Franks Wild Years Import
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|1. Hang On St. Christopher|
|2. Straight To TheTop (Rhumba)|
|3. Blow Wind Blow|
|5. Innocent When You Dream|
|6. I'll Be Gone|
|7. Yesterday Is Here|
|8. Please Wake Me Up|
|9. Franks Theme|
|10. More Than Rain|
|11. Way Down In The Hole|
|12. Straight To The Top (Vegas)|
|13. I'll Take New York|
|14. Telephone Call From Istanbul|
|15. Cold Cold Ground|
|16. Train Song|
|17. Innocent When You Dream (78)|
All the voices in Tom Waits' head come out on this album: the growler (of course), the crooner, the preacher, the screecher, and the Vegas cheese ball. The instrumentation is equally eclectic. (Yep, that's Waits himself playing the "rooster" on the album's best song, "I'll Be Gone".) More memorable moments: "Innocent When You Dream" (both times), the vocal howling at the end of "Blow Wind Blow", and the lovely coughing fit after "I'll Take New York." Frank's Wild Years is the musical remains of a theatrical collaboration between Waits and Kathleen Brennan, originally staged in 1986. It contains nuggets of important practical advice, sure--"never drive a car when you're dead" (from "Telephone Call from Istanbul")--but mostly these songs are fantasy freaks. Frank's is big-time dreamer. It's a dreamy album. Sweet dreams. --Dan Leone
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Top Customer Reviews
I've listened to about half of Waits' catalog now, spanning his earliest to latest work, and I have my own favorites. I love each of his different 'periods' in different ways. Yet somehow, I've found "Frank's Wild Years" his hardest album to penetrate so far. Part of the problem lies in the fact it was never intended as just an album - it's the score to a stageplay. So is "Alice," but at least with that one, you know everything connects (albeit peripherally) back to Lewis Carroll's story. With "Frank," it really feels like we need to know the story to understand the songs. Much of what Waits sings, especially in-character as Frank, is unusual and hard to listen to without giving it your full attention. This isn't a good album for putting on after a long, hard day, or fot a late-night drive in your car. It takes more dedication than that!
That said, there are some gems here: "Yesterday is Here" and "Cold Cold Ground" are both excellent; "Temptation" (despite Waits reaching the ear-splitting high end of his range) and "Telephone Call to Istanbul" are pretty good, too. I've got to say, though, that "Innocent When You Dream (78)" is one of Waits' best and most absolutely heartbreaking songs. For that alone, the CD is worth it to me. "Frank's Wild Years" isn't the easiest Waits to get into, but it's a great challenge if you're already a fan.
"yesterday is here"
So in conclusion I would have to disagree with some of the reviewers that state that this should be a starting point in order to discover Tom's work. I think Blue Valentine, or Heartattack and Vine might be better. Of course you could start with Closing Time or Heart of Saturday Night but beware Tom blows these works out of the water with his later releases.Read more ›
FWY did get some lukewarm critical response at the time of it's release, and there are things to be aware of before you buy it. First, if you don't like Waits, you will most likely deteste this one. And if you like, or even love Tom Waits, this still could be more Waits than even you can handle.
You see, this is an album where Tom Waits sounds like himself, and no one else. It's predecessor, "Rain Dogs", did have some radio friendly material. On FWY however, there is nothing that Rod Stewart could have turned into a hit.
The album was recorded and released in the mid 1980's. Tom Waits' calendar however, must have frozen around the year of 1955. Elvis, Beatles, psychedelia, folk rock, punk/New Wave, name any category of pop and rock music, no matter how obscure. When listening to this album, it is like none of that had ever happened.
Of all the people working in the field of popular music, Waits most definetely has the strangest, most peculiar musical taste. His favourite band is Salvation Army. Even how much he detests (and I think he does!) the development of rock music from 1956 and on, he seems to have the deepest respect for it's roots, like blues, bluegrass and jazz. Mix this up with some warped, twisted version of a Weimar Republic cabaret, and Waits' musical landscape is set.
Waits was accused for sounding like a parody of himself on this album, and really, he is a bit over the top on some of the tracks. The fact that it's a concept album, telling the story of Frank, is the only way he can possibly get away with a song like "I'll take New York".
Sure, this music isn't for everyone. But if you're tired of mainstream music, and want to hear something completely different, very talented music, FWY is warmly recommended. If you can't appreciate it, then make like a hockeyplayer and get the PUCK outta here!
Most recent customer reviews
This was the first Tom Waits Album I heard, and I became an instant fan. His other albums are great, but this is the one I think of when I think of Tom Waits. Read morePublished on March 20 2004 by David Andersen
I wanted to give this 4 stars because of some weak moments, but since I gave his previous release "Rain Dogs" 4 stars and this is so much better, I have to give it a... Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2004 by Anapanasati
Frank, of the title, is a hard luck loser, a big time dreamer, a no account rambler and a gambler praying for a break. Read morePublished on Aug. 10 2003 by Richard Cody
I don't know why but this album always seems to get left out when people speak of the great Tom Waits albums. Read morePublished on July 27 2003 by R. david Cole
This album is by far the best out of all the great albums Waits has produced. If you aren't that familiar with Waits' material give this a few listens before judging. Read morePublished on April 20 2003 by steve siegfried
I first heard this back in college. At the time, it was unlike anything I've ever heard. I think it single handedly changed my tastes in music. Read morePublished on July 25 2002 by K. H. Orton
This is one [heck] of a CD, just wonderfull! I've bought it a few months ago and I still hear new things (Like voices far,far away and such)! Read morePublished on June 7 2002 by wouter ensing
this is a stroke of geneous. i loved it the first time i listened and i must have listened to it hundreds of times since. Read morePublished on May 1 2002 by Jack Killick