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Real Gone


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Audio CD, October 5, 2004
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Amazon's Tom Waits Store

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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
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 5, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Anti
  • ASIN: B0002SDKG6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,593 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Top Of The Hill
2. Hoist That Rag
3. Sins Of My Father
4. Shake It
5. Don't Go Into That Barn
6. How's It Gonna End
7. Metropolitan Glide
8. Dead And Lovely
9. Circus
10. Trampled Rose
11. Green Grass
12. Baby Gonna Leave Me
13. Clang Boom Steam
14. Make It Rain
15. Day After Tomorrow

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Academy Award nominated and Grammy Award winner, Tom Waits has been long considered one of music's most influential artists because he has continuously created music outside of fad or fashion. With REAL GONE, his off-road adventures are taken into the further beyond. Mixing and mashing: worlds both sonic and ethnic, musical traditions both new and old, and rhythms both mouth-made and sampled from his own instruments, Waits has reached a new pinnacle. Written and produced by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, his wife and long-time collaborator, REAL GONE features 15 tracks of funk, Jamaican rock-steady, blues both urban and rural, rhythms and melodies both Latin and African and, for the first time, no piano. Anti. 2004.

Amazon.com

There's little risk of confusing Tom Waits with the gentle pop folk who have covered his songs--Rod Stewart, Sarah McLachlan, Everything But the Girl, just to name a few. That's because even though the eccentric songwriter is capable of summoning the most tender sentiments, his preferred method of delivery is through carnival melodies, crackpot instruments, and a bourbon-soaked bark. Real Gone continues the dark experimental streak of not just its predecessors like Alice and Blood Money, but the past 30 years. Yes, the percussion is sharper, the arrangements stranger, and the voice more ghost-like than ever, but at the center of all the chaos remains an uncanny storyteller--capable of ripping down governments ("Sins of My Father") and building up tears ("Day After Tomorrow"). --Aidin Vaziri

Customer Reviews

This album has clear echoes of experimental music.
Seybold
His frequently bizarre percussion and percussive voice - riding on top of great jazz rhythms is uniquely infectious.
Tom Blair
I would count this as my third favorite Waits album, after "Rain Dogs" and "Swordfishtrombones".
Brooke Pennington

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By x on October 9, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Tom Waits, as usual, has produced another classic. It should be noted, however, that "Real Gone" is a really gritty, avant-garde effort. The sonic texture of the album is akin to some of the tunes on "Bone Machine" with a tinge of the sweaty grit of the more raucous parts of "Mule Variations" (e.g., the texture found on the rough and funky "Filipino Box Spring Hog"). If you are a fan of Waits' last few albums, you will enjoy "Real Gone." If what you enjoy about Waits' music is his piano playing, well, this is one you can skip--there is no piano whatsoever on this CD.

The music is oddly mixed and Tom's microphone sounds overloaded at times, but somehow it all fits together to make sense. The disc opens with "Top of the Hill," which is a great indicator of things to come with its funky rhythms with prominent percussive downbeats. If you enjoy this tune, you will likely enjoy "Metropolitan Glide," which comes up a few tracks later and uses turntables to great effect without dominating the musical landscape. There are a couple beautiful slow pieces as well in "Dead and Lovely" and "How's It Gonna End." The guitar duties are largely handled by the legendary Marc Ribot, whose playing is perfectly suited to Waits' music. He really shines on "Real Gone." His guitar brings a haunting quality to the slower pieces and razor-sharp gutter funk to the faster tunes.

All told, this is just another classic Tom Waits album. He is amazing. "Real Gone" is like walking down an old dusty road in Mississippi and noticing something shiny along the roadside. You walk over to the item, look down, and see a handle of a box buried halfway in the dirt. You dig out the box, open it, and find an old pistol, a flask of good whisky, and $3000 in circa 1920 hundred-dollar bills.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Jacob K. Allen on October 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
If you took all the wonderfully abrasive moments framing Bone Machine, every crunchy pop and snarl that "All Stripped Down", "Such a Scream", and "Let Me Get Up On It" squeal with, turning them into full blown beat boxing epics of turntable scratch and echoed voice, Real Gone is close to exactly what would come out.

Relying less upon melody then shaky rhythm, song after song consist of one crumbling riff or two that Tom croaks out wildly along with, barking vocal percussion in strangulated yelps. Recorded in his bathroom at home, these human backbeats are as hilarious as they are frightening. He apparently didn't loop any of them either, like the intro to "Big in Japan", opting instead for the unpredictable accidental grunt that one would groan out after having screamed "Boo Boom, KUH KAK!" for four straight minutes.

Lyrically, this is as strong as any other Waits record, following the example of Blood Money and focusing less on narrative then bittersweet metaphor, ("He's not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at") complimenting the pitch black instrumentation perfectly. When not making wonderfully absurd commentary ("If I was a bed, I'd be an unmade bed"), he's barking along with the drums and his previously recorded percussion, the John Lee Hooker from hell groover "Shake It" and bleeding rock "Baby Gonna Leave Me" prime examples. Your foot won't not pound the floor in unision.

I don't know exactly what people who buy Real Gone for an introduction to Tom Waits will think, but longtime listeners will laugh and cry the whole way through, marvelling at the most undeappreciated musician of the last 50 years, somone having long ago deserved the respect and awe names such as Bob Dylan instantly conjure. At the very least, the coverage in magazines and newspaper. Anyone notice how small the mentions of his musical doings are these days?
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By S. Finefrock VINE VOICE on October 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
...Tom Waits. REAL GONE is the latest chapter from the 30+ year career of Tom Waits. He has made a career of delivering his message wrapped in a variety of dressings, Skewed night club stylings, Beat derived jazz poetry, demented Tin Pan Alley tunes and experimental takes on Delta Blues. This release definately takes on the latter.

Backed by a talented crew featuring the welcome return of guitarist Marc Ribot( his dirty guitar tones are custom made for Waits material) and Primus' bass extrodinaire Les Claypool, Waits lays down what has to be his most primal set to date. Where BONE MACHINE's harshness was levened by the occasional ballad, REAL GONE is an unrelenting set of cacophony and insistant rhythyms, even the queiter moments are raw and filled with dread.

There are a number of fine songs that rank with the best in the Waits canon, including the 10 minute plus SINS OF MY FATHER, the primitive blues of SHAKE IT, the rustic flavored TRAMPLED ROSE, the deep-fried blues stomp of HOIST THAT RAG and sublime soldier's letter to home DAY AFTER TOMORROW (the album's tenderest moment).

On the other hand there are a few tracks that may not have passed the cut of an editor such as the incessant opener, TOP OF THE HILL(featuring Tom the human beatbox), and the mostly spoken tracks, CIRCUS and CLANG, BOOM, STEAM. While good, they are not essential, though they do fit in the general overall tone of the album. Also worth mention is that he his using the same templete used on both BONE MACHINE and MULE VARIATIONS. Some of the arrangements and topics feel familiar. Still these are minor quibbles.
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