Prime Music
Qty:1
& FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Mule Variations has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Eligible for FREE Super-Saver shipping.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Image Unavailable

Image not available for
Color:
  • Mule Variations
  • Sorry, this item is not available in
  • Image not available
  • To view this video download Flash Player
      

Mule Variations


See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Listen Instantly with Prime Music Prime Members Album
Other Formats & Versions Amazon Price New from Used from
Audio CD, April 27, 1999
"Please retry"
$11.99
$8.19 $2.50
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
Provided by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. Terms and Conditions. Does not apply to gift orders.
Complete your purchase to save the MP3 version to your music library.

Black Friday in Music Black Friday in Music


Amazon's Tom Waits Store

Music

Image of album by Tom Waits

Photos

Image of Tom Waits

Videos

Tom Waits and Keith Richards from SON OF ROGUES GALLERY

Biography

Tom Waits, according to the esteemed American critic Robert Hilburn, is “clearly one of the most important figures of the modern pop era.” Such sentiments are not mere hyperbole; in a career that now spans four decades and over 20 albums, Tom Waits has emerged as an extraordinary innovative force, a singular voice whose music remains determinedly—and even ... Read more in Amazon's Tom Waits Store

Visit Amazon's Tom Waits Store
for 108 albums, 7 photos, videos, and 1 full streaming song.


Frequently Bought Together

Mule Variations + Rain Dogs + Closing Time
Price for all three: $26.37

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 27, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: April 27, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Anti
  • ASIN: B00000IGGA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,302 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Big In Japan
2. Lowside Of The Road
3. Hold On
4. Get Behind The Mule
5. House Where Nobody Lives
6. Cold Water
7. Pony
8. What's He Building?
9. Black Market Baby
10. Eyeball Kid
11. Picture In A Frame
12. Chocolate Jesus
13. Georgia Lee
14. Filipino Box Spring Hog
15. Take It With Me
16. Come On Up To The House

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Seven years passed between the release of Bone Machine and Mule Variations. During that time Tom Waits eschewed cutting another "conventional" (the term used loosely here) song collection, occupying his time with acting projects, a soundtrack (Night on Earth), a stage project (The Black Rider), and sundry smaller diversions. What's surprising about Mule Variations is how little he's strayed from the old Bone yard through the years. As with his Grammy-winning 1992 outing, Waits intersperses the tough and the tender, mixing exercises in creative noisemaking with tunes that fall on just the right side of maudlin. As with Bone Machine's "The Ocean Doesn't Want Me," "What's He Building?" is an experiment in word jazz that owes a debt to its creator, Ken Nordine. Waits has again assembled a crew of attuned sidemen (including Primus and steadfast backers Ralph Carney, Larry Taylor, and Joe Gore). And, as always, Waits and his wife-cosongwriter-coproducer Kathleen Brennan exhibit an uncanny ear for the arcane. In the end, Mule Variations is the aural equivalent of a salvage shop that, while largely familiar, still has a few secluded chambers and trap doors. --Steven Stolder

Customer Reviews

If you haven't listened to Tom Waits before, buy this CD today.
"akom48"
The traditional blues influence that has always been in Waits' music is more visible here, thanks to more subdued production than on the previous albums.
peterb
In a way, Mule Variations feels like The Best Of Tom Waits, as the songs touch on just about every phase of his career.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Wilbur Farley on December 22, 1999
Format: Audio CD
"Mule Variations" is, simply, the most solid piece of work Tom Waits has released since "Rain Dogs". That's not to say I didn't enjoy "Frank's Wild Years" and "Bone Machine"; they both, however, only serve as sketches of the fleshed-out world Waits presents us with here.
From the opening track 'Big in Japan' (a track quite reminiscent of "Bone Machine's" 'Goin' Out West')to the closing 'Come On Up to the House,' Waits is in rare form lyrically and vocally. And he's even added a new twist to his repetoire on this album: a DJ scratching in the background on several tracks, most notably the beefed-up and funkified remix of 'Filipino Boxspring Hog.'
Waits covers all of the various styles and influences that inform his music with deftness on this album. He moves from the guitar-driven ballad ('Hold On') through Blues-based quirkiness ('Cold Water' and 'Chocolate Jesus') to quiet (?) piano crooning ('Picture in a Frame' and 'Take it with me when I go')and never misses a beat or sings a line that seems untrue to what we've come to love about Waits's gruff persona over the years.
His unique view of the world and relationships is intact, and rings as true as ever on this album. These lines, from 'Black Market Baby,' pretty much sum it all up: "My eyes say their prayers to her, sailors ring her bell / Like a moth mistakes a lightbulb for the moon and goes to hell. . ."
This album is a "must-buy" for any Waits fan, and would make an excellent introduction to his music for anybody still on your shopping list.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Wheelchair Assassin on January 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
If there's anyone in the music business who's managed to fend off the over-the-hill label, it's Tom Waits, and 1999's Mule Variations is one of the most compelling documents of his staying power. Even in his forties, with a huge body of work already behind him, Tom Waits was putting out the kind of seminal albums that most acts are lucky to put out once in the prime of their careers. I wouldn't say this album is guite as great as Rain Dogs, Bone Machine, or Real Gone, but it still sits comfortably right below them, which is saying something. For a contemporary comparison, even the vaunted current runs of the White Stripes and Wilco aren't in the same category as the string of classics Waits has reeled off since Rain Dogs. Most of his songs aren't particularly complex, but (at least from Swordfishtrombones on) Waits has proven to be a master at crafting distinctive, memorable music with nothing more than his gravelly baritone and some rock-meets-blues-meets-folk-meets-country backing sounds. And of course, there's his vocal range, which covers everything from atonal rasps to achy crooning.

Waits's notorious drunken-werewolf howl actually doesn't make too many appearances here, although it is on fine form on the evil mutant blues of Big in Japan, Eyeball Kid, and Filipino Box Spring Hog. These three songs nicely showcase the noisy, cantankerous arrangements that have made Waits such a renowned experimentalist, but overall this album is more notable for its eclecticism and inspired vocalizations than for its sonic adventurism. Even more than with Bone Machine and Real Gone, you get to hear Waits from pretty much every conceivable angle here.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 5, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Mule Variations is perhaps one of Tom Waits best albums in many years. The songs "Hold On" "Cold Water" and "House Where nobody Lives" suggest a blend of two earlier CDs, "Closing Time" and "Rain Dogs". This CD contains Buzz Fletterjohn, as well as Big Face Money (co written by Tom's son Casey, and Casey plays drums on it). This CD is perhaps my favorite of Tom Waits works, challenged only by Rain Dogs. The music is beautiful, and the lyrics moving. Tom at his best!! The only thing better was seeing him live in Minneapolis, at 9th and Hennepin!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This great album opens with Big In Japan, a humorous number in bluesy style with brilliant guitar and innovative arrangement, which is followed by the slow, eerie Lowside Of The Road, a real hangover song with striking imagery.
Hold On is a typical sad Waits ballad, which means it's beautiful, tuneful and moving. It has an unusually light rhythm and melody though, unlike some of his other masterpiece ballads like for example In The Neighbourhood or Saving All My Love For You. House Where Nobody Lives is unique too, another gripping ballad with moving words and images. It makes me think of both Mansion On The Hill by Springsteen and the old classic Satisfied Mind.
All Waits' styles are in glorious display including the talking blues of Get Behind The Mule and the deep bluesrock of ballads like Come On Up To The House and Cold Water. For someone who prefers his ballads and his singing voice, I find both quite appealing. The next track, Pony, is another one of my favorite slow melodic numbers embellished with exquisite pump organ, dobro and harp.
This album certainly lives up to its name with its astonishing variety, like the spooky spoken track What's He Building and the story songs Black Market Baby and Eyeball Kid with its innovative samples and percussion. Waits even explores his Beefheartian side on Filipino Box Spring Hog. There's also the gentle love song Picture In A Frame with its elegant piano and the sorrowful country song Georgia Lee.
Mule Variations is a masterpiece of an album that contains impressive, timeless songs of great lyrical depth, melodic beauty and stylistic variety. Whether you like Waits as a phenomenon by himself or whether you like only certain of his styles, this album will not disappoint as it offers enough brilliance for everybody.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Forums

Topic From this Discussion
waltzing matilda Be the first to reply
Have something you'd like to share about this product?
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?