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Franks Wild Years Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 15 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Universal/Island
  • ASIN: B000001FSR
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
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1. Hang On St. Christopher
2. Straight To TheTop (Rhumba)
3. Blow Wind Blow
4. Temptation
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)

Product Description


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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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'm a fairly recent convert to Tom Waits - my best friend gave me "Alice" for my birthday last summer, and although it initially horrified and repulsed me, I couldn't stop listening to it for months. After the first week or two, though, I realized "Alice" was destined to become one of my favorite albums and Waits one of my favorite musicians. And so it's continued.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
This one is right up there with Bone Machine, I'm torn...but I think I like this one better. The first time I heard it was inside one of those used CD stores they used to have in San Diego which were later purchased by Wherehouse, which is on its way to extinction due to the MP3. There are few CD's on earth worth more than 10 bucks, but I would pay more than that...I would pay 12 dollars for this CD, and that's really saying something. I like almost every tune on here...I listened to it today. Best when mixed with Bacardi or Brandy Screwdrivers.
"yesterday is here"
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Format: Audio CD
First of all I would like to state that I love Tom Waits and have been listening to him non-stop for two months I own eleven of his CDs. The trilogy of Swordfishtrombones/Raindogs/Frank's Wild Years has been the hardest CDs for me to get into (Bone Machine was a natural). Alice is another difficult one. I think it is the carnival-barker-talking styles many of the songs incorporate. In defense of this work I must admit that the production and concept are very impressive. Some of Tom's best work is on this CD in particular "Hang on St. Christopher, Temptation, Yesterday is Here, Way Down in the Hole, Cold Cold Ground, and Train Song". Just a note Tom's vocals on "Train Song" are so stirring. You can hear the pain so clearly. He sounds like he is crying as he sings this song. For those people that have heard a little of Tom's work and think that Tom can't sing you need a hearing aid. His voice is extremely versatile and beautiful (listen to "On the Nickle"/Heartattack and Vine, "Kentucky Avenue" and "Blue Valentine"/Blue Valentine, "Tom's Traubert's Blues"/Small Change, "Come on up to the House"/Mule Variations as well as "Train Song" just to name a few. When I want to get really freaked out I listen to Closing Time and The Heart of Saturday Night. Love the CDs but wish he had changed his singing style prior to their release.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
At the age of 20, I was introduced to the world of Tom Waits with this album. It remains one of my favourites of his.
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!
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