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Foreign Affairs

Tom Waits Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 10.07 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Foreign Affairs + Small Change + Heart of Saturday Night
Price For All Three: CDN$ 36.83

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  • Small Change CDN$ 14.68

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  • Heart of Saturday Night CDN$ 12.08

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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


1. Cinny's Waltz
2. Muriel
3. I Never Talk To Strangers
4. Medley: Jack & Neal/California, Here I Come
5. A Sight For Sore Eyes
6. Potter's Field
7. Burma-Shave
8. Barber Shop
9. Foreign Affair

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Welcome to the hipster blues. By the time of this 1977 recording, Tom Waits had fully transformed himself into a musical character actor from another era, caught somewhere between Raymond Chandler and the Beat Generation. His vocals here are some of the most mannered performances this side of Bukowski (and probably had something to do with the movie roles he won in the coming years). His use of strings on some of these tracks can occasionally drift dangerously close to schmaltz, but that's easily compensated by such highlights as his duet with Bette Midler on "I Never Talk to Strangers" and the breathless melodrama of "Burma-Shave." Cool. --Steve Appleford

Product Description


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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonalbly underatted, but still essential. March 4 2004
Format:Audio CD
I can see why this is the least "known" of Wait's many recordings. It come's after his masterpiece "Small Change" and what I feel his next masterpiece "Blue Valentine". So it gets lost in the mix. Critics accuse Waits of reapeting himself on this record, which is not completly fair, considering this is only the second studio recording of Waits as a grufft ruff down and out singer. His voice is clearer and much easier to grasp than "Small Change", so I recommend this as a good way to break into his early career. This would be one of his best, but it lacks the spark, that his great records have. Still, "I never talk to strangers", "Burma Shave", and "Foreign Affairs" are Waits classics. There are no "bad" tracks, but some medicore ones like "Muriel".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A slight hint of change June 13 2003
Format:Audio CD
Foreign Affairs seems to be a very fitting title for Waits' 4th studio album. As I noted earlier, Tom Waits perfected his shtick on Small Change. Foreign affairs is actually the start of the metamorphosis that would continue on his next two albums until a full fledged transformation with Swordfishtrombones(1983).
The first part(side 1 on the old vinyl record) finds Waits sticking to his guns. Cinny's Waltz is an is an instrumental, but this time we also see the addition of violins.
Muriel is another Waits song about a lost love. Although nothing is wrong with the song per- se it doesn't match Waits' earlier songs touching this subject.
I Never Talk To Strangers is a singles bar duet with Bette Midler and has a clever and funny text. Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassidy is remembered on the track Jack & Neal. One of the albums highlights comes next. A Sight for Sore Eyes starts with an intro that uses the notes from Auld Lang Syne and then catches on as one of Waits' most memorable bar stool ramblings of his career.
Then there is a change in direction. The almost 9 minute long Potter's Field is a quite different song a kind of jazz noir. On Burma Shave we find a traditional scenario: girl meets mysterious stranger and takes off with him in his Ford Mustang. But the roles are blurred. You're not really sure about who is leading and who is following. A great song with a tragic end. Barber Shop is a jazz beat song. Foreign Affair is a song that sounds like Bad Liver and a Broken Heart.
A lot of critics accused Waits of repeating himself on Foreign Affairs. I think they overlooked a new approach by Waits. This is especially apparent from Potter's Field and on. Waits seems to pick up on this new approach as it is followed up on his next album Blue Valentines.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A slight hint of change June 13 2003
Format:Audio CD
Foreign Affairs seems to be a very fitting title for Waits' 4th studio album. As I noted earlier, Tom Waits perfected his shtick on Small Change. Foreign affairs is actually the start of the metamorphosis that would continue on his next two albums until a full fledged transformation with Swordfishtrombones(1983).
The first part(side 1 on the old vinyl record) finds Waits sticking to his guns. Cinny's Waltz is an is an instrumental, but this time we also see the addition of violins.
Muriel is another Waits song about a lost love. Although nothing is wrong with the song per- se it doesn't match Waits' earlier songs touching this subject.
I Never Talk To Strangers is a singles bar duet with Bette Midler and has a clever and funny text. Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassidy is remembered on the track Jack & Neal. One of the albums highlights comes next. A Sight for Sore Eyes starts with an intro that uses the notes from Auld Lang Syne and then catches on as one of Waits' most memorable bar stool ramblings of his career.
Then there is a change in direction. The almost 9 minute long Potter's Field is a quite different song a kind of jazz noir. On Burma Shave we find a traditional scenario: girl meets mysterious stranger and takes off with him in his Ford Mustang. But the roles are blurred. You're not really sure about who is leading and who is following. A great song with a tragic end. Barber Shop is a jazz beat song. Foreign Affair is a song that sounds like Bad Liver and a Broken Heart.
A lot of critics accused Waits of repeating himself on Foreign Affairs. I think they overlooked a new approach by Waits. This is especially apparent from Potter's Field and on. Waits seems to pick up on this new approach as it is followed up on his next album Blue Valentines.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Certainly not his best work, but ... Nov. 16 2002
Format:Audio CD
Even though I wouldn't rate this as Waits' best work, it's still a must-have. Of course, I think that all of his work is worth owning; he is the greatest songwriter living today. I guess what I like least about this album is the general lounge-lizard sound of most of the performances. Probably the only album that I like less is Big Time, but I still wouldn't consider my collection complete without either of these; there are real treasures on both CDs that make them worth owning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant . . . Until It Runs Out of Gas . . . May 21 2002
Format:Audio CD
I'd rate this right up there with Blue Valentine as the best of the pre-Swordfish records. The first side, especially, can be listened to over and over again (the first side ends with Sight for Sore Eyes. in case you're wondering).
Burma Shave is the only good song on the second side, if you ask me, but you're doing pretty well if you can come up with even one "Burma Shave" per record.
Strong melodies, lush arrangements, and, in my opinion, the first truly great Waits vocal performance - where he really gets a handle on his very peculiar gift - are all reasons to buy this disk.
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