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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Early Waits, 18 Feb 2004
This review is from: Music From The Original Motion Picture "One From The Heart" (Audio CD)
A Fantastic if unexpected collaboration. An absolute must for all those waits fans who appreciate the lyrical subtleties of a literary genius mingled with the typical twists and turns of his unique musical style. This is one you can listen to all night long, very seductive!!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight, 18 May 2006
By 
Rhinoman (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Music From The Original Motion Picture "One From The Heart" (Audio CD)
Just had to weigh in with a quick reviewlet for the sole purpose of contradicting the previous reviewer, who had identified Crystal Gayle as being 'too Mariah Carey' and so spoiling the whole album. Not so. Quite the opposite. The controlled clarity of Miss Gayle (whose performances bear no similarity WHATSOEVER to the showy, shallow, up-and-down the scales trills of Pariah Carey) acts a perfect counterpoint to Tom's gruff growls. It is a match made in heaven and perhaps my favourite Tom Waits album of all. And I speak as a fan. It works from start to finish; it is witty, stylish, sassy, sentimental, delightful.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musical magic from an unlikely pairing, 30 Jun 2011
By 
Sebastian Palmer "sebuteo" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Music From The Original Motion Picture "One From The Heart" (Audio CD)
The music Waits made for One From The Heart is amongst his best. It's also interesting as a strangely anachronistic coda to his first decade of music making: already moving away from the sweeter, jazzier side of his muse towards the grittier end of town, with albums like Blue Valentine and Heartattack And Vine, OFTH is a slight return to his lush melodic style. After this Swordfishtrombones ushered in (quite literally: if you've ever seen the Waits concert movie Big Time you'll know what I mean [link is to the album associated with the currently unavailable movie]) the character that he's subsequently become, and remains to to this day: the slightly unhinged, semi-apocalyptic 'mule', growing more ornery and experimental as he ages, ever the exception to the norm!

We've Francis Ford Coppola to thank for this album. Copploa decided to make a movie based around a couple's troubled romance, basing the storyline on Greek Myth, but setting it in a totally synthetic studio Vegas, to be expressly built around Waits' songs. Coppola's movie goes for a feature length celluloid embodiment of the atmosphere created on Waits' track 'I Never Talk To Strangers', from Foreign Affairs (Coppola's son had introduced him to Waits via this song/album). A duet with Bette Midler, it portrays a humorously engaging barfly chat-up scenario. Coppola and Waits had hoped to get Midler for OFTH, but other commitments meant she couldn't do it. Instead of Midler, Waits worked with country singer Crystal Gayle, and OFTH is actually a better realisation of the concept. Strange as it was on paper - Gayle epitomising homely, clean cut country, Waits the dissolute boho - the pairing works, exceptionally well. Gayle has, at least to my ears, a much nicer/better voice than Midler.

Whilst the album's a complete triumph, the film certainly wasn't: an awkward, oddball affair, with the air of a strange claustrophobic dream, it was box office flop, ending an era for Coppola, and independent Hollywood studios. Coppola's Zoetrope studios, already reeling from the fall-out of Apocalypse Now, was bankrupted by it: costing $26 million, the film bombed, netting just over a paltry half million dollars, forcing Coppola to sell off his enormous (23 acre!) studio.

Another fascinating aspect of this recording is that, in the making of it, Coppola gave Waits the chance to finally live out one of his musical dreams: in songs like 'Muriel' and 'Foreign Affairs' he'd already begun to achieve a very high standard of jazz-influenced Tin Pan Alley styled songsmithery, a side of his musical character that'd always been present, growing stronger and more assured with each album. Now, with his own office, complete with piano, typewriter, etc., he could live out that Brill Building fantasy, finally 'going to work' as a writer and composer. And boy did he deliver! It was in livng out this fantasy that he met, and then married, Kathleen Brennan. Truly a dream job!

So, to the music: this was the last time that Waits worked with 'Bones' Howe, and the crew of legendary jazz cats that had helped him wax some awesome music over the last several years/albums, including such luminaries of the west coast jazz scene as Shelly Manne, Jim Hughart, Jack Sheldon, Teddy Edwards and Victor Feldman. These sessions added other such illustrious names as Larry Bunker, Pete Jolly and Dennis Budimir to the roster of top drawer jazzers that helped Waits work his mojo. Many of these great musicians, and producer 'Bones' Howe, would find this was the last time Tom called on their services, as he moved off into newer, stranger territory. So this is a remarkable document; an apotheosis of Waits as crafter of gently sentimental jazzy ballads. And, thanks to the Coppola dollars, it's a monumental no-expense-spared production.

As with Foreign Affairs, the music begins with a kind of introductory suite, or 'opening montage', as the track has it. A beautifully sentimental portion of the track 'I Beg Your Pardon Dear' precedes the sound of a spinning coin, and then we're treated to 'Once Upon A Town/The Wages Of Love', the former a dreamy piano duet with Gayle that opens onto a vista of lush strings, before the Vegas swing of the latter smoothly sashays across your speakers. Waits is both a musical and lyrical alchemist, with the Midas touch, turning all these musical elements, thanks in no small part to the stellar cast of supporting musicians, into pure gold. The tune ends with the sound of punters in a slot machine paradise, ringing off their jackpots. And this is just track one; already an embarrassment of riches.

I won't detail all the album, but there are Tom tracks, Crystal tracks, and more duets, and they're all fabulous. From Gayle we get such gems as the gently sexy, serpentine melodies of 'Is There Any Way Out Of This Dream?', or the unbelievably rich guitar work of Dennis Budimir on the fabulously melancholy 'Old Boyfriends' (Budimir's guitar initially sounds almost like a Fender Rhodes; the tone is rich, thick, and warm, and he turns Waits' chords into a stunning jazz torch song), with Gayle milking the notes like a proper siren. Waits is rumpled and earnest on the piano driven 'Broken Bicycles', and schmoozily contrite on 'I Beg Your Pardon Dear', in which he delivers the wonderful line "you are the landscape of my dreams". The arrangements are phenomenal, with the supporting musicians helping create magical musical dreamscapes that vividly brings Waits' words to life.

'Little Boy Blue' is interesting in that it might be possible to see it as presaging the change Waits was about to undergo, and it even has sonic similarities - the heavy, thick sound of the Hammond organ as the main backing in particular - with the track 'Frank Wild Years' from Swordfishtrombones, whilst 'The Tango' section of the 'instrumental montage' (originally starting side two of the album) is like a less wayward version of SFTB's 'Dave The Butcher', both sharing a somewhat drunken overemphasis of their rhythms. But whereas on SFTB things get quite dark, and a bit 'carnival freak show', on OFTH, proceedings are decidedly mellower, and more gentle. Waits' wife Kathleen would late characterise his music as broadly falling into two categories, 'grand weepers, and grim reapers'. Of the two sides of the Waits muse, this is unabashedly on the grand weepers side, and wonderfully rich and tender it is too.

Shelly Manne coaxes more magic from the tymps on the upright bass driven number, 'You Can't Unring A Bell', which comes as close to Waits' spoken word recitations as anything gets on this album. The tile track is a richly syrupy affair, drenched in strings, the piano harp-like in its glassy delicacy, and Jack Sheldon's soft breathy tone out-mellowing the legendary Chet Baker. Edwards sax is also wonderfully and softly breathy, and Gayle Levant's harp supplies terrific shimmering glissandos. Gayle ends the vocal selections with the rapprochement of 'Take Me Home'; the musical movie has a happy ending, wrapped up by the twinkling litle instrumental 'Presents'. Wow, pure musical magic! Absolutely flawless, and utterly esential for the discerning listener.

The CD I own (their are numerous versions of this recording) adds two bonus tracks: 'Candy Apple Red', a track not on the official release, which is a very nice minimal piece, with Tom on piano, accompanied only by upright bass and trumpet, and a version of 'Once Upon A Town' that has a different treatment, starting off differently, and ending by segueing into another piece not on the official album, called 'Empty Packets'. The latter is very nice too, reminiscent of some of the music Waits had contributed to Sylvester Stallone's Paradise Alley [DVD] movie. Always a lover of language, in all its rich guises, which helps explain why he's one of the best lyricists ever, in this last number Waits manages to slip in that wonderful if perhaps somewhat lumpen phrase 'hoist on my own petard'. You'll have to buy the album to find out how he does it!

The very useful allmusic.com website, which, rather bizarrely, doesn't list this in their Tom Waits' discography (instead listing it under Crystal Gayle, despite the facts of co-star billing in which Waits' name appears first, and the small matter of his having written all the songs!) does at least get it spot on when they describe this album as "one of the most beautifully wrought soundtrack collaborations in history". It really does live up to such hyperbole!
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Advice to the young at heart..., 29 Feb 2004
By 
Why-So-Serious? - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Music From The Original Motion Picture "One From The Heart" (Audio CD)
Nice to see this LP back in circulation after being unavailable for quite a long time. And with two extra tracks, no less!
Perhaps its scarcity has something to do with the connected film a)not being much cop, and, if memory serves, b)said film's abysmal failure at the box office being the part of the reason for the collapse of Coppolla's Zoetrope Studios?
But don't let that put you off...
Originally released in 1982 this LP slots in, continuity-wise, immediately following Waits' period of superb jazz-inflected albums released on the famous Asylum label (1973 - 1976, also home to Joni Mitchell, Tim Buckley etc) and Elektra Records (1977 - 1980), and prior to the later, more abstract/experimental - but still jazzy - noodlings on Island Records (1983 - 1993), and more recently, Anti/Epitaph Records label offerings (1999 to present).
This is certainly a good album, but don't buy it expecting either typical jazz or typical Waits, because it's both and neither.
To my untrained ear, these are just some great show tunes, composed and performed by a pair of gifted artists. Some of the songs are a bit soppy (a[...]) but Tom's gravelly voice and playful lyrics keep the more sacharin numbers just this side of credible:
"Looks like you spent the night in a trench,
Tell me .. how long have you been combing your hair with a wrench?" (from 'Picking Up After You')
Eat your hearts out, Messrs Lloyd-Webber & Rice..!
Being a soundtrack, some of the songs on this album are instrumental and some feature solo vocal performaces by Crystal Gayle, as noted in the tracklistings. Whilst not the highlights of this cd, they're not to be overlooked as accomplished as they are in their own right.
No need for a blow-by-blow account of Tom's performances here, but take it as read they are up to his usual high standard. If, however, as a 'Waits-virgin', the bargain price-point (at a gobsmacking 5.99) draws you in, there are worse places to start collecting (trust me, those who discover Waits very rarely stop with one LP).
Suggested follow-up/alternative purchases would be:
- Nighthawks At The Diner (80 excellent minutes of live performance)
- The Heart of The Saturday Night
- Rain Dogs
- Small Change
- Alice
Most of the above cds have sound clips provided by Amazon.
Also,
- Used Songs 1973-1980 (compilation)
- Beautiful Maladies 1983-1993 (compilation)
Or, if you're more interested in continuing along the soundtrack groove, here are a few titles that feature new and original Tom Waits' tracks:
- Night On Earth
- Sea Of Love
- Dead Man Walking (there are two UK versions of this soundtrack, both of which have original Waits' tracks on them)
There maybe more but I'm too tired to look them up...
Me? I own the old version of this cd - and every other bit of Waits' I've been lucky enough to find - but I've just ordered this re-issue for the two bonus tracks on the end. So it can't be all THAT bad, can it?
Hope this info helped.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Late night stuff par excellence, 1 Dec 2008
By 
C. L. Hayes (London UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Music From The Original Motion Picture "One From The Heart" (Audio CD)
Easily my favourite Original Soundtrack to a film. I know some hard core Tom Waits fans may disparage the Crystal Gayle collaboration, but for my money this is what he does best - beautiful tunes, great lyrics, and Crystal's vocals are a brilliant counterpoint to his gruff, half-mumbled lines. After hours at home with a large scotch, this is perfect stuff.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of TW's best, 15 Nov 2007
This review is from: Music From The Original Motion Picture "One From The Heart" (Audio CD)
Right up there with Nighthawks, Saturday Night and Blue Valentine. Chrystal Gayle is a perfect foil with her sweet vocals to the gravel of Waits. The songwriting of Waits is as usual, superb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of his best, and most overlooked, albums, 10 Oct 2011
By 
This review is from: Music From The Original Motion Picture "One From The Heart" (Audio CD)
for some reason, this rarely gets a mention when fans talk about waits, and that's a shame. absolutely fantastic songwriting, class exudes from the performances, the musicians, the lyrics. the songs are consistently excellent (possibly broken bicycles is a standout, but you could argue the same about any of them!) - it's testament to waits's brilliance that he can seemingly turn his hand to any genre and be brilliant. his quality control is amazing - there's hardly anything you could argue as filler on any of his albums by this point. his gruff world weariness constrasts well with the pure easy beauty of crystal gayle. this is an album i think would appeal to many people who may not even like waits's other stuff. it's so different. one might almost say mainstream jazz show tunes. but done with such style, musicality and depth, that it deserves to be far more widely heard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hidden Tom Waits Gem, 13 Jun 2010
By 
Old Dozen (Wessex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Music From The Original Motion Picture "One From The Heart" (Audio CD)
I'm a long-time Tom Waits fan and have most of his albums but up until now I overlooked his music for films and plays. I bought 'One From The Heart' after reading Barney Hoskyns' excellent biography of Tom. It came before his ground breaking 'Swordfishtrombones' and is a sumptuous, lush farewell to the strings and mellow saxophones of his preceding work. The lyrics and arrangements are some of my favourites and, somewhat to my surprise, Crystal Gale's achingly beautiful vocals work really well with Tom's gravel and cigarettes voice. If you secretly hanker after the likes of 'Foreign Affairs', this will be a wonderful treat for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rough Cut Diamond, 24 Jan 2004
By 
Tom Wait's gruff rumblings and Jazz highnotes are eased to a sublime level by Crystal Gayle. A natural combination of rough and smooth, this album will suprise with its complexity from simple means. From the film of the same name 'One From the Heart' released in 1982, it was used to lever the emotive plateau of the movie through the roof. Check out 'This ones from the heart' for pure sex appeal and also the two bonus tracks. There is alot of music here for the money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great tunes from a great movie., 8 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Music From The Original Motion Picture "One From The Heart" (Audio CD)
Beings a TW fan and having seen the movie more than once getting this was a no-brainer. TW's and CG's vocals work very well together.
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