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Bone Machine

4.7 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 9.88 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 4 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000001DVZ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,444 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Earth Died Screaming
2. Dirt In The Ground
3. Such A Scream
4. All Stripped Down
5. Who Are You
6. The Ocean Doesn't Want Me
7. Jesus Gonna Be Here
8. A Little Rain
9. In The Colosseum
10. Goin' Out West
11. Murder In The Red Barn
12. Black Wings
13. Whistle Down The Wind
14. I Don't Wanna Grow Up
15. Let Me Get Up On It
16. That Feel

Product Description

Product Description

Bone Machine


The abnormal has become the norm for Tom Waits, so, once again, Bone Machine is laden with odd timbres, archaic acoustics, and raw vocals. This time, however, Waits has built his songs around a Harry Partch-inspired fascination with primitive percussion. With a crew of Northern California musicians along to add spare adornments, Waits fashions pretty, sentimental tunes ("A Little Rain", Whistle Down the Wind") and hellish stampedes of clanging metal and hoarse shouting ("Earth Died Screaming", "Let Me Get Up on It", the latter the 53-second distillation of Bone Machine quintessence--just Waits distorted bellowing and banging. Bone Machine is both appalling and appealing. There are elements to this album that seem designed to drive away the faint of heart, and then there are melodies that melt in your hand. --Steve Stolder

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm no expert on Tom Waits but I have three favorite albums: Swordfishtrombones, Mule Variations and yes, Bone Machine. I won't say we should all own these albums but if you like his voice, his presence, his music and the spoken word bits then you already know you'll find something you love in any of his other albums. Like I said, I'm no expert but I am truely a fan.
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Format: Audio CD
There are many terrific albums that have been recorder in the history of mankind. The Stones Exile on Main Street, Black Sabbath's Paranoid, Nirvana's Nevermind, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper. All of these albums are famous and awe-inspiring, yet all of them are what can be dubbed as "Accesible". Tom Waits, for all his genius arrangement and lyrical skills as well as his unique approach to singing, cannot be deemed "accessable" by any definition of the word. A person has to have a certain mind ste to listen to Tom Waits. For everyone who thinks they might like Tom Waits, BUY THIS ALBUM. For everyone that has no interest in Tom Waits BUY THIS ALBUM. Why? Because its the greatest peice of musical and lyrical genius that exists in the spectrum of modern music. From the claning death-knell of "Earth Died Screaming" to the drunken alleyway chorus, consisting of Tom and fellow barroom legend Keith Richards, of "That Feel", this album defines the sound of awesomeness. There is no bad song on this album, and there is sense of filler. All the songs are individual and creative in their presentation, yet are all similar as are all "Tom Waits Songs".
Earth Died Screaming- Salvador Dali set to a clanking refrain of percussion. Perhaps the most warped peice of genius on te entire album.
Dirt In The Ground- Wavering, piano driven dirge that pulls the listener into its dark and twisted picture of death. Brilliant imagery.
Such a Scream- It clanks, it screams, it weezes, ITS THE QUENTESSENTIAL TOM WAITS SONG!
All Stripped Down- Delta blues mixed with Lo-Fi techno with just enough apocalyptic imagery to satisfy everyone.
Who Are You- The first real "ballad" of the album.
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Format: Audio CD
If the earth were to die screaming... this would be the soundtrack. Tom Waits never exactly wrote music to play at the senior prom, or music to make one feel cheerful, but the factor of the macabre on Bone Machine hits the rusty nail on the head. It makes all of his other albums look like mainstream targets. Just take the opening two songs "The Earth Died Screaming," and "Dirt in the Ground." The pounding sticks on the former, and the weird vocals and sounds of Waits (with Les Claypool on bass) make this sound like an apocalyptic funeral procession, especially when Waits screams "and the earth died screaming while I lay dreaming," making the opening to an album very haunting. The next song "Dirt in the Ground," is piano-based, but it ain't no Barry Manilow song. With somber sounding brass instruments added to the mix,along with very pensive and morbid lyrics by Waits, along with his rasp-falsetto ("What does it matter/a dream of love/or a dream of lies/We're all gonna be the same place when we die."), this should indicate the rest of the album.
Other notable songs are "Who Are You," the raunchy "Goin Out West," "Black Wings" (containing some of the most resonant guitar Waits ever committed to tape), and the playful "I Don't Wanna Grow Up," which is a pessimistic view of life which sounds like it was written by a 5-year old with a tinge of Waits' realism and imagery. Of course there's also the suicide note "The Ocean Doesn't Want Me," the soulful "Jesus Is Gonna Be Here," and the album's closing track, a duet with Keith Richards "That Feel," a drunken-bluesy singalong. Listener beware; this is a very disturbing album, and if you think Rain Dogs or Swordfishtrombones was disturbing enough, this is the absolute epitome of disturbing. Not for the weak, or the timid... only those daring enough to explore Waits' music wth an open mind and endurance will be able to handle this album.
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Format: Audio CD
"There was thunder/there was lightning/Then the stars went out/and the moon fell from the sky/it rained mackeral/It rained trout/and the great day of wrath has come/And here's mud in your big red eye/The poker's int he fire/And the locusts take the sky/And the earth died screaming/While I lay dreaming of you"
So sings Waits in the opening song to this album. This judgment-day theme continues in many of the songs on the first half ("Dirt in the Ground") ("All Stripped Down") ("Jesus Gonna Be Here") Set to unconventional percussion (done by Waits himself), a few hints of country twang, and a few piano ballads, "Bone Machine" keeps the variety without sounding like he's going out of his way to do so. It gives his voice -- which is limited to a) falsetto, b) growl, and c) raspy baritone -- a wide range of material to work with.
For anyone who likes stories in the form of song in the best way possible, I would recommend "Muder in the Red Barn". Led by a minimalist banjo accompaniment, this song winds its way through to its conclusion in the same drawl way as the lyrics do: "Now the woods will never tell/What sleeps beneath the trees/Or what's buried 'neath a rock/Or hiding in the leaves/'Cause road kill has its seasons/Just like everything/It's possums in the autumn/And it's farm cats in the spring".
The last few songs on the album bring the focus from the apocalyptic to the personal, and about a person's confrontation with his own fate. ("Whistlin' down the wind", "I don't wanna grow up", "That feel") While his somewhat loopy photo on the album cover and his distinctive voice may give the impression that this is Mojo Nixon with a head cold, Waits has a far more serious take on his music, and the stuff that's "out there" musically has a context that anyone can relate to.
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