Franks Wild Years
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Franks Wild Years

June 1, 1990

  Song Title
Hang On St. Christopher
Straight To The Top (Rhumba)
Blow Wind Blow
Innocent When You Dream (Barroom)
I'll Be Gone
Yesterday Is Here
Please Wake Me Up
Franks Theme
More Than Rain
Way Down In The Hole
Straight To The Top (Vegas)
I'll Take New York
Telephone Call From Istanbul
Cold Cold Ground
Train Song
Innocent When You Dream (78)

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: June 1, 1990
  • Release Date: June 1, 1990
  • Label: Island Records
  • Copyright: (C) 1987 The Island Def Jam Music Group
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 56:28
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000W21H8U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,864 Paid in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 Paid in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ICEMAN COMETH July 25, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I first heard this back in college. At the time, it blew away antything else I was hearing & I think it single handedly changed my tastes in music. 15 years later I never tire of it. Which is probably why I'm writing this review.

Critics would have you believe this is the third installment of a trilogy that started with SWORDFISHTROMBONES. If anything, it stands as a precursor to the work he later did with Robert Wilson. This album is the music from a performance piece Waits wrote with his wife & collaborator, Kathleen Brennan. It played to sold out performances at the Steppenwolf Theatre in the mid 80's & if I had known who the hell Tom Waits was then, I'd certainly be in the 1st row.

"Hang On St. Christopher" comes off as a reckless itinerary for a fugitive of justice. The sparse use of horns coupled with Mark Ribot's signature guitar aid & abet for a long day's journey into night.

"Temptation" has to be one of my favorite Waits'tunes featuring a demented falsetto & chorus as seductive as the subject matter. If Stephen Foster wrote a song based off William Kennedy's IRONWEED, it might have sounded like "Innocent When You Dream". An undeiable classic, right up there with the likes of "Time " & "Tom Traubert's Blues".

Without a doubt, there's a pervading sense of gloom overiding this album but every song is a gem if you take the time to dust it off. From the drunken "RAWHIDE" trappings of "Yesterday Is Here" to the delerious Film Noir of "Telephone Call From Instanbul" , this album is a virtual mugshot of Waits at his height of his powers. If anyone could write a musical of Eugene O'Neill's ICEMAN COMETH, it's Tom Waits. And I have to say, FRANK'S WILD YEARS is the sonic equivalent. Its certainly one of the most ambitious records of his career. A roadtrip movie for the damned.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
One of the few five-stars in my book. This was the second Waits album I bought and it has remained with me lo these many years later.
Waits' songwriting has already been rightfully praised by other reviewers. What I want to talk about is the music and arrangements that create the atmosphere that sustains this album. The accordion on "Blow Wind Blow" that sounds like it was lifted straight from a 1930's era Popeye cartoon. The clanking, squawking, grinding guitars and the eerie wobble of the Optigan, a toy organ that Waits uses in ways its makers never intended. (The rooster on "I'll Be Gone" is actually from the Optigan.)
There's more I could mention. The Albert Ayleresque intro to "Temptation." The dark, spare resonance of "Yesterday is Here" which sounds like it's being played by a bum with a broken guitar at a deserted railroad crossing. "Please Wake Me Up," (a plea not to be awakened during a dream) drowned in waves of wobbling pump organ with Waits' vocal sounding as if it was recorded over the phone. The frightful apotheosis of "Straight To The Top (Vegas)" and "I'll Take New York," which sounds like the soundtrack to the crucifixion of a bad lounge singer.
Nothing is normal here, which fits in with the theme of dreams. And underlying everything is the same kind of sorrow that motivates the best American music; the blues, in short. It's about wandering, whether in your mind or in reality or both.
If you have to be lost, it might as well be with Tom Waits, who can tell a shaggy dog story better than anyone.
Tom Waits is an oddity, complete unto himself, and probably one of the greatest artists America has ever produced, although most Americans don't realize it. This is one of his best and most completely realized pieces of art.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
One of the greatest - maybe the greatest - album Mr. Waits has given us. Scratch that, one of the best albums anyone has given us.

A harrowing, modern opera with a pathetic Everyman for a hero, Frank's Wild Years has been burnt into many of our musical memories for almost 20 years. From initial desperate disappearing act to the giddy leave taking of one's senses, helpless resignation and ultimately tragic denouement this album has haunted me from its first, nearly incomprehensible hearing to today. A remarkable achievement that has not lost a drop of its power or relevance. You're innocent when you dream . . .
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite albums ever August 26, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I love this album. Tom Waits is a genius in my book. And this is one of my favorites of his. Every song shines with beauty, sadness, and the very essence of life. Each song is different yet they flow together and form a story for all time.

The story is about a man named Frank, and it's a rags to riches kind of story. It starts out this kid named Frank wants to go "Straight up to the Top" and he is very earnest and innocent, because you are "innocent when you dream," and he goes on to face some of life's sadness in songs like "cold cold ground." That is what I love about Tom Waits; that he can paint a story like this through music.

And what music it is! Each song has its own distinct personalty. From a calypso vibe in "Temptation" to a rooster crowing in " I'll be Gone," to even more experimental tracks. Other highlights include "Yesterday is Here," "Train Song," and gosh darnit, every song! So, really, if you are looking for quality music that makes you think and feel, this is it. And if you like this album, Tom Waits has many more that are just as good, and original. A fascinating musical voyage.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Music
Some of the best music is from alternative artists, like this one, and are therefore not always forefront in the public eye.
Published 15 days ago by Nick Morgen
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Pressing!
Sounds great! Great sound quality. Waits on vinyl just can not be beat. A must have for any Waits fan.
Published 1 month ago by Stacia W.
3.0 out of 5 stars eh...
Album was in great shape and plays wonderfully. Top was ripped open, however. I cut carefully to open with an exacto knife only to find the cover looked to be sawed open. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Peter Lemley
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh wow
Can't say enough about this CD. Great lyrics, the voice, the irony and the gritty made transcendant. Such a great selection plus a tip of the hat to the great crooner.....
Published 3 months ago by Flowersnknuckleheads
5.0 out of 5 stars vinyl re-issue
I have always loved this release - but hearing it on this vinyl re-issue was another level - never had the original on vinyl - the mastering and recording of this LP is... Read more
Published 6 months ago by bradcs
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Music
This is another of Tom Waits CDs for my collection. His music is great. This is a musician with talent!
Published 11 months ago by Ms. Mary A. Jacobe
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the track that opened The Wire
Self-indulgence at its best, and worst. I am not certain what Waits meant to do here - I gather that this was part of a performance at Steppenwolf, and as pure music or blues, it... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Owen Brown
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre show tunes performed by a drunk at a low-rent theater
If you love Waits, you'll probably at least like this album. I wasn't sure what to think, and this album convinced me that I really don't like Tom Waits at all. Read more
Published on April 9, 2012 by tekHedd
1.0 out of 5 stars One song is good, the album is not
My mother came across "Way Down In The Hole." She loved the song. I bought the CD for her for Christmas. That was the only good song. Read more
Published on January 12, 2012 by shelby
4.0 out of 5 stars I bought if for someone else..
She likes it, and that's all that matters. As an Artist, I can't stand his Music, but she likes Cat Scratching, Pan Banging, outhouse-Pig Calling Music, so I was happy to find,... Read more
Published on June 21, 2010 by inspectorrick
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