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Rain Dogs

183 customer reviews

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Amazon Price New from Used from
Audio CD, June 1, 1990
"Please retry"
$6.99
$3.63 $1.01
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$6.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Rain Dogs + Swordfishtrombones + Mule Variations
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The middle album of the trilogy that includes Swordfishtrombones and Franks Wild Years, Rain Dogs is Waits's best overall effort. The songs are first-rate, and there are a lot of them--19 in all, ranging from grim nightlife memoirs ("9th and Hennepin," "Singapore") to portraits of small-time hustlers ("Gun Street Girl," "Union Square") to bursts of street-corner philosophy ("Blind Love," "Time"). The album also contains the original version of "Downtown Train," which Rod Stewart turned into a smash hit. The image of "rain dogs"--animals who've lost their way home because the rain has washed away their scent--is an appropriate symbol for the entire cast of characters Waits has brought to life over the years, and this album has thus far proved to be his most enduring effort. --Daniel Durchholz


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Singapore 2:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Clap Hands 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Cemetery Polka 1:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Jockey Full Of Bourbon 2:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Tango Till They're Sore 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Big Black Mariah 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Diamonds And Gold 2:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Hang Down Your Head 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Time 3:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Rain Dogs 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Midtown 1:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. 9th & Hennepin 1:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Gun Street Girl 4:37$1.29  Buy MP3 
14. Union Square 2:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
15. Blind Love 4:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
16. Walking Spanish 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
17. Downtown Train 3:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
18. Bride Of Rain Dog 1:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
19. Anywhere I Lay My Head 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B000001FFJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,870 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By le_chimp on January 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
It's 1:30 AM. You're alone and it's hot, and ALL your sheets are firmly to the wind. Rain Dogs [and another drink] is all you need.
Waits' style is a personal one, distinct and poetic, so trying to convince me he's got a best album is like trying to convice someone they like filet mignon more than grilled salmon! All his albums are great meals, so just because you're bound to prefer one to another doesn't mean your tastebuds are better than anyone else's -- the only way to know which you like best is to sample them for yourself.
Because if you like Blues and standard arrangements, try Heartattack and Vine or Blue Valentine. If you like softer stuff or jazz hipsterism, try Heart of Saturday Night or Nighthawks. And if you like it more deviant, try Swordfish or Bone Machine. Waits's got something for everyone.
And yet in answer to all the critics, if you want them all on one plate -- if you want pop and jazz, blues and acoustic, raveups and hoedowns, and lyrics you actually want to read like a book -- there's no way you can go wrong with Rain Dogs. I don't doubt this is the one album that would make ALL Waits fans' top 5.
From there, you're on your own. Because like all great experiences in life, one person's worst might just be your best.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I have long loved Tom Waits, and have a host of his albums, but this gem of a record remains by far his best effort. It isn't just that many of his best songs are on this album, but that virtually all of the songs are at least highly listenable. The quality of RAIN DOGS can be seen in the fact that a large number of artists have recorded this album's songs.
Musically, the amazing arrangements sound like Kurt Weill meets Captain Beefheart meets a carnival barker meets a bottle of bourbon. As the album begins and moves from "Singapore" to "Clap Hands," you know that you are not dealing with a three-chords-and-a-cloud-of-dust performer. What is stunning after the album's first few songs, however, is how lyrical Waits becomes as the album goes on. For all the raucousness of some of the numbers, it is easily balanced by the beauty of songs like "Downtown Train," the gorgeous "Time," or the mournfully drunken "Blind Love." Waits employs a crack back up band, with significant guess appearances with performers like Keith Richards. The star back up musician is, however, Marc Ribot, who as he so often does provides stunningly original guitar lines that embellish every song upon which he appears.
Lyrically, Waits has never been better, turning out one superb line after another. Several of the songs read as more than decent poetry, and many individual lines pop out, such as (from "Time") "The things you can't remember tell the thing you can't forget" or, in the best line about being down, down and out I have heard, "When you're east of East St. Louis" (with apologies to East St. Louis). Or what about this great line from "Blind Love": "They say if you get far enough away/You'll be on your way back home.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Brooke Pennington on December 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD
It has been said that Britain may have spawned the Beatles and 90% of all other great musicians of our era, but that America makes up for it by having Tom Waits. Listen to this album and you might start to see why.
I am admittedly a fan of the "middle" period of Waits' career. I find his early work interesting because it shows him trying to find his personal "voice"--a songwriting idiom that works for him. Waits began his career by writing mostly formulaic love songs with a blues edge or wistful melodies sung alone with solo-piano accompaniment. Then, with "Heartattack and Vine" and "Frank's Wild Years" Waits was beginning to find his voice. Here, he finally found it.
First of all, this album is most consistent in placing three of Waits' constant themes in almost every song: rain, whiskey, and trains. Almost any image you can conjure up featuring those three things is probably found in a Waits song somewhere. The songs on this album also display a variety of subject matter sometimes lacking on Waits albums. There are uptempo, upbeat songs, humorous short ditties that sound like nursery rhymes, and a lot of what Waits does best: songs with a catchy tempo or a hum-along chorus that you can hear over and over and then realize they're simultaneously the saddest and most haunting songs you've ever heard. Songs on this album which fit this description are "Rain Dogs", "Downtown Train" (shame on you if you thought that was a Rod Stewart original!), and "Hang Down Your Head".
Tom's next album, "Swordfishtrombones", comes close to the lyrical virtousity and perfect blend of musical skill and eccentricity displayed here.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Sierra Wilson on January 20, 2004
Format: Audio CD
It is rare for any lyricist to pen a verse as remarkably specific and thoughtful as "Make sure they play my theme song I guess daisies will have to do/Just get me to New Orleans and paint shadows on the pews/Turn the spit on that pig and kick the drum and let me down/Put my clarinet beneath your bed 'til I get back in town/Let me fall out of the window with confetti in my hair." Yet Tom Waits belts out such verses with regularity on his epochal "Rain Dogs," one of the best releases of the 80s.

Waits functions almost like a sponge for every style of American music of the last century; you can hear within the howling, sepia tones of his roughened voice the distant echoes of blues, jazz, ragtime, folk, country, and old school rock 'n roll. Yet for all of his homage to roots music, Waits displays a creative cunning and adventurousness that is seldom seen among singer-songwriters. Take, for example, his adroit use of percussion backdrops--never does he take the easy way out and use a simple drum pattern, opting instead to craft a pulsing rhythmic collage that drifts unsettingly beneath an array of icepick guitar (courtesy of Marc Ribot and, in some places, Keith Richards) and bar-room piano. Such an approach only hints at Waits' unique genius and his seemless mastery of American music.
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