITS   Frank Wild Years (1987)
Eua, Island, 5602
  CD   EX/EX sebo do disc
Brazil
  $57.75     Details
  WAITS TOM   Franks Wild Years
  CD   VG Free Bird
Croatia
  $9.79     Details
  Waits Tom   Franks Wild Years
Island 842357 Special Order
  CD   M- Geoff Winser
United Kingdom
  $11.24     Details
  waits tom   Franks Wild Years CD   CDExpress
Netherlands
  $13.79 - $22.64      Details
  waits tom   Franks Wild Years
056865 cd/ New Copy/ Holland Barcode: 0042284235723 Title: Franks Wild Years Special Order
  CD   CDExpress
Netherlands
  $13.79     Details
  waits tom   Franks Wild Years
187 used, Condition Sleeve/record: Vg++/ Vg++ Island Germany Cd Special Order
  CD   CDExpress
Netherlands
  $22.64     Details
  Waits,tom   Franks Wild Years
Still Sealed Island, 842357
  CD   NEW DustyVinyl19
United States
  $8.62     Details
  Waits,Tom   Franks Wild Years
  CD   NEW CMS Music
United Kingdom
  $9.62     Details
  WAITS,TOM   Frank's Wild Years
June 15, 1990
  CD   NEW GrooveNet
United States
  $9.95     Details
  Waits,Tom   Franks Wild Years
  CD   Alternativem
United States
  $9.99     Details
  Waits,tom   Franks Wild Years
17 Track Uk, Island, 422-842 357-2
  CD   EX EX Steve Fisher
United Kingdom
  $9.63     Details
WAITS, TOM - Franks Wild Years   WAITS,TOM   Franks Wild Years
Holland, Island, 004228423572, 1999 Special Order
  CD   NEW CD Euroxpres
United States
  $16.28     Details
  WAITS,TOM   Frank's Wild Demos CD   Vintage Viny
United States
  $23.00 - $46.00      Details
  WAITS,TOM   Frank's Wild Demos
1987 Studio Demos! A
  CD   Vintage Viny
United States
  $23.00     Details
  WAITS,TOM   Frank's Wild Demos
Rare Demos & Outtakes! Zipperman Demo Series Vol.5 (zipperman)
  CD   Vintage Viny
United States
  $46.00     Details
  Waits,Tom   Franks Wild Years
Items Ships In 3-5 Working Days. 056865
  CD   NEW Leftovers!
Netherlands
  $25.02     Details
WAITS, TOM - Frank's Wild Years   WAITS,TOM   Frank's Wild Years CD   NEW NORTHATLANTI
United States
  $25.84 - $25.87      Details
WAITS, TOM - Frank's Wild Years   WAITS,TOM   Frank's Wild Years
Brand New, In-stock Cd. Ships Fast And Secure. Add To Cart With Confidence! Umgd, 2002300, 7/11/1
  CD   NEW NORTHATLANTI
United States
  $25.84     Details
  WAITS,TOM   Frank's Wild Years
Brand New, In-stock Cd. Ships Fast And Secure. Add To Cart With Confidence! Isl, Isl842357.2, 6/1...
  CD   NEW NORTHATLANTI
United States
  $25.87     Details
  Waits,Tom   Franks Wild Years
Items Ships In 3-5 Working Days. 056865 Special Order
  CD   NEW Discorder
Netherlands
  $26.16     Details

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