Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards

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Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards
Box set by Tom Waits
Released November 20, 2006 (2006-11-20)
Recorded 1985 (1985)–2005 (2005)
Genre Experimental rock
Length 189:17
Label ANTI-
Producer Kathleen Brennan, Tom Waits
Tom Waits chronology
Real Gone
(2004)
Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards
(2006)
Glitter and Doom Live
(2009)
Singles from Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards
  1. "Lie to Me"
    Released: October 2006 (2006-10)

Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards is a limited edition three CD set by Tom Waits, released by the ANTI- label on November 17, 2006 in Europe and on November 21, 2006 in the United States.

The album is divided into three sections, with each disc being a separate collection in its own. It borrows from Tom Waits’ typical rock sound, with the first disc being blues and rock-based, the second centred on slow-tempo, melancholic ballads, and the third on more experimental compositions. Additionally, the record contains influences of other genres, including folk, gospel, jazz and roots music. Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards received universal acclaim from critics, who lauded its experimentation and composition, as well as Waits' vocals. It was listed as one of the highest-scoring albums of the year in Metacritic, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Furthermore, it was a fair commercial success, charting in the United States Billboard 200, as well as in Australia, Switzerland and Austria, reaching the top twenty in the latter.

The Orphans Tour was conducted in support of the album prior to its release.

Background[edit]

The set is a collection of 24 rare and 30 brand new songs. Each disc is intended to be a separate collection in itself; the first disc with the more roughcut rock and blues cuts, the second the more melancholy tunes and ballads, and the third disc having the more experimental songs and spoken word pieces. The liner notes claim there are "56 songs, of which 30 are new".[1] Waits has described the collection as

Subdivision into three albums[edit]

On the decision to organize the songs into three themed albums, under the titles Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards, Waits said in interview:

Brawlers, the most rock and blues-oriented of the three collections, contains songs covering themes ranging from failed relationships ("Lie to Me", "Walk Away"), floods and subsequent havoc ("2:19"), and a song about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ("Road to Peace"); and incorporates musical styles such as bluesy gospel ("Ain't Goin' Down to the Well", "Lord I've Been Changed") and sentimental tunes ("Lucinda", "Sea of Love").

Bawlers is composed of mostly downbeat numbers, replacing the hope of ballads on previous albums with resignation (notably "Bend Down the Branches", "Little Drop of Poison",[4] "Fannin Street", "Little Man", and "Widow's Grove"). The track "Down There by the Train" was written by Waits for Johnny Cash, and was first released on Cash's first American Recordings album. Waits claims to have originally intended to call this part of the compilation Shut Up and Eat Your Ballads.[3]

Bastards is concerned with Waits' more experimental musical styles, opening with an adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's poem "What Keeps Mankind Alive?" (music by Kurt Weill) and continuing on "Children's Story", which is an excerpt of Robert Wilson's production of Georg Büchner's unfinished 1837 play Woyzeck, the score of which Waits wrote and later released as his Blood Money album. The disc contains other literary adaptations, including a Charles Bukowski poem about enlightenment ("Nirvana") and two songs, "Home I'll Never Be" and "On the Road", originally penned by Jack Kerouac.

Reception[edit]

Critical[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[5]
BBC 4.5/5 stars[6]
Pitchfork (8.4/10)[7]
Punknews.org 4.5/5 stars[8]
Robert Christgau (A)[9]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[10]
Slant Magazine 5/5 stars[11]
Stylus (B+)[12]

The album was released to highly positive reviews, scoring 92 out of 100 on aggregator Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim".[13] It ranked second on Metacritic's Top 30 albums of 2006,[14] just behind Savane by Ali Farka Toure, and was nominated for the 2006 Shortlist Music Prize and the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album.

Jimmy Newlin of Slant Magazine gave the record a favourable review, as well as five out of five stars. While writing that "Orphans isn't as cohesive a release as Waits's albums usually are", he went on to say that "even Waits's missteps still manage to point in the right direction".[11] Chris Power of BBC gave the album a four-and-a-half out of five points, asserting that "Tom Waits can lay claim to one of the most fecund artistic imaginations in America", calling the album "Essential listening".[6] Sylvie Simmons of The Guardian wrote that the album's three separate discs "make up one very powerful entry", and called the record "Great", giving it a four out of a possible five points.[15] Teresa Nieman of Prefix Magazine additionally gave it a positive review, comparing it to "taking a journey through a familiar yet entirely foreign dream-place", and claimed that "Orphans is an experience of the most memorable kind".[16] In a Punknews.org review, the album was given four-and-a-half out of five stars, said to contain a "brilliant collection" of songs; the tracks have been described as "sonically cohesive and could pass as one very long recording session, laced over with the light coat of fuzz."[17]

Furthermore, the album was well received by Jeff Vabrel of PopMatters, who gave it a nine out of ten stars; he affirmed that it was "One of his most skilful-ever blends of beauty and horror", also claiming that Waits' "world [...] is considerably more inviting and rewarding".[18] Keith Phipps of The A.V. Club gave the album an A- as well as a favourable review, writing that "for a collection of leftovers gathered from hither and yon, they hang remarkably well together", and wrote that "many of them rank among Waits' best output".[19] Furthermore, Audra Schroeder of the Austin Chronicle gave the album a three out of five points, and a moderately positive review, calling it a "seamless lot" which turns out to be a "bona fide gem of a collection".[20] Stylus gave the album a B+, writing that the "tripartite typology works like a Waitsian Rorschach test: blurred, suggestive, and revealing", and while saying that the album may not have "something for everyone [...] what's missing says more about the listener than the record".[21] Critic Robert Christgau gave the album an A grade.[22]

Commercial[edit]

The album was certified Gold by the RIAA for shipping over 500,000 copies in the United States and sold over one million copies worldwide making it his best-selling album to date.[23]

Alternate editions[edit]

Some copies of the initial "limited edition" are autographed by Waits.

A limited number of other copies came with a special vinyl single, including the songs "Lie to Me" and "Crazy About My Baby".

A 7-disc vinyl box set of the album was released on December 8, 2009. This set contains six additional tracks not found on the CD version.

CD Track listing[edit]

All songs by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, except where otherwise noted.

Disc one: Brawlers[edit]

  1. "Lie to Me" – 2:10
  2. "LowDown" – 4:15
  3. "2:19" – 5:02
    • Appears on the Waits-produced John P. Hammond recording Wicked Grin (2001)
  4. "Fish in the Jailhouse" – 4:22
  5. "Bottom of the World" – 5:42
  6. "Lucinda" – 4:52
  7. "Ain't Goin' Down to the Well" (Lead Belly, John Lomax, Alan Lomax) – 2:28
  8. "Lord I've Been Changed" (trad. arr. Waits, Brennan) – 2:28
    • Appears on the Waits-produced John P. Hammond recording Wicked Grin as "I Know I've Been Changed" (2001)
  9. "Puttin' on the Dog" – 3:39
  10. "Road to Peace" – 7:17
  11. "All the Time" – 4:33
  12. "The Return of Jackie and Judy" (Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone) – 3:28
  13. "Walk Away" – 2:43
  14. "Sea of Love" (Phil Phillips, George Khoury) – 3:43
    • Previously released on the Sea of Love soundtrack recording (1989)
  15. "Buzz Fledderjohn" – 4:12
    • Previously released on the "Hold On" single (1999)
  16. "Rains on Me" (Waits, Chuck E. Weiss) – 3:20

Disc two: Bawlers[edit]

  1. "Bend Down the Branches" – 1:06
    • Previously released on For the Kids (2002), an album featuring renditions of children's songs by various artists
  2. "You Can Never Hold Back Spring" – 2:26
  3. "Long Way Home" – 3:10
  4. "Widow's Grove" – 4:58
  5. "Little Drop of Poison" – 3:09
  6. "Shiny Things" – 2:20
  7. "World Keeps Turning" – 4:16
    • Previously released on the Pollock (2001) soundtrack recording
  8. "Tell It to Me" – 3:08
    • Previously recorded as a duet with Ramblin' Jack Elliot as "Louise (Tell It To Me)" (from Elliot's Friends of Mine). This version differs from the original with Elliot's absence, and a change in time signature.
  9. "Never Let Go" – 3:13
  10. "Fannin Street" – 5:01
    • Song appears on the Waits-produced John P. Hammond recording Wicked Grin (2001) performed by John Hammond. This version by Waits.
  11. "Little Man" (Teddy Edwards) – 4:33
    • Previously released on Mississippi Lad, an album by Teddy Edwards released in 1991 on the Verve Label
  12. "It's Over" – 4:40
    • Previously appeared in a different take on the soundtrack to the 1999 film Liberty Heights.
  13. "If I Have to Go" – 2:15
    • Originally from Waits' 1986 theatre play Franks Wild Years, although not released on the studio album of the same name[27]
  14. "Goodnight Irene" (Lead Belly, Gussie L. Davis) – 4:47
  15. "The Fall of Troy" – 3:01
  16. "Take Care of All My Children" – 2:31
  17. "Down There by the Train" – 5:39
    • Song appears on the Johnny Cash album American Recordings (1994) performed by Cash. This version by Waits.
  18. "Danny Says" (Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone) – 3:05
  19. "Jayne's Blue Wish" – 2:29
    • Previously released on the Big Bad Love soundtrack recording (2002)
  20. "Young at Heart" (Carolyn Leigh, Johnny Richards) – 3:41

Disc three: Bastards[edit]

  1. "What Keeps Mankind Alive?" (Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht, trans. John Willett) – 2:09
  2. "Children's Story" – 1:42
  3. "Heigh Ho" (Frank Churchill, Larry Morey) – 3:32
  4. "Army Ants" – 3:25
  5. "Books of Moses" (Skip Spence) – 2:49
    • Previously released on More Oar, a 1999 various-artists tribute to Spence and his solo album Oar.
  6. "Bone Chain" – 1:03
  7. "Two Sisters" (traditional, arr by Waits / Brennan) – 4:55
  8. "First Kiss" – 2:40
  9. "Dog Door" (Waits, Brennan, Mark Linkous) – 2:43
  10. "Redrum" – 1:12
  11. "Nirvana" – 2:12
  12. "Home I'll Never Be" – 2:28
  13. "Poor Little Lamb" (William J. Kennedy, Waits) – 1:43
  14. "Altar Boy" – 2:48
    • Originally written for Alice; an earlier version can be found on The Alice Demos, under the title "What Became Of Old Father Craft?"[29]
  15. "The Pontiac" – 1:54
  16. "Spidey's Wild Ride" – 2:03
  17. "King Kong" (Daniel Johnston) – 5:29
  18. "On the Road" – 4:14
  19. "Dog Treat" (Hidden track) – 2:56
    • Live recording
  20. "Missing My Son" (Hidden track) – 3:38

Vinyl Track listing[edit]

Disc one and two: Brawlers[edit]

Side A:

  1. "Lie to Me" – 2:10
  2. "LowDown" – 4:15
  3. "2:19" – 5:02
  4. "Fish in the Jailhouse" – 4:22

Side B:

  1. "Bottom of the World" – 5:42
  2. "Lucinda" – 4:52
  3. "Ain't Goin' Down to the Well" – 2:28
  4. "Lord I've Been Changed" – 2:28

Side C:

  1. "Puttin' on the Dog" – 3:39
  2. "Road to Peace" – 7:17
  3. "All the Time" – 4:33

Side D:

  1. "The Return of Jackie and Judy" – 3:28
  2. "Walk Away" – 2:43
  3. "Sea of Love" – 3:43
  4. "Buzz Fledderjohn" – 4:12
  5. "Rains on Me" – 3:20

Disc three and four: Bawlers[edit]

Side A:

  1. "Bend Down the Branches" – 1:06
  2. "You Can Never Hold Back Spring" – 2:26
  3. "Long Way Home" – 3:10
  4. "Widow's Grove" – 4:58
  5. "Little Drop of Poison" – 3:09
  6. "Shiny Things" – 2:20

Side B:

  1. "World Keeps Turning" – 4:16
  2. "Tell It to Me" – 3:08
  3. "Never Let Go" – 3:13
  4. "Fannin Street" – 5:01

Side C:

  1. "Little Man" – 4:33
  2. "It's Over" – 4:40
  3. "If I Have to Go" – 2:15
  4. "Goodnight Irene" – 4:47
  5. "The Fall of Troy" – 3:01

Side D:

  1. "Take Care of All My Children" – 2:31
  2. "Down There By the Train" – 5:39
  3. "Danny Says" – 3:05
  4. "Jayne's Blue Wish" – 2:29
  5. "Young at Heart" – 3:41

Disc five and six: Bastards[edit]

Side A:

  1. "What Keeps Mankind Alive" – 2:09
  2. "Children's Story" – 1:42
  3. "Heigh Ho" – 3:32
  4. "Army Ants" – 3:25
  5. "Books of Moses" – 2:49

Side B:

  1. "Bone Chain" – 1:03
  2. "Two Sisters" – 4:55
  3. "First Kiss" – 2:40
  4. "Dog Door" – 2:43
  5. "Redrum" – 1:12

Side C:

  1. "Nirvana" – 2:12
  2. "Home I'll Never Be" – 2:28
  3. "Poor Little Lamb" – 1:43
  4. "Altar Boy" – 2:48
  5. "The Pontiac" – 1:54
  6. "Spidey's Wild Ride" – 2:03

Side D:

  1. "King Kong" – 5:29
  2. "On the Road" – 4:14
  3. "Dog Treat" – 2:56
  4. "Missing My Son" – 3:38

Disc seven: Bonus[edit]

Side A:

  1. "Crazy 'Bout My Baby" - 2:04
  2. "Diamond in Your Mind" - 5:08
  3. "Cannon Song" - 2:59

Side B:

  1. "Pray" - 2:59
  2. "No One Can Forgive Me" - 4:56
  3. "Mathie Grove" - 6:31

Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rolling Stone review of "Orphans"". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  2. ^ "Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards (3 CD Box Set) at JB Hi-Fi Australia". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  3. ^ a b "Pitchfork Feature: Interview: Tom Waits". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  4. ^ The version of "Little Drop of Poison" included in this collection is the one which appears on the Shrek 2 soundtrack, an alternate recording to the one found on The End of Violence soundtrack.
  5. ^ Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards at AllMusic
  6. ^ a b http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/collective/A17596335
  7. ^ Pitchfork
  8. ^ Punknews.org
  9. ^ Robert Christgau
  10. ^ Rolling Stone
  11. ^ a b http://www.slantmagazine.com/music/review/tom-waits-orphans-brawlers-bawlers-and-bastards/1015
  12. ^ Stylus
  13. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/music/orphans-brawlers-bawlers-bastards
  14. ^ "Best reviewed albums of 2006". metacritic.com. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  15. ^ Simmons, Sylvie (2006-11-16). "CD: Tom Waits, Orphans". The Guardian (London). 
  16. ^ http://www.prefixmag.com/reviews/tom-waits/orphans/15646/
  17. ^ http://www.punknews.org/review/6834
  18. ^ http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/tom-waits-orphans-brawlers-bawlers-and-bastards/
  19. ^ http://www.avclub.com/articles/tom-waits-orphans-brawlers-bawlers-bastards,8056/
  20. ^ http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/review?oid=oid%3A426575
  21. ^ http://stylusmagazine.com/reviews/tom-waits/orphans-brawlers-bawlers-and-bastards.htm
  22. ^ http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=tom+waits Robert Christgau
  23. ^ "Tom Waits". ANTI. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  24. ^ ""Bottom Of The World" lyrics and notes". Tom Waits Library. 
  25. ^ ""Putting On The Dog" lyrics and notes". Tom Waits Library. 
  26. ^ ""Rains On Me" lyrics and notes". Tom Waits Library. 
  27. ^ "Frank's Wild Years: Songs performed in the play". Tom Waits Library. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  28. ^ ""Take Care Of All Of My Children" lyrics and notes". Tom Waits Library. 
  29. ^ ""Altar Boy" lyrics and notes". Tom Waits Library. 
  30. ^ ""The Pontiac" lyrics and notes". Tom Waits Library. 
  31. ^ Credited as "Chamberlain" in sleeve notes.
  32. ^ "Tom Waits – Orphans – Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards – austriancharts.at". austriancharts.at Hung Medien. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  33. ^ a b "ultratop.be – Tom Waits – Orphans – Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards". Ultratop Hung Medien. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  34. ^ "danishcharts.com – Tom Waits – Orphans – Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards". danishcharts.com Hung Medien. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  35. ^ "dutchcharts.nl – Tom Waits – Orphans – Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards". dutchcharts.nl Hung Medien. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  36. ^ "finnishcharts.com – Tom Waits – Orphans – Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards". finnishcharts.com Hung Medien. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  37. ^ "lescharts.com – Tom Waits – Orphans – Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards". lescharts.com Hung Medien. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  38. ^ "charts.de". Media Control Charts. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  39. ^ "irishcharts.com – Discography Tom Waits". irish-charts.com Hung Medien. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  40. ^ "italiancharts.com – Tom Waits – Orphans – Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards". italiancharts.com Hung Medien. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  41. ^ "norwegiancharts.com – Tom Waits – Orphans – Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards". norwegiancharts.com Hung Medien. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  42. ^ "portuguesecharts.com – Tom Waits – Orphans – Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards". portuguesecharts.com Hung Medien. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  43. ^ "spanishcharts.com – Tom Waits – Orphans – Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards". spanishcharts.com Hung Medien. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  44. ^ "swedishcharts.com – Tom Waits – Orphans – Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards". swedishcharts.com Hung Medien. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  45. ^ "Tom Waits – Orphans – Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards – hitparade.ch". Hitparade Hung Medien. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  46. ^ "Tom Waits | Artist | Official Charts". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  47. ^ a b c Orphans (Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards) – Tom Waits: Awards at AllMusic. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  48. ^ "American album certifications – Tom Waits – Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  49. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Tom Waits – Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards". Music Canada. 

External links[edit]