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Comment: Tom Waits - Bone Machine, LP, Album, Unofficial, Sleeve: (Very Good + ) , ILPS 9993
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Bone Machine [VINYL]


Price: £199.99
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Tom Waits, according to the esteemed American critic Robert Hilburn, is "clearly one of the most important figures of the modern pop era". It's been just over 30 years since Tom Waits made his recording debut. In that time his music has taken adventurous twists and turns, from confessional country-blues and jazz-flavored lounge to primal rock and avant-garde musical ... Read more in Amazon's Tom Waits Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Bone Machine [VINYL] + Mule Variations + Rain Dogs
Price For All Three: £216.83

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Product details

  • Vinyl
  • Label: Island Records (2)
  • ASIN: B0000583AZ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 623,405 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan James Romley on 31 Jan. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Bone Machine, by Tom Waits, is an album as eerie, desolate, shambolic and claustrophobic as its title might suggest. Really, there is no adequate way of describing the songs, sound, style or production, without falling back on descriptions like rustic, desolate, gothic, bleak, worn, weary, rusted and disturbed, with Waits stripping away any lingering sense of the lounge-jazz veneer that permeated through the slumbering melancholy of his pre-Swordfishtrombones output, to instead, create something that is much more discomforting and menacing, in terms of sound and presentation. The songs are often quite minimal, featuring piano, guitars and a smattering of horns and solo strings, and that constant percussion, from the boners on the opening track, to the fierce clatter and cacophony of something like All Stripped Down, in which the percussions sounds like anything and everything from drum sticks on biscuit tins and heavy metal doors being violently slammed shut.
Lyrically, the album is as uncomfortable as the music and production, with the first song adopting the frantic perspective of cornball 50's sci-fi with the title 'Earth Died Screaming', to subsequent tracks like Dirt in the Ground, The Ocean Doesn't Want Me, Murder in the Red Barn and I Don't Wanna Grow Up, which seem to have an unhealthy preoccupation with old age, failure, death, bereavement, murder and decay. The album switches between loud, vibrant, carnivalesque tracks with a fuller band performance and robust, theatrical vocals from Waits, and more restrained numbers, which recall the late night minimalist misery of albums like Closing Time and Small Change.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 April 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Encoded within its grain are the memories of a dead friend, who would place these CDs to retell the most surreal, dirty, cynical deadbeat true life stories about the abyss of life, all floundering on the husk of a depraved human mis-tery sailing on a sewer pipe. After undertaking his Dave Allen meandering monologue for thirty minutes, in a form of hypnotism, dashing a twist of surrealistic lemon, with a hint of bitters and convert the full combustible mixture into a howl festival. Meanwhile he would savoir a short sharp barb as the end point for his final delivery, to prick any pretension.

Staying in his flat I discovered the full breadth of Tom Waits, under layers of skunk, Stella and mirth. Tom Waits and Nick Cave were favorite takes on the cock eyed world that swirled outside. This record and the ones before it, made in the 1990's whisk me back into a time capsule, of bleak cynical chimes, as the percussion shakes the chicken bones to the various pulses inhabiting a body, wrist, heart, brain and lung breath, all shifting according to their internal rhythm. A raucous growl emits from the stomach and pushes its way up through the voice box to deliver a verdict on all external appearances. We have the junked up yard of "Earth Dies Screaming," some maudlin maladies and a deep central european angst peering through the shutters of a garbage can, to clang its own version of a beat held within.

Surreal music played at 2am in a god forsaken mid western town by a bunch of heads who are ex communicated from the local church, high on Satan's weed, letting their subconscious out in a heaving, drunken frenzy emitting a white light directly to an emotional beam up ahead.

About sums up this record, for me at least.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. J. Middleton on 28 May 2000
Format: Audio CD
I bought this CD a few months ago, listened to it once, then put it away. Something made me take it out the other night, I have been listening to it every night before I fall asleep. It's glued to my CD player. Best tracks are the primal, rocking "Going Out West", the bluesy "Dirt in the Ground", the beautiful "Who Are You" and "Whistle Down the Wind", and the poem "The Ocean Doesn't Want Me", about a man contemplating suicide.
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By H. Coverley on 10 Nov. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Next to Mule Variations and Rain Dogs, this is my favourite Waits albulm. It seems almost cheerful in its delivery of dark and disturbing lyrics. Its distorted vocals accentuate rather than harm Waits' vocal talent (sort of like an anti-autotuning).

It starts with the eerie "Earth Died Screaming", with its unorthodox tempo and mix of gothic rock and country, delivered with a voice reminiscent of Captain Beefheart with a violent cold.

The deliciously deranged and sour "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" is one of the original songs that made me fall in love with him.

Also notable is the bluesy "Jesus Gonna Be Here", a beautiful representation of Waits' roots in the classic blues stylings of Howlin' Wolf and going back to Blind Willie Johnson, as well as the haunting tunes "That Feel" and "Dirt In the Ground".

The crowning song is surely the industrial-folk-punk "Going Out West". Any attempt to describe this song would destroy its dark magic; it has to be experienced to be known.

If you are already a Waits fan and still don't have this, what the hell is wrong with you?! If you're not a fan, but you want to give Waits a try, I'd say first listen to Rain Dogs; if you like that, I'm sure you'll love this.
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