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blue valentine LP


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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
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ASYLUM
  • ASIN: B00176SYOU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 July 2000
Format: Audio CD
Blue Valentine is one of those rare albums which can move you through the complete range of emotions. From the cautious optimism of 'Somewhere', through the desperately sad 'Postcard from a hooker in Minneapolis', to the sparkling genius of 'Red Shoes', this album is quite brilliant. 'Romeo is bleeding' tells the tale of a gang leader dying after a confrontation with the police; '29 dollars' tells the story of a new girl in town being picked up by the wrong sort of guy, and Mr. Waits has truly saved the best till last: The title track is the last cut, and I defy you not to be truly moved by the intensity of Tom Waits' singing and the sparse guitar playing. Every track tells a story - each worthy of it's own attention - this is one of those must-haves.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sebastian Palmer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 May 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is a sublime recording.

When I first bought it on vinyl in my early twenties, I'd come to Waits via two rather odd poles of his output, namely Closing Time, his rather sweet and innocent sounding debut, and Big Time, a mostly live recording (there was also an oddball concert movie of the the same name, documenting his rather different post Swordfishtrombones sound). Around the same time I also bought Small Change, and these two records were on heavy rotation for years after that, and remain solid favourites to this day.

Having done several albums with the brilliant rhythm section team of Jim Hughart on bass, and Shelly Manne on drums, Waits decided to change up the groove, so to speak. Having worked, in the studio at least, with a fairly stable team of players for several years, he goes for more of a pick-up band vibe, using several combinations of players on the one album. Getting a bit more raw, bluesy and electric, he brings in electric bass and keys, the latter a real rarity in most of his recorded output (numerous exceptions to this general rule can be found, but it still remains true that he usually prefers an acoustic piano).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Aug. 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is the second Tom Waits album I bought, the first being 'Raindogs', and it firmly established him as my favourite lyricist ever.
The music is dark and sometimes sleazy but also has a great romantic feel to it, couple this with superb lyrics and you have a gem of an album.
Buy this and enlighten yourself!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. Young on 12 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD
I never thought I would be writing a Tom Waits review but here I am. A very good friend of mine, (thank you so very much, Mr. Robertson...) actually bought this album for me and had it sent to my home. Well, many months later, I now own nearly all of Tom Waits albums. I am now of course, a hopeless Mr. Waits addict, even more surprising is that I normally listen to bands such as Tool, Rush and Black Sabbath. However, Mr. Waits simply transcends musical genres and I love him for it, he is an absolute genius who writes, sings and plays, from the heart.

The album is just so atmospheric, dense and evocative, that I never tire of listening to it. It is the kind of album into which the listener simply disappears and what a dark honour it is to inhabit this blue, smoky world. From the other worldly opening of 'Somewhere' with its bold, redemptive optimism, "We'll find a new way of living, a new way, of forgiving..." to the desolate, heartbreaking portrait of dark love on album closer, 'Blue Valentines' you know you are in the prescence of greatness. This is still my favourite Tom Waits album and is now one of my favourite albums of all time.

These are the songs of the lost and the lonely and tracks like 'Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis' feature some of the best lyrics I have ever heard, "I'd buy me a used car lot and I wouldn't sell any of 'em, I'd just drive a different car each day, dependin' on how I feel...' Beautiful.

Other highlights are 'Red Shoes By The Drugstore' with brilliant lines like, "As the rain splashed the nickel and spilled like Chablis all along the midway..." and "There's a dark huddle at the bus stop, umbrellas arranged in a sad bouquet..." There are a book full of ideas in one song.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By pikeyboy on 15 Sept. 2008
Format: Audio CD
I hope that when people refer to 'Blue Valentine' as Waits' most accessible album it is not in any way to invalidate the poetry and majesty of this great, great record. Personally, I wish latterly that he would try to be a little more accessible: I've read rave reviews of everything post 'Frank's Wild Years,' through 'Bone Machine,' 'Mule Variations,' 'Alice,' 'Blood Money' to 'Real Gone,' etc., but none of these can possibly touch the heart in the way of 'Blue Valentine' or 'The Heart Of Saturday Night,' the latter, along with 'One From The Heart' and 'Closing Time' (which started it all) for me being by far his most accessible and radio-friendly work. 'Blue Valentine,' though patently melodic through-and-through, is the album where Tom makes the leap from the beat poetry, sub-Bukowski personae of albums like 'Small Change' (though a classic of its genre) and 'Nighthawks At The Diner' etc., to a fully-fledged cinematic painter-with-words. The poetry of 'Red Shoes By The Drugstore,' 'Romeo Is Bleeding,' 'Kentucky Avenue' and the brilliant title track itself cannot be denied. They are almost too perfect. No songwriter alive pays greater attention to the minutest details of life lived in the raw, and none can romanticise the seedier side better than the master. Buy this album, because it pays back in buckets.
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