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Rain Dogs CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 May 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Virgin EMI
  • ASIN: B000001FFJ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,606 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

The middle album of the trilogy that includes Swordfishtrombones and Franks Wild Years, Rain Dogs is Waits's best overall effort. The songs are first-rate, and there are a lot of them--19 in all, ranging from grim nightlife memoirs ("9th and Hennepin," "Singapore") to portraits of small-time hustlers ("Gun Street Girl", "Union Square") to bursts of street- corner philosophy ("Blind Love", "Time"). The album also contains the original version of "Downtown Train", which Rod Stewart turned into a smash hit. The image of "rain dogs"--animals who've lost their way home because the rain has washed away their scent--is an appropriate symbol for the entire cast of characters Waits has brought to life over the years, and this album has thus far proved to be his most enduring effort. --Daniel Durchholz

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is the Tom Waits album that I keep coming back to. It was also the first one I heard many years ago and its appeal has really lasted. For anyone who hasn't heard any of Waits' music before it is also the ideal point to come in. Some of his earlier and later works ('Small Change', 'Real Gone', 'Frank's Wild Years')are much more inaccessible and require a lot of patience whilst his early stuff like 'Heart of saturday Night' is pretty unrepresentative of the bulk of his work. 'Rain Dogs' has the advantage of perfectly capturing the spirit of Waits but also being an album of very good songs. But be prepared to work at it if you are coming to Tom Waits fresh then he requires a couple of listens after the initial reaction of "What the hell is this!?!" It is wonderously atmospheric in its representation of society's dark underbelly. Waits' gravelly, liquor-soaked voice fits perfectly with the weird, carnivalesque music of tracks like "Singapore", "Rain Dogs" and "Cemetary Polka" whilst the latino-inspired "Jockey Full of Boubon" is a wonder. The lyrics throughout are simply amazing - lyrics don't come much better than "Uncle Bill will never leave a will, and the tumor is as big as an egg. He has a mistress, she's Puerto Rican, and I heard she has a wooden leg". There are just too many standout tracks here to mention, true of 'Rain Dogs' more than any other of Waits' albums. However, "Time" is simply Waits at his best musically whilst "9th and Hennepin" is him at his most poetic and evocative. Musically this album has taken virtually the entire gamut of music from jazz, blues, latin dance, rock, Cajun and American folk as its inspiration. Its beyond measure in its reach. One of the best albums ever made. (10/10 - I've loved this for years, I still do)
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Format: Audio CD
This has been my favourite album for the last 10 of the 15 years I have owned it - in spite of some of the more accessible tracks like Downtown Train, Gun Street Girl and Blind Love, the album as a whole took some time to really take root in me. You may not love this right from the start but give it time, it gets under your skin. The lyrics and dogged pace of Singapore is unlike anything else (who else could describe sailors' shore leave activities as "making feet for childrens' shoes"?!), to the darkness and dankness of 9th and Hennepin, the rocking track Walking Spanish, to the 3am, whisky fuelled version of Anywhere I Lay My Hat, it's going to take at least another 10 years before I get bored of this classic.
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By A Customer on 10 May 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is THE strangest and most evocative album I've ever heard. I agree with a previous reviewer that it does get under your skin, the melodies and lyrics, on first hearing, seem ugly and discordant, but the more you listen the more you realise just how complex, clear and beautiful they are.
This may sound strange, but somebody should make a movie just to fit around this album...featuring seedy, foggy docksides, whaling ships, sweaty Cuban jazz clubs, hookers, cops, cigars, bourbon, tequila and steamy downtown neon-lit streets - it's all in there.
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Format: Audio CD
This is currently one of my favourite albums. I discovered Tom Waits through a friend who told me that if I liked Bob Dylan (which I did) then I would like Tom Waits (which i do!). This album offers the perfect introduction into the weird and wonderful world of Mr Waits. From the opening track "Singapore" right through to the rousing "Anywhere I lay my head down" you will be blown away.
I must admit, that the first time I heard this album, I hated it. I couldn't understand what he was saying, and the music seemed a little too weird for me - indeed, even Waits calls his sound like a "junkyard opera". However, if you too find Waits voice a bit grating at first, I urge you to persevere. It's about to get a whole lot better. This is one of those albums that grows on you with every listen.
Things to look out for: The amazing intro to the title track "Rain Dogs", lines like "while making feet for childrens shoes" in "Singapore", and irresistably appealing instrumentation in all of the songs!
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Format: Audio CD
If you ever want to get an understanding of just how varied Waits is, listen to, oh, Nighthawks At The Diner... then this. This is a dark, funny, difficult, and complex work; and is, to my mind, the first time Waits really let his nightmares loose. Listen to this album, stick with, listen to it in the dark midnight, in the car, in the bath. Pretty soon, you won't want to be without it. The imagery is downright "wrong", in the same way that a Lynch film is just "wrong", you know you shouldn't watch, but before you know it, you're hooked; Singapore is damn disturbing for instance. The musicianship is awesome - the broken melody of Tango 'Til They're Sore is incredible, the whole song sounds like it's about to collapse in on you, and magically manages to make it through.
Even if you're not a full on Waits nut, this is an essential purchase for anyone interested in music, and what it can be.
Buy it now!
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By A Customer on 20 Jun. 2001
Format: Audio CD
A collection of dark, twisted songs about the freaky and perverted side of life. Has been described-correctly in your reviewer's opinion-as Swordfish Trombones part 2. Here though the songs are fuller and more rounded. Each song is more complete in its narrative than in the preceeding album. Rain Dogs is romanceless, romance being replaced with a sort of brothel-humour. The listner is left to drink and dance with shotgun-criminals, tattoed sailors, and gambling dwarves.
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