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Real Gone

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 5 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: FAB
  • ASIN: B0002SDKG6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,740 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Top Of The Hill
2. Hoist That Rag
3. Sins Of My Father
4. Shake It
5. Don't Go Into That Barn
6. How's It Gonna End
7. Metropolitan Glide
8. Dead And Lovely
9. Circus
10. Trampled Rose
11. Green Grass
12. Baby Gonna Leave Me
13. Clang Boom Steam
14. Make It Rain
15. Day After Tomorrow

Product Description

Product Description

Academy Award nominated and Grammy Award winner, Tom Waits has been long considered one of music's most influential artists because he has continuously created music outside of fad or fashion. With REAL GONE, his off-road adventures are taken into the further beyond. Mixing and mashing: worlds both sonic and ethnic, musical traditions both new and old, and rhythms both mouth-made and sampled from his own instruments, Waits has reached a new pinnacle. Written and produced by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, his wife and long-time collaborator, REAL GONE features 15 tracks of funk, Jamaican rock-steady, blues both urban and rural, rhythms and melodies both Latin and African and, for the first time, no piano. Anti. 2004.

There's little risk of confusing Tom Waits with the gentle pop folk who have covered his songs-- Rod Stewart, Sarah McLachlan, Everything But the Girl, just to name a few. That's because even though the eccentric songwriter is capable of summoning the most tender sentiments, his preferred method of delivery is through carnival melodies, crackpot instruments, and a bourbon-soaked bark. Real Gone continues the dark experimental streak of not just its predecessors like Alice and Blood Money, but the past 30 years. Yes, the percussion is sharper, the arrangements stranger, and the voice more ghost-like than ever, but at the center of all the chaos remains an uncanny storyteller--capable of ripping down governments ("Sins of My Father") and building up tears ("Day After Tomorrow"). --Aidin Vaziri

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Format: Audio CD
When one wonders when songwriters will begin to bring home the sentiments of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would take only one listening to the last song on this Tom Waits CD to realize that the quintessential "soldier song" of the year has arrived. "Day After Tomorrow" best captures what this soldier has experienced as the most basic thoughts of a pre-combat soldier, perhaps ever writen. It has been artfully crafted by a most unusual source in Tom Waits. It's personal perspective transcends pop music, offering the very specific intimate details of a Wisconson blue collar pre-soldier home life as only Tom Waits could capture. Given the anti-war sentiment of earlier songs on this CD (ie., "Hoist That Rag", "Sins of the Father"), the "Day After Tomorrow" is written from the perspective of the soldier himself, on the ever-hopeful, pre-eve of his departure from the combat zone to come home. The song left me stunned. This is the song which answers The Dixie Chicks, "Traveling Soldier" waiting-for-him-to-come-home ballad. Play them back to back on the radio and traffic will stop on the highway (well, maybe). But you get the picture.
Whatever inspired Tom Waits to produce this CD and add "Day After Tomorrow" as the last song, this trooper would like to know more. Tom, who in the world do you know over there? Who is the soldier in that song?
The CD's only drawback is the unapologetic raspy voice of Mr. Waits himself. Listeners unfamiliar with Tom Waits extreme hoarseness will find definite impatience in giving the CD its full consideration. What a shame. To me, it lends perfect honesty. How sublime.
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Format: Audio CD
Tom Waits really shines through on his latest release, "Real Gone". If you are a fan of the Rain Dogs-era Tom Waits then there is a good chance you will enjoy this album. It is spooky, uplifting, and sometimes just plain puzzling. As with most of Tom Waits material, his use of imagery in his songs is captivating, as well as the character songs, I don't think anybody can sketch a human being better than Mr. Waits. Les Claypool plays bass on many of the songs on the album, but if you're expecting it to sound like some kind of primus release you'll be terribly mistaken. To the average ear you would not even be able to tell that les is playing. The only reason that this album gets 4 stars is that 2 or 3 of the songs sound somewhat similar. I wish I could give this album 4 1/2 or 4 3/4 stars, because that would be more accurate. If you want an album that will take you out of your body and into a world of Lonely soldiers, personal journeys, and dirty diners, then I strongly suggest that you pick up Real Gone as soon as possible. I got it on the day of it's release and am completely satisfied. Long live Tom Waits!
(PS: also check out the Shrek 2 soundtrack for a great Tom Waits piece entitled "Little Drop of Poison")
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By A Customer on Nov. 19 2004
Format: Audio CD
It took me a couple of listens to really get into this album, and now, I tell you, I couldn't live without it! And neither can you! If you liked Mule Variations, you'll like this even more. And there is no way Tom Waits is losing his voice. In fact, he's even beat-boxing!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 128 reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Another Tom Waits Classic Oct. 9 2004
By x - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Tom Waits, as usual, has produced another classic. It should be noted, however, that "Real Gone" is a really gritty, avant-garde effort. The sonic texture of the album is akin to some of the tunes on "Bone Machine" with a tinge of the sweaty grit of the more raucous parts of "Mule Variations" (e.g., the texture found on the rough and funky "Filipino Box Spring Hog"). If you are a fan of Waits' last few albums, you will enjoy "Real Gone." If what you enjoy about Waits' music is his piano playing, well, this is one you can skip--there is no piano whatsoever on this CD.

The music is oddly mixed and Tom's microphone sounds overloaded at times, but somehow it all fits together to make sense. The disc opens with "Top of the Hill," which is a great indicator of things to come with its funky rhythms with prominent percussive downbeats. If you enjoy this tune, you will likely enjoy "Metropolitan Glide," which comes up a few tracks later and uses turntables to great effect without dominating the musical landscape. There are a couple beautiful slow pieces as well in "Dead and Lovely" and "How's It Gonna End." The guitar duties are largely handled by the legendary Marc Ribot, whose playing is perfectly suited to Waits' music. He really shines on "Real Gone." His guitar brings a haunting quality to the slower pieces and razor-sharp gutter funk to the faster tunes.

All told, this is just another classic Tom Waits album. He is amazing. "Real Gone" is like walking down an old dusty road in Mississippi and noticing something shiny along the roadside. You walk over to the item, look down, and see a handle of a box buried halfway in the dirt. You dig out the box, open it, and find an old pistol, a flask of good whisky, and $3000 in circa 1920 hundred-dollar bills. You know there must have been some foul play long ago, and that the locals still probably know all about it, but you pocket the cash and the pistol and head on your merry way. There are gifts in the dirt. The music on "Real Gone" is gritty and mysterious, but just go with it, because you really wouldn't want to know the answers to any of the questions you might have about this music.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
His loudest album yet Oct. 6 2004
By Jacob K. Allen - Published on
Format: Audio CD
If you took all the wonderfully abrasive moments framing Bone Machine, every crunchy pop and snarl that "All Stripped Down", "Such a Scream", and "Let Me Get Up On It" squeal with, turning them into full blown beat boxing epics of turntable scratch and echoed voice, Real Gone is close to exactly what would come out.

Relying less upon melody then shaky rhythm, song after song consist of one crumbling riff or two that Tom croaks out wildly along with, barking vocal percussion in strangulated yelps. Recorded in his bathroom at home, these human backbeats are as hilarious as they are frightening. He apparently didn't loop any of them either, like the intro to "Big in Japan", opting instead for the unpredictable accidental grunt that one would groan out after having screamed "Boo Boom, KUH KAK!" for four straight minutes.

Lyrically, this is as strong as any other Waits record, following the example of Blood Money and focusing less on narrative then bittersweet metaphor, ("He's not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at") complimenting the pitch black instrumentation perfectly. When not making wonderfully absurd commentary ("If I was a bed, I'd be an unmade bed"), he's barking along with the drums and his previously recorded percussion, the John Lee Hooker from hell groover "Shake It" and bleeding rock "Baby Gonna Leave Me" prime examples. Your foot won't not pound the floor in unision.

I don't know exactly what people who buy Real Gone for an introduction to Tom Waits will think, but longtime listeners will laugh and cry the whole way through, marvelling at the most undeappreciated musician of the last 50 years, somone having long ago deserved the respect and awe names such as Bob Dylan instantly conjure. At the very least, the coverage in magazines and newspaper. Anyone notice how small the mentions of his musical doings are these days?
37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
The Blues Had A Baby, It Got Rabies And They Named Him.... Oct. 15 2004
By S. Finefrock - Published on
Format: Audio CD
...Tom Waits. REAL GONE is the latest chapter from the 30+ year career of Tom Waits. He has made a career of delivering his message wrapped in a variety of dressings, Skewed night club stylings, Beat derived jazz poetry, demented Tin Pan Alley tunes and experimental takes on Delta Blues. This release definately takes on the latter.

Backed by a talented crew featuring the welcome return of guitarist Marc Ribot( his dirty guitar tones are custom made for Waits material) and Primus' bass extrodinaire Les Claypool, Waits lays down what has to be his most primal set to date. Where BONE MACHINE's harshness was levened by the occasional ballad, REAL GONE is an unrelenting set of cacophony and insistant rhythyms, even the queiter moments are raw and filled with dread.

There are a number of fine songs that rank with the best in the Waits canon, including the 10 minute plus SINS OF MY FATHER, the primitive blues of SHAKE IT, the rustic flavored TRAMPLED ROSE, the deep-fried blues stomp of HOIST THAT RAG and sublime soldier's letter to home DAY AFTER TOMORROW (the album's tenderest moment).

On the other hand there are a few tracks that may not have passed the cut of an editor such as the incessant opener, TOP OF THE HILL(featuring Tom the human beatbox), and the mostly spoken tracks, CIRCUS and CLANG, BOOM, STEAM. While good, they are not essential, though they do fit in the general overall tone of the album. Also worth mention is that he his using the same templete used on both BONE MACHINE and MULE VARIATIONS. Some of the arrangements and topics feel familiar. Still these are minor quibbles.

All in all, this is a fine work by Waits that will be especially appreciated by those that came on board with either SWORDFISHTROMBONES or BONE MACHINE, and are undeterred by his more experimental timbres. It's been a long road from HEART OF SATURDAY NIGHT or CLOSING TIME to this, and those who are predispositioned to his early work may find this tough to swallow. Neophytes to Waits would be advised to aproach carefully. This is unusually harsh stuff from a man whose voice at it's most melodic makes a garbage disposal sound like Sam Cooke. Still this is an excellent work by an artist with a unique vision and approach, and a welcome addition to his fine catalog. 4 3/4 stars.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The Road To Perdition and The Highway To Hell. Oct. 28 2004
By Jason Stein - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When you open Tom Waits' newest cd you are greeted with a blurry silhouette of him howling like a beast might at a full moon. This sets the tone of what's coming next--the music. At times Tom can be a spluttering old jalopy ("Top Of The Hill"), or a menacing ex-convict ("Hoist That Rag"), or a reflective damned soul seeking redemption ("Sins Of The Father"), or a lunatic drill sargeant shouting out commands to his weary soldiers ("Don't Go Into The Barn"). Tom can be everything, and with his masterful ability to tell tales of woe and misery, and capture the human condition at its most destitute and forlorn stages gives Robert Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters and other famous bluesmen a run for their money.

"Real Gone" utilizes some new sonics such as vocal beatboxing and deranged guitars, experimental noises and found sounds to make and odd symphony that's just as rewarding as "Mule Variations", "Blood Money" and "Bone Machine". I particularly enjoyed the drunken deranged broken record player stylings of "Shake It" where it moves from one pace to another and one key to another key. Les Claypool of Primus certainly adds the right touches to Tom's already unique style. Be prepared like "Mule Variations" to sit through 72 minutes of whacked out experimental music in the form of blues, folk, ragtime and rhythm and blues Tom-style.

Certainly a pioneer of his own original sound, Tom Waits continues to be one of a few troubadors that won't bend to record company schlock. My hope is, at 55, that we don't lose such an original talent to cancer like we lost Warren Zevon. The smoking has certainly aided Tom in creating a voice to suit his brand of music very well. Here's to more experimental works, and maybe old Tom has a few more musical tricks up his sleeve yet. If you are new to Waits this is a decent place to start and work your way back, but really all of his albums are essential. He's one of the few artists to make decent albums throughout his career.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Tom Waits>>>God Aug. 27 2005
By Wheelchair Assassin - Published on
Format: Audio CD
While Rain Dogs is still probably the best introduction for those looking to explore the strange world of Tom Waits, Real Gone proves that even two decades after the release of that masterpiece, Waits's music remains as resolutely idiosyncratic and resistant to classification as ever. Real Gone is an often challenging, occasionally uncomfortable, but always interesting listen that only serves to reaffirm Waits's penchant for sonic exploration and experimentation. Even as he moves into his 50's, Waits remains a committed iconoclast, and as usual there are no apologies for it to be found here. The Rolling Stones may still be selling out stadiums long past their prime, but Waits is still putting out brilliant albums, and that should count for something.

Throughout its fifteen tracks, Real Gone is yet another stylistically diverse and lyrically profound album that covers a wide range of moods and always sounds great doing it. For the most part, the songs veer between clamorous, cantankerous, cacophanous electric blues and reflective, sparsely instrumented balladry. Not suprisingly, the lyrics are filled with philosophical ramblings and unromantic tales of love and loss, but in a musical climate where snivelling wimps whining about getting dumped in high school get taken seriously, I wouldn't have it any other way. Waits's trademark smoky howl is still in fine form, and the music is as unpredictable and unbound by genre as ever, incorporating screeching electric guitars, gentle acoustics, eclectic percussion, and even some vocal beatboxing. This album is simply littered with classics: the stuttering, staggering opener Top of the Hill; the intricate, impassioned, Hoist That Rag; the quietly introspective Sins of My Father ("Everthing I done is between God and me"--love that line); the bluesy foot-stomper Don't Go Into That Barn; the roaring, wildly infectious Metropolitan Glide and Make It Rain; the eerie, female vocal-accented Trampled Rose; and, well, pretty much everything else.

All that said, though, in this case Waits may well have saved the best for last. For the album's closer, The Day After Tomorrow, Waits takes on the hot-button topic of the war in Iraq, using a simple and even slightly cliched device (a soldier's letter home to his significant other) to cut through the tired sloganeering that so often dominates both sides of the debate. Fleshed out with nothing more than some minimal guitar strumming and written in beautifully poetic style, this song manages to do no less than sum up much of what's universal in human life. Since my description couldn't do this song justice, here's a sample of the lyrical genius to be found within:

You can't deny

The other side

Don't wanna die

Any more than we do

What I'm trying to say

Is don't they pray,

To the same God that we do?

Tell me how does God Choose,

Whose prayers does he refuse

Who turns the wheel

And who throws the dice

On the day after tomorrow?

I'm not fighting for justice

I am not fighting for freedom

I am fighting

For my life

And another day

In the world here

I just do what I've been told

You're just the gravel on the road

And the ones that are lucky

Ones come home

On the day after tomorrow

Take that, Toby Keith (not to mention all the shrill anti-war voices who manage to be equally annoying and self-righteous)! As this little snippet illustrates graphically, if there's anyone who can dispense with propaganda and just tell a good story, it's Tom Waits. While his individualistic approach will most likely never gain him the mainstream recognition he deserves, Waits still deserves to be commended, as Real Gone shows him to be among music's most reliable sources of quality material even more than three decades into his career. Forget current fashion; we might be looking at the best album of 2004 in this one.