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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)


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

  Artist   Title   Format   Condition   Seller Price    
  Tom Waits   Franks Wild Years
Nm/nm Europe, Island Records, 842 357-2
  CD   M-/M- vakuum
  $4.26     Details
Tom Waits - Franks Wild Years   Tom Waits   Franks Wild Years
Label: Island Records Ltd., Published: 1987 Europe, Island Masters, 8423572
  CD   USED recordsale
  $5.72     Details
  TOM WAITS   Frank Wild Years
Imcd 50 : 17 Tracks Europe, Island Records, Imcd50
  CD   M/M Rocktrade
United Kingdom
  $5.83     Details
  TOM WAITS   Franks Wild Years
  CD   Action
United Kingdom
  $7.62     Details
  Tom Waits   Franks Wild Years
Eu, Island Masters/island Records
  CD   Bazelpalace 
  $10.64     Details
  Tom Waits   Franks Wild Years (1987)
  CD   EX Fun Records
  $10.82     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   Franks Wild Years
Ex Item. Europe, Island Records, 258216, 1987-08
  CD   NEAR MINT (NM OR M-)/NEAR MINT (NM OR M-) robtetmarty
  $42.55     Details
  Tom Waits - Franks Wild Years - CD   Franks Wild Years - Tom Waits - Cd
Dispatched As Soon As Possible By Independent Uk Seller. Please Contact Me If Item Is Not Dispatc...
United Kingdom
  $8.49     Details
  waits tom   Franks Wild Years
056865 cd/ New Copy/ Holland Barcode: 0042284235723 Title: Franks Wild Years Special Order
  CD   CDExpress
  $11.59     Details
  waits tom   Frank's Wild Years
42284235723 cd Label: Island Barcode: 42284235723 / Units In Set: 1 New Copy Special Order
  CD   CDExpress
  $15.85     Details
  waits tom   Frank Wild Years -shm-cd-
S32730 cd/ New Copy/ Japan Import Japan Barcode: 4988031187951 Title: Frank Wild Years -shm-cd- Special Order
  CD   CDExpress
  $45.64     Details
  Waits,Tom   Franks Wild Years
  CD   NEW CMS Music
United Kingdom
  $5.88     Details
  Waits,tom   Franks Wild Years
17 Track Uk, Island, 422-842 357-2
  CD   EX EX Steve Fisher
United Kingdom
  $7.36     Details
  Waits,tom   Franks Wild Years
Still Sealed Island, 842357
  CD   NEW DustyVinyl19
United States
  $8.62     Details
  WAITS,TOM   Frank's Wild Years
  CD   NEW GrooveNet
United States
  $9.95     Details
  Waits,Tom   Franks Wild Years
  CD   AlternativeM
United States
  $9.99     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   Frank's Wild Years
Brand New, In-stock Item. Free U.s. Shipping. No Minimum Purchase. Ships Fast And Secure. Add To ...
United States
  $27.64     Details
WAITS, TOM - Frank Wild Years -shm-cd-   WAITS,TOM   Frank Wild Years -shm-cd-
Japan Import Universal, Uicy77963, 11/23/2016
  CD   MINT importcd
  $38.28     Details

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