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Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards (3 CDs) [Best of, Box set]

Tom Waits Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 35.75 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards (3 CDs) + Bone Machine
Price For Both: CDN$ 45.92

  • Bone Machine CDN$ 10.17

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Product Details

Disc: 1
1. Lie To Me
2. LowDown
3. 2:19
4. Fish In The Jailhouse
5. Bottom Of The World
6. Lucinda
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Bend Down The Branches
2. You Can Never Hold Back Spring
3. Long Way Home
4. Widow's Grove
5. Little Drop Of Poison
6. Shiny Things
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. What Keeps Mankind Alive
2. Children's Story
3. Heigh Ho
4. Army Ants
5. Books Of Moses
6. Bone Chain
See all 18 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

"A lot of songs that fell behind the stove while making dinner" is how Tom Waits describes his new three-disc set, Orphans. The collection goes far beyond a simple career retrospective, with over 30 newly recorded songs - from Wait's own versions of songs he gave to other artist to some "things I recorded in the garage with the kids" - while over two thirds of the material has never been heard before now. In addition to the new work, Orphans features a number of tracks finding a home on a Waits album for the first time. The first disc, called Brawlers, is chock full of raucous blues and full-throated juke-joint stomp; second disc Bawlers contains Celtic and country ballads, waltzes, lullabies, piano and classic lyrical Wait's songs, while third disc Bastards is filled with experimental music, stories and jokes.


With these astounding 54 songs (plus two bonus tracks) Tom Waits has added a vital new work to his catalog. The title, Orphans, refers to the songs either being from a range of outside projects, various impulses, and whims, or simply not having found a place on the albums for which they were intended. While that scenario has constituted a stopgap measure for lesser artists, this set stands alongside Waits's finest work. He has shaped it into three separate discs, each one separately titled after the prevailing character of its tracks and playing with its own mood and dramatic arc. Brawlers favors raucousness and uptempo grinds and grooves, while Bawlers showcases balladry and the more overtly poetic. Bastards is a funhouse of angular characters, spiky anecdotes, shaggy dogs, and even a Kurt Weill cover. The set offers everything from the amped-up rockabilly hiccuping of "Lie to Me" to the breathtaking perfection of "Shiny Things," and from the outraged political reporting of "Road to Peace" to the closing-time lament of "Little Man." --David Greenberger

More from Tom Waits

Rain Dogs


Closing Time

Franks Wild Years

The Heart of Saturday Night

Small Change

Mule Variations

Nighthawks at the Diner

Bone Machine

Real Gone

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
By Stephen Bieth TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
First off I am a huge Tom Waits fan. This guy can literally make garbage can lids sound musical. Not only that but his works has been nothing but consistent his whole career. This like the Dylan box set will have you scratching your head as to why a lot of these songs were left off the records. Of course every one is not a gem but there are more good to great songs then duds. The version of the box set I picked up also has the lyrics. I don't know if the digi pack version does. The songs are not just chronological listed like they are in most box sets but (like the Zeppelin box set) they are divided by style of music. It gives a much nicer flow to each of the three discs.
This is not for first time buyers but people who know Wait's music but you don't need to be a completes to enjoy it. But if you want to check him out your better off with "Small Change" or "Bone Machine" to start. If you have any of his records and like what you have heard you should check this out. The music is from a long period of time so you do get a taste of all the styles he has gone through.
I love that artists are doing this now instead of letting some record company put a sub par collection out after their death. Like Neil Young said about his huge retrospectives (that are out or coming out) that he wants to do it right and then burn the rest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Sept. 21 2014
By Breeno
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Another one sent right out of the park by Mr. Waits. Blessed be his name.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow Nov. 23 2006
Format:Audio CD
This collection of Waits' scattered "orphans" actually makes for his most unified album since Bone Machine. It's a triple concept album knockout. Classic thumping what's-that-sound Waits, beautiful piano-bound melancholies and fish. And rain. Always the rain... Tom! Please tour!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Oct. 23 2014
By Dominik
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Great album
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mainly for the completist June 16 2012
Format:Audio CD
I've been a fan of Tom Waits since the 80s, beginning with albums such as "The Heart of Saturday Night," "Small Change," and of course "Nighthawks at the Diner." Virtually all of his releases have been great since then, right up to "Glitter and Doom" and "Bad as Me."

This collection, "Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards" is something else. It is easy for me to see why most of these songs were left off previous albums. Compared to Waits' output over the years, these songs just don't measure up. If you MUST have everything available from Waits, then by all means get hold of this collection, but most of these tracks do not hold up to repeated listing.

For those who want to get some of Tom Wait's finest work, one can recommend the best-of collection "Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years." One would also not want to miss "Mule Variations," "Blood Money," or "Alice"--CDs that do indeed hold up to repeated listening and time. To me, "Orphans" represents the discernment Tom Waits and his producers have shown over the years by previously rejecting these songs.
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