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Orphans [12" VINYL] Single


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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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Product details

  • Vinyl (17 Aug 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Single
  • Label: Epitaph
  • ASIN: B002WYKGOC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,701 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards is a spectacular musical journey, which visits almost every genre of American song tradition.
Now officially RIAA-certified gold, this box set redefines the words "Deluxe" or "Collectors Edition." With 7 LPs of 180 gram vinyl, six previously unreleased songs, a 32-page book featuring lyrics and insight, and a beautiful hardbound box,the collection captures the full scope of Tom Waits' shamanic powers as a vocalist, literary lyricist, romantic melodist, innovative arranger and pioneer of sonic worlds.

The set, which took over three years to compile and record, is grouped by genre with songs guaranteed to move and shake the heart, the body, the mind and most unquestionably the soul.

Each of the albums separately arranged and sub-titled - "Brawlers," "Bawlers" and "Bastards" to encapsulate the full range of Waits' nomadic scope of musical styles.

Brawlers is packed with full throated juke joint stomp, boogies and riotous blues. It's roadhouse Waits,..He chugs, whistles and screams. It's primal steaming surreal blues. He channels the Stones, Beefheart, Muddy Waters and T-Rex. One new one, "Low Down"is raw garage rock with Waits' 20 year old son, Casey on drums and San Francisco's white trash blues icon, Ron Hacker, on guitar.

Bawlers- Lonesome ballads about the sadness at the end of the road are framed by tender songs of innocence and green hope. The plaintive hill country laments of, "Tell It To Me" and the cautionary tale, "Fannin Street" blend poignantly with saloon songs of betrayal and despair ("The World Keeps Turning") Celtic waltzes and bitter cabaret torch songs like, "It's Over" and "Little Drop Of Poison", all of which explore what the heart gives and what it takes away.

Bastards - explores the strange and unusual side of Waits, who is peculiar by nature. Contained here is experimental music and scary tales. There are uncategorizable diversions into this dark side. It tunnels beneath the city with spiels, rants, mouth rhythms, including a poignant reminiscence of car ownership, a Ramones cover and a version of Daniel Johnston's, "King Kong," a disturbing bedtime story,(not for children faint of heart),and a poem by Charles Bukowski. It has insects, murder, drowning and insanity. Or as ma says, the full dinner menu.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

130 of 138 people found the following review helpful By J. W. Bassett on 6 Nov 2006
Format: Audio CD
Three discs, fifty-four songs, thirty new and previously unheard recordings sounds like pretty standard fare for an artist box set, and yet, Orphans has as much in common with a simple career retrospective as Tom Waits does with the average singer songwriter.

The three discs are divided by genre: Brawlers is chock full of raucous blues and full-throated juke-joint stomps, Bawlers contains a selection of Celtic and country ballads, waltzes, lullabies, piano, and classic lyrical Waits' songs, while Bastards is filled with experimental music, stories and jokes.

The first disc, Brawlers, sees Waits channel The Rolling Stones, Captain Beefheart, Muddy Waters and T-Rex. The first of the new songs, LowDown, is in pure garage rock mode, with his 20-year-old son, Casey, on drums and San Francisco's blues icon, Ron Hacker, on guitar. A cover of The Ramones's The Return Of Jackie And Judy rubs shoulders with more traditional numbers like Bottom Of The World and Rains On Me.

Stealing the show, however, is Road To Peace, Waits's staggering condemnation of the Bush government and a companion piece to Day After Tomorrow from his previous album, Real Gone. It is, without question, one of the finest anti war songs ever penned.

The lonesome ballads and tender songs of innocence and hope on Bawlers come in sharp contrast to the other two discs and showcase Waits at his most romantic. The plaintive laments of Tell It To Me and Fannin Street meld poignantly with saloon songs of betrayal and despair like The World Keeps Turning. The bitter cabaret of Little Drop Of Poison (originally from the soundtrack to End Of Violence and, later, Shrek 2) explores what the heart gives and what it takes away.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Mike J. Wheeler on 24 Nov 2006
Format: Audio CD
The scale of this album is pretty intimidating. I wasn't sure when I bought this whether someone even of the calibre of Tom Waits could pull off a triple album and make it consistently good throughout. Has he managed it? Yes...with flying colours. 'Orphans' is a masterpiece. I have just about everything the man has ever recorded and this stands alongside his best ('Rain Dogs, 'Swordfishtrombones', 'Closing Time' if you want my opinion).

Orphans is divided into three CDs, each of which could have been released on its own as a perfectly good album. What Tom Waits has done though is ensure that fans of ALL aspects of his music go home happy. This is important when you remember that there is and never has been anyone to match Waits' musical versatility (Neil Young comes about the closest). So CD1 is Waits in rock music mode, CD2 is Waits the balladeer and CD3 is everything else. Its pointless listing the songs that are good here, there are just too many to mention. Instead it's best to look at the the three faces of the album.

CD1 (Brawlers) starts off with Waits doing an old fashioned rock 'n' roll/rockabilly number, "Lie To Me" - I must admit this isn't exactly a musical style that I'm into big time but nevertheless it is rather good. The highlight of 'Brawlers' for me though is 'Road To Peace', a Tom Waits commentary on the lunacy of the Middle East. This is as close to politics that Tom Waits is ever likely to get.

CD2 (Bawlers) is, I must admit, my favourite part of the album. Tom Waits for me has always been at his best when singing ballads. These bear comparison with anything he has performed before.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By David Groucott on 1 Jan 2007
Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of Tom Waits since 1973 when 'Closing Time' was released. I have just about everything he has released since then and I have had the privilege of twice seeing him perform live.

Like all great songwriters with extensive back catalogues, there has been the occasional blip but overall the quality has remained high and 'Orphans' has raised the bar even higher by being an absolute classic.

Brilliant songs and musings to make you laugh, cry and rock. And all beautifully presented in a quality package.

If you are not yet into Tom Waits then I recommend that you listen to this album and discover a genius.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Dr. A. Moore on 21 Dec 2006
Format: Audio CD
I have had the privelige of listening to Tom Waits for the last 20 years and can't comprehend how he continues to manage to produce music of this quality. The icons of music of the last 3 or 4 decades can not, in my opinion, come close to him.

Those of us who have become engaged with him will love this album and those who are not will become so should they opt to get this album. What amazes me is that this feels like a great place to start exploring the man and his music but I have felt like that about virtually all of his work. I hope that all enjoy this as much as I do.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jimbo on 22 Nov 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Well, this was totally worth the wait (no pun intented). The promos online were but a tantalising teaser for an awsome main release.

This is Tom Waits at his most accessible since Mule Variations but that doesn't mean he's lost any of his edgy genius.

Being a blues nut "Brawlers" is definitely my favourite of the three discs but "Bawlers" is Tom at his most refined and even "Bastards" isn't nearly as weird as say "Bone Machine", though the mix on this final disc is sheer mad brilliance.

Best tracks for me:

All of 'em - haha! Still standouts from one listen through are:

Brawlers - 'Lucinda' and 'Walk Away' (though I agree with all comments about the class of 'Road To Peace')

Bawlers - 'Long Way Home' (which I first heard Norah Jones do) and 'Little Drop Of Poison'

Bastards - 'Heigh Ho', 'Army Ants' and 'Spidey's Wild Ride'

There are 2 extra tracks on the end of my copy of Bastards. Dunno if they'll be on every copy?

The book style packaging is very cool but the only thing stopping this album getting 5 stars is the CD sleeves. Sleeves are a pain and scratch friendly at the best of times. Tight sleeves are even worse :O. I've already put the precious discs into separate cases even though I'll probably not listen to them much now it's on my iPod.

A minor quibble about the masterpiece of the 00's though.
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