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Blood Money

4.4 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 1 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: FAB
  • ASIN: B00005YX3K
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,782 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Misery Is The River of the World
2. Everything Goes to Hell
3. Coney Island Baby
4. All The World Is Green
5. God's Away On Busines
6. Another Man's Vine
7. Knife Chase
8. Lullaby
9. Starving In The Belly Of A Whale
10. The Part You Throw Away
11. Woe
12. Calliope
13. A Good Man Is Hard To Find

Product Description


Blood Money is up there with Waits's best albums from the mid-'80s, veering as it does from sexy insomniac circus music to gorgeously heart-tugging lullabies to woozy zigzag bluesy romps to what can only be described as Oscar the Grouch singing out of tune on top of the soundtrack to an old French film. Blood Money's 13 songs were cowritten by Tom Waits and longtime collaborator and wife Kathleen Brennan for a Robert Wilson production of Georg Büchner's unfinished, protomodernist 1837 play, Woyzeck, about a Kafkaesque German soldier who goes crazy after doing medical experiments for money and kills his girlfriend after witnessing a perceived infidelity. The album's worldview is, necessarily, bleak. The lyrics are hilariously misanthropic, occasionally hallucinatory, and ring with the truth of Tin Pan Alley clichés turned inside out. "Coney Island Baby," in particular, is a grand statement, with Waits delicately croaking the lines "She's a rose, she's the pearl / She's the spin on my world / All the stars make their wishes on her eyes." The album's manifesto, however, is to be found in the title tune, as Waits spits out the words "If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man / You can drive out nature with a pitch fork / But it always comes roaring back again." Released at the same time as the lyrical, lovely Alice, the ragged and rhythmic Blood Money marks the return of one of our most gifted meta-singer-songwriters to the top of his game. --Mike McGonigal

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Tom Waits... There is something to be said about an artist that I specifically put on at full volume on Halloween to scare children, and who's music I find so moving that at times it brings me to tears. That somewhat describes the artist that is Tom Waits. This year, he followed up 1999's Mule Variations with TWO new albums of music. Alice and Blood Money, although complimentary, are two separate and fantastic albums. Alice has a fantastical and fictional feel - as if Through the Looking-Glass met with Where the Wild Things Are; a peek into a world where things are not as they seem and the characters lurking inside are as fascinating as they are freakish. Tracks like, "Table-Top Joe" and "We're All Mad Here" compliment the freakish side, while the wistful and sad numbers like "Barcarolle" and "Fish and Bird" shows the true beauty of the wonderland that Waits has created. Blood Money, on the other hand, is like a trip to hell carefully narrated and brought to life by Waits' voice, lyrics and instrumentation. With tracks like, "God's Away On Business" and "Everything Goes to Hell," it's pretty easy to find yourself trapped on Waits' demonic calliope. Both albums offer a glimpse of Waits as frightfully fantastic and humbly sincere.
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Format: Audio CD
Have I mentioned how overjoyed I am that Waits has bounced back after the mediocrity of Mule Variations? Well, I am. Very much so indeed. Blood Money probably is marginally less of an acheivement than Alice, but really--who could possibly care? It's still more than good enough.
I'll be honest: I could easily live without 'Coney Island Baby.' It's the ol' obligatory "sensitive side" song, but it feels kind of desultory. 'Jersey Girl' it ain't. 'All the World is Green' and 'The Part You Throw Away' do the trick quite nicely here in terms of more subdued songs.
But, of course, that's only half the fun; the more twisted material here rocks me senseless--when I first played the album and heard the opening of 'Misery's the River of the World,' I couldn't keep from grinning broadly--yeah, this, I could tell, was definitely the stuff. 'God's Away on Business' and 'Starving in the Belly of the Whale' are also excellent. Does he "mean" it? Who cares? Has he "meant" any of his personae? The point is, the songs are great, and he performs them with utter conviction. Would you rather it sound like a latterday Nick Cave album--ever-so-restrained, ever-so-tasteful, and ever-so-boring? I think not.
Sure, there are a few inessential tracks, but rare is the entirely consistent Waits album, and this is really as good as one could hope. Furthermore, some of the seemingly weak tracks grow on you--I was indifferent to it at first, but now I must say that 'Another Man's Vine' is one of the greatest things ever.
Let's face it: there is no single musician working today whose career has been as long, creative, and consistently thrilling than that of Waits. Let's just be thankful he's aged so well, eh?
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Format: Audio CD
Take every feeble, over-saturated, half-a**ed attempt at music being played on modern radio today and CRAM IT.
This is music in its purest, most raw, and above all, most ENTERTAINING forms. No sniveling, money-grubbing producers manipulating from behind the scenes. No whiney "teen heart-throbs" wailing with "emotion" through a computer over a drum machine. No thirty-year old "punks rockers" singing about bodily functions. No retro "garage" [stuff]. No rappers. Nothing. Just brilliant poetry, and beautiful yet bizarre and almost unnerving songs.
How to describe it? It's a bit of everything I love Tom Waits for. It's got what I call "cluttered jazz" mixed with show tunes, ballads, and oompah mutant pirate music. It's weird, noisey, funny, and depressing all at once. The songs are often simple and somewhat repetetive, but still no one could pull them off the way Waits does.
I'd just like to add my thoughts on how unbelievably stupid you have to be to complain about Tom Waits' voice. He sounds "gruff", "out of tune", or "like Cookie Monster". I suppose you'd rather listen to "Starving in the Belly of a Whale" with Luciano Pavarotti at the helm? Puh-LEEEZE. Waits gets weirder with age, and compensates for that fact by writing weird music which his rugged and occasionally cartoonish voice complements PERFECTLY. Hopefully, Tom will continue to defy the complaints of these so-called fans who expect for him to write "Rain Dogs" over and over album after album.
In summary: a beautiful, catchy album. You buy now.
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Format: Audio CD
I firmly believe that someone above (or within, or whatever) is holding me back from hearing certain artists until they know I'm ready. I've heard the name Tom Waits in many places for many years but it wasn't until this year when I was walking around a local Sam Goody, of all places, that I actually heard the man. It took only a couple of listens of Bloody Money for him to draw me into a more atmoshperic and artistic version of the dark carnival that the Insane Clown Posse have been promising me for years. Tom barks more than he sings and he writes words that could not be performed as perfectly by anyone else. Of the two albums he released this year I find that Blood Money only beats the more tortoisetic Alice by a hair. Even with his distinct sound, the albums are quite literally as different as night and day-- although I would be hard pressed to say which was which. From songs like Misery's The River Of The World and God's Away On Buisness from Blood Money to Alice from Alice, Tom paints a landscape that you will enjoy wandering around again and again. This is an artist whose collection I plan on delving much deeper into in the coming years.
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