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Big Time Live, Soundtrack

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 30 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live, Soundtrack
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000001FTL
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,713 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. 16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought-Six
2. Red Shoes
3. Underground
4. Cold Cold Ground
5. Straight To The Top
6. Yesterday Is Here
7. Way Down In The Hole
8. Falling Down
9. Strange Weather
10. Big Black Mariah
11. Rain Dogs
12. Train Song
13. Johnsburg, Illinois
14. Ruby's Arms
15. Telephone Call From Istanbul
16. Clap Hands
17. Gun Street Girl
18. Time

Product Description

Japanese-only SHM-CD (Super High Material CD) paper sleeve pressing of this 1988 live album. SHM-CDs can be played on any audio player and delivers unbelievably high-quality sound. You won't believe it's the same CD! Universal. 2008.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Being that Tom Waits doesn't like touring much anymore, this might be the closest any of us will get to experiencing him live (as the corresponding video is also out of print).
This album, contrary to what other reviews have said, is most definitely an essential. It provides new insight to songs, especially "16 Shells from a Thirty-Ought Six" - for the first time, I felt as though I really understood the song. On this album, it takes on a very groovy shuffle feel.
Ballad-wise, Waits plays the living hell out of them. Highlights - Waits' banter before going into a brilliant, moving rendition of his "Train Song." Also, "Ruby's Arms" and "Time" gain even more power in these live versions (if that's possible).
However, I think it's in his more experimental works that the man really shines. The dark, brooding Yesterday is Here gains even more edge as he attacks some of the lyrics with a ferocity that is lacking on the studio version. Also, "Clap Hands" is spectacular too.
All in all, there are no weak songs on this album. Some of them are good live versions that just don't add anything particularly new. And then there are some tracks that are like revelations - the songs are completely re-worked. The album is fascinating.
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Format: Audio CD
Big Time is a satisfying, though not revelatory, live album from Tom Waits. It features mainly a selection of the best of his material from Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs, and Frank's Wild Years, as well as a few tracks from earlier albums. Waits is an artist who has rarely performed live (especially in later years, and especially this material), and it is quite a treat for fans to hear him live. The performances here are all well, but they generally stick fairly close to their studio counterparts, and only a few are revelatory. In contrast with his earlier live shows, Tom rarely talks to the audience here - when he does, it's for a totally wry aside that you'll love and treasure. As anyone who has heard any of Wait's music since the early 80's, it's quite complex music and uses an extremely odd and unique array of instrumentation. You'll be quite surprised to learn, then, that the band that Tom has assembled here reproduces these songs in all their glory quite well. That said, though, there is also that fact's counterpart to be said about the album: since these songs aren't that much different from the original versions - aside from (perhaps unintentional) differing vocal inflections from Tom - you probably won't want to pick up this album unless you are a die-hard fan. A couple of the versions here are definitive, and an immense improvement over the studio versions (Way Down In The Hole), and there is also the previously unavailable studio recording, Falling Down, stuck into the middle of the album. I recommend getting all of Tom's excellent studio albums first, and then picking this up later if you want more.
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Format: Audio CD
Tom Waits challenges both the insane and those that stare down the barrel of sanity. His albums are, without a doubt, pieces of art - and this is no exception. Some highlights:
1. 16 Shells ... I never really cared for the studio version but this live take gives it a new sense of energy especially with Tom's howling at the end and the excellent guitar solo.
6. Yesterday Is Here ... A song I loved off of Frank's Wild Years and a song I was pleased to see included in this live album. One of Tom's most underated tunes in my opinion.
7. Way Down in the Hole ... You can't beat Tom getting religious.
8. Falling Down ... A non-live track which is a great extra. Totally Tom.
12. Train Song ... I believe this song could sum up Waits.
14. Ruby's Arms ... Big crowd favorite here. I believe it's just Waits and his piano. Truly beautiful.
15. Telephone Call from Istanbul ... Even though it does not have the organ solo like the studio version does, this live take is truly crazy and one helluva song to drive to when 3 a.m. rolls around.
16. Clap Hands ... Another song that was re-energized. I believe that's a toy ray gun I hear ... hmmm.
You could probably say something about every song on here but since there's a limit of words. I'd better stop now. Cheers to Tom Waits and his wife Kathleen Brennan - you are original and distinct. I can't wait 'til the two new Waits albums, Alice and Blood Money, are released in May. Thanks.
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Format: Audio CD
If you're new to Tom Waits, skip over this CD for a while. If you've lived with Tom Waits's songs for some time you might be ready to hear this eclectic, bizarre, and energetic collection of live performances. Some of the songs are almost totally reinvented - recognizable only by the lyrics (Red Shoes, Big Black Mariah). Some are played exactly the same as the original recording with sometimes better results (Ruby's Arms) and sometimes inferior results (Johnsburg, Illinois, Train Song). There's also the delightfully strange and funny pre-song banter and story telling that he's well known for. For me, the absolute highlight of the CD is the song "Falling Down" which is the only studio track and ranks among the best songs of his entire career. It's oddly buried in the middle of the CD without fanfare, but to me it's a major selling point of the CD. Recently, I viewed the video "Big Time" (long out of print and a collectors item - check Ebay -- they go for over a hundred bucks!) and was quite surprised to find that there is very little overlap between the movie and the CD. Even some cases where the same song is on both, it is a different version. I guess that's just one more quirk in this quirky CD.
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