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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Most of the highlights but not all
This compilation of the Island Years, was put together by Tom himself, but excludes a few of his finest recordings from that time. There's no 'In The Neighbourhood', arguably his finest and most memorable recording from the Island period, no 'Soldier's Things', undoubtedly his best song from the period, and no 'Raindogs', one of his finest left field recordings of the...
Published on 29 April 2002 by M. Brown

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Love Tommy Waits but much prefer the original albums Rain Dogs Swordfish Trombone etc
Published 5 months ago by Alan D. Evans


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Most of the highlights but not all, 29 April 2002
By 
M. Brown (Cardiff United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years (Audio CD)
This compilation of the Island Years, was put together by Tom himself, but excludes a few of his finest recordings from that time. There's no 'In The Neighbourhood', arguably his finest and most memorable recording from the Island period, no 'Soldier's Things', undoubtedly his best song from the period, and no 'Raindogs', one of his finest left field recordings of the period. It leads one to question whether an artist should compile their own work. It's hard to understand the inclusion of a piece as lightweight as Temptation, with the comical Prince falsetto. It would have been nice to have had 'A Little Rain' or 'Whistle Down The Wind' from Bone Machine, or the incredibly touching, 'The Briar And The Rose' from The Black Rider. If one judges what actually is included, then it's utterly brilliant, but it's not a worthwhile buy for committed Waits fans. All the recordings have been heard before, so there's really no incentive for that constituency. As an introduction to the Island period, without the three pieces mentioned, it feels badly incomplete. For me, 'In The Neighbourhood' was the gateway into the new Waits, so without it, there's a sense of being plunged unaware into the oeuvre if one is just discovering the genius of Waits. On the plus side, there's the beautiful 'November', the incomparable avant garde stomp of 'Singapore', his second best song from the period, 'Time', the superb Beefheartian howl of 'Earth Died Screaming', the skewed blues of '16 Shells', the tender sophistication of 'Johnsburg Illinois', the dark Germanic fun of 'The Black Rider', the superb rhythmic tightness of 'Jockey Full Of Bourbon', and the wonderfully atmospheric 'Shore Leave'. For the uninitiated it's a worthwhile purchase, though there's no substitute for owning at least the first three Waits albums on Island (Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs and Frank's Wild Years, together constituting the most adventurous and visionary music of the eighties). Swordfishtrombones is always the first port of call, as it broke the mould completely, and laid the visionary path he would continue to follow for the subsequent twenty years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great discovery!, 12 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years (Audio CD)
I am not familiar with the work of Tom Waits, other than his take on Jesus Blood, of which I've only heard the original, which to me seems more pertinent. Anyway, I woke up one Sunday morning with a strong urge to hear more of his music ( I don't know why) so I looked through what was available compilation wise on Amazon and thought that this disk, with works selected by the artist, would be the thing. It is fabulous and has greatly exceeded my expectations - reminds me of Kurt Weill - it's dark and quirky and I love the instrumentation and his gravelly voice.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bruising and Beautiful, 19 Jun 2001
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This review is from: Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years (Audio CD)
A fine collection of some of Tom's best known and downright strange tunes. From the screaming rawness of Temptation, the German dance hall weirdness of The Black Rider and the gentle lilt of Time, this compilation should satisfy long term fans and also those new to the strange world of Mr Waits. There's plenty to choose from too, with over 20 tracks it offers a whole range of stuff. My own favourite? Hmm....hard to choose but I'd have to say Jesus Gonna Be Here - a nasty smoke and liqour drenched blues paean to religion and the human spirit......ends with a tremendous cough from the effort put in (even by his standards, this one's gravelly!!!). Wonderful stuff. It doesn't matter whether you are a long standing fan or if you want to experience the unusual and dark Underground of Singapore - give into the music of Tom Waits and buy this NOW!!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best comps. available, 17 May 2006
By 
J. Macdonald "jmacd39" (Kent) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years (Audio CD)
Hang on St. Christopher - 7/10 Not too big a fan, but a good thunderous opener.

Temptation - 7/10 Surreal, wailing and quite eerie.

Clap Hands - 10/10 One of his best, a very creepy tale of insanity.

Black Rider - 8/10 A darkly comical cabaret in a german accent.

Underground - 9/10 A pounding drum beat and Tom's first weird song.

Jockey Full of Bourbon - 9/10 Guitar driven latin tale of dark alleyways.

Earth Died Screaming - 9/10 Apocalyptic howling gospel of bones.

Innocent When You Dream - 8/10 Tear-jerking tale of lost memories.

Straight To The Top - 7/10 Sinatraesque swinger.

Frank's Wild Years - 10/10 His best spoken word, surreal tale of midlife crisis.

Singapore - 10/10 Possibly his best song ever, a thundering vaudevillian stream of concious.

Shore Leave - 9/10 Eerie, atmospheric sonic landscape.

Johnsburg, Illinois - 8/10 Short, sweet ballad from Tom to his wife, Kathleen.

Way Down In The Hole - 8/10 In preacher mode, a biblical rant about avoiding Satan.

Strange Weather - 8/10 French sounding grumble about the ignorance of strangers.

Cold, Cold Ground - 9/10 Live version of the emotional tale of a little guy in a little house...

November - 8/10 Ethereal, theatrical ballad about autumn.

Downtown Train - 10/10 His greatest love song, raped by Rod Stewart.

16 Shells From A 30.6 - 9/10 Barking, rocker about...well, what?

Jesus Gonna Be Here - 9/10 Preacher mode again, more deranged and less optimistic.

Good Old World - N/A Not heard yet.

I Don't Wanna Grow Up - 10/10 More mainstream, but brilliant nonetheless.

Time - 8/10 Overrated, but still emotional and tear-jerking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a jolly good album, 23 Sep 2011
This review is from: Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years (Audio CD)
I absolutely love Tom Waits almost to the point of obsession ,I have most of his albums,videos and books , his music never fails to lift my spirits . this album I find jumps into my hand more than any other , it is such an eclectic mix of songs from the crazy "Black Rider" through driven songs like "straight to the top " and "16 shells from a thirty-ought-six" to softer ,gentler songs like "time ,and a whole gamut in between ,my personal favourite is clap hands , great album .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 3 July 2014
By 
Alan D. Evans "Big Al" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years (Audio CD)
Love Tommy Waits but much prefer the original albums Rain Dogs Swordfish Trombone etc
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 12 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years (Audio CD)
Received item very well packed love this artist many thanks I play it all the while in my car thanks
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Beautiful Maladies:  The Island Years
Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years by Tom Waits (Audio CD - 1999)
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