Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones
Critic Score
Based on 2 reviews
1983 Ratings: #8 / 126
User Score
Based on 150 ratings
1983 Ratings: #1
September 1, 1983 / Release Date
LP / Format
Island / Label
Rock / Genres
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www.tomwaits.com / Website
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#77 Of Jamal's Top 100 Favorite Albums

I can never see myself being able to properly review a Tom Waits album more than 5 lines
My first introduction to Tom Waits bc i was supposed to listen but i didn't cuz im a lazy piece of shit

But in general this is more of a cinematic album to me or like this is a soundtrack to a life of a man
A truly cinematic experience, "Swordfishtrombones" Mark's a dramatic turning point within Waits' career. Where as on previous projects Tom's superb song writing played a role along side the amazing instrumentation, now it Is center of attention. In fact, this project's greatest strength is Tom's ability to paint vivid pictures through his song writing. I kept Invisioning the scenario of a gangster-who is fed up with the lifestyle and violence of the mob trying his hardest to abandone ... read more
When first listening to this album, I kept playing this scenario in my head: some alcoholic, pickup truck driving, miniature-ship-stuck-in-a-bottle-obsessed-collector uncle, who's been refurbishing and wearing the same leather boots for 15 years now, just showed up for his annual Christmas visit. He's forcing me to go with him to some underground bar in the docks where we're meeting all his friends from work and he's finally going to explain how he lost his ear in 1998. Except there are no ... read more
A grotesque transformation from smoky, down-in-the-dumps, bar blues to schizophrenic beat poetry and unconventional, cabaret theatrics - to this day, a style that is still nearly impossible to outdo, let alone recreate.

The best choice for a starting point to get into probably the most imaginative singer/songwriter there is. I don't think Waits has ever created a full piece that balances the sounds of his early, crooner era and his freakish, Beefheart-influenced era as well as this, so I can ... read more
One of the most entrancing, dark and well-written singer-songwriter records period. This was a huge turning point in Waits' career, going head first into a strange demented world filled with odd characters and unorthodox instrumentation. Whilst I don't see this being for everyone, it's a must try for anyone looking to get lost in a unique record.
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Track List

  1. Underground
  2. Shore Leave
  3. Dave the Butcher
  4. Johnsburg, Illinois
  5. 16 Shells from a Thirty-Ought-Six
  6. Town With No Cheer
  7. In the Neighborhood
  8. Just Another Sucker on the Vine
  9. Frank's Wild Years
  10. Swordfishtrombone
  11. Down, Down, Down
  12. Soldier's Things
  13. Gin Soaked Boy
  14. Trouble's Braids
  15. Rainbirds
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Added on: February 28, 2013