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The Black Rider (1993 Studio Cast) [Cast Recording]

Tom Waits, William S. BurroughsAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

Price: $11.18 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Lucky Day Overture 2:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Black Rider 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. November 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Just The Right Bullets 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Black Box Theme 2:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. 'Tain't No Sin 2:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Flash Pan Hunter/Intro 1:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. That's The Way 1:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Briar And The Rose 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Russian Dance 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Gospel Train/Orchestra 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. I'll Shoot The Moon 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Flash Pan Hunter 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Crossroads 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Gospel Train 4:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Interlude0:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Oily Night 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Lucky Day 3:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. The Last Rose Of The Summer 2:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Carnival 1:16$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

The Black Rider (1993 Studio Cast) + Bone Machine + Frank's Wild Years
Price for all three: $32.54

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  • Bone Machine $11.18
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 2, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: November 2, 1993
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B000001E29
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,792 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Summoned to Hamburg, Germany, to write music for a live stage production of Robert Wilson's The Black Rider, musical mastermind Waits took to the task at hand with gusto, assembling an eclectic crew of musicians to become "the pit band [he'd] always dreamed of." Several years later Waits assembled another "orchestra" in San Francisco to record many of the songs he'd written for the live production. Those tracks are found here, alongside a few rough gems from sessions in Hamburg. You'll find some musical matter familiar to Waits fans: accordions, carnivals, violas, banjos, the devil (a key figure in The Black Rider), a singing saw, bassoons, and trombones. Waits's many voices tell the rather disjointed story with a variety of musical styling, and the assembled whole is pretty much a sum of its parts (but at least they're interesting parts): a touch of Day of the Dead, a whiff of carny, a nod to Brecht, a dash of film noir, and the scent of narcosis (William Burroughs makes an appearance here). Not easy listening, by any means, but a feast for the ears. --Lorry Fleming

Product Description

20 tracks from the barfly poet including Lucky Day, Flash Pan Hunter; Crossroads; Gospel Train; Oily Night; The Last Rose of Summer; Carnival , and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waits's best work October 15, 1999
Format:Audio CD
The song "November" is a kind of microcosm for this album, which evokes skeletal trees, looming clouds, piles of dead leaves, and harrowing winds. A post-halloween, pre-dead of winter atmosphere pervades this record. While Tom Waits is a great original talent, with piles and piles of brilliant songs, he tends to "show his hand" too much, so that his act is revealed as just that--an act. And since most of his material depends on you buying into his persona(e), sometimes you come away unconvinced.
Not here; and ironically, this is music for a stage production. But I don't think I've ever heard Waits quite this confident in his powers and so at home with his considerable gifts for settings, lyrics, and performance. In the instrumental "Russian Theme," when he "counts off," you can see him flailing his arms at the musicians to keep the music going. The recurrent themes of impending death are perfectly complimented by gleeful black humor; lyrically and sonically, The Black Rider holds together perfectly as a unified work.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Achingly Beautiful September 30, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I was always of the opinion that Tom's years at Island Records were his most ingenius (though this year's double release of "Alice" and "Blood Money" quite possibly changed all that), and I have always disagreed with the folks (well-intentioned though they may be) that say "Bone Machine" was the last "true" Tom Waits album before the release of "Mule Variations." I personally see Tom all over this album. Granted, I did not have the privelege of actually seeing a stage production of "The Black Rider," and the only things I know about the plot I got from the liner notes. Still, I think something in this play must have touched Tom's soul in a profound way. To chart this album on the Waits map, I'd put it about halfway between his wild and ambitious late-80s project "Franks Wild Years" and his just-released tearfully touching opus "Alice." It is, of course, no coincidence that those two albums were also the results of theatric endeavours. Still, "The Black Rider" is unique in that the story itself was not a product of Waits's imagination, yet he seems to relate to it almost as if it were. "November," "That's the Way," and "Briar and the Rose" lend touches of real beauty to this album. "Briar and the Rose" especially would not seem out of place on "Alice," while "Just the Right Bullets" and "Crossroads" seem to let you in on what Tom really thinks about the whole mess. The instrumentals on this are cacophonous even for Waits, which may or may not turn you on, depending on taste. Of course, no Waits album would be complete without the glitz of the carnival scene making an appearance in some form. We get this on the opening track, with Tom giving his own rendition of barker patter. Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I saw Black Rider and . . . October 13, 2004
By Reba
Format:Audio CD
it makes this album amazing and make sense. The show has only played in the US once (this past fall in San Francisco)-- so it is hard to see, but if you ever get the chance you should. It is really an amazing collaboration of three brilliant artists. Like any musical cast recording, the record is hard to understand the full story or make perfect sense of why the songs sound the way they do when you can't see the visual or hear the rest of the text. Because I did, I love the album. I can understand why you might not get into it if you haven't seen it, but I think approaching it like you would a sountrack to a musical is helpful.

And just an FYI -- it's the story of Faust told in a crazy freak show kind of world. The hunting and the bullets comes in because the devil can give you 12 magic bullets that will always hit their target if you sell your soul. Plus it ties in in a creepy way to heroine and Burrough's (who wrote the text) shooting his wife.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outre ... Puzzling ... and Brilliant June 12, 2004
Format:Audio CD
It's not always easy to discern the logic behind the organization of a Tom Waits album; fortunately the man is a good enough musician to get away with juxtaposing music of widely differing themes and styles all on the same disc. It's even harder to follow the soundtracks to the multiple stage-productions for which he has written music, since there is no way to tell where each song and instrumental number fits in the universal scheme of the plot.
When dealing with Tom Waits, again, it doesn't really matter. Few of us were lucky enough to be hanging around the Thalia theatre when The Black Rider had its run ... I wasn't even ten years old at the time! Even fewer of us could recite the Black Rider story on call; it's an old German folk tale that was also set to music by Carl Maria von Weber in the 19th century. Consequently, I know little more about the illustrious old tale than I could gather from the liner notes here. But I still love the album dearly.
The more releases we see from living legend Waits, the more it seems that he can't make a CD without the stamp of brilliance on it. Some of these songs easily rank with the best of his career. "Just the Right Bullets" is mind-blowing, and the instrumental backing has a sound I haven't found in any of Waits' other work. "The Briar and the Rose," with its allusions to Waits' wife, Kathleen Brennan, is among the very best of his ballads. Nor is there any way to beat the carnival-barking announcement of the opening track, announcing an exhibition of "human oddities." Indeed.
What makes The Black Rider unusual, perhaps, is the presense of a large number of instrumentals.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing album
i have most of wait's stuff and this is extraordinary. buy it and you can play it once every few months.
Published 7 months ago by Richard Metz
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the abstract sound
It's signature Tom Waits sound in an unconventional approach to a play. Love it all and makes you appreciate his post Swordfishtrombones material even more.
Published 9 months ago by Bruno Cruz
4.0 out of 5 stars He's done it to me again. An album I've long dismissed upon...
I actually got to see the play in Los Angeles. Jack Nicholson happened to be at that particular show. It was truly a play accompanied with a live Waitsian orchestra. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Chris bct
5.0 out of 5 stars Why did I skip over this?!
I have been listening to Tom Waits for a very long while now and have somehow managed to skip over this for so many years. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Jake K
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange? Not for his fans
Straight to the point, and straight to the top: this is Tom Waits at his best. Strange? Not for his fans. Read more
Published on August 20, 2012 by Paulo Roxo Barja
On first listen, I found this album to be unlistenable. Insane cacophony. Not the Waits I like. I don't like the Waits songs about cheeseburgers and bourbon and waitresses and I... Read more
Published on May 10, 2009 by Chanfrancisco
5.0 out of 5 stars Waits' best ...
What a perfect project for Tom Waits! Like Woyzeck (Blood Money), not to mention Alice, The Black Rider (Der Freischutz) is perfectly complimented by Waits' inimitable style(s). Read more
Published on December 9, 2007 by Horselover_Fat
5.0 out of 5 stars The Waits Rider.
Yes Rain Dogs, Bone Machine, and maybe even Mule Variations, Closing Time or Alice, are indeed the great works by Tom Waits - But The Black Rider is the most sublime and... Read more
Published on July 12, 2007 by Zenbones
4.0 out of 5 stars Macabre and strangely addictive
Tom Waits's THE BLACK RIDER is one of his most ecclectic albums...and that's saying a lot, as Waits fans well-know. Read more
Published on March 20, 2007 by DanD
5.0 out of 5 stars And the first one's always free...
First off, to the best of my knowledge there is no commerically released cast recording of The Black Rider. Read more
Published on October 19, 2006 by H. E. Smith
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