Swordfishtrombones

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Swordfishtrombones
TomWaitsSwordfishtrombones.jpg
Studio album by Tom Waits
Released September 1983
Recorded August 1982 at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, California
Genre Blues, jazz, experimental
Length 40:31
Label Island
Producer Tom Waits
Tom Waits chronology
One from the Heart
(1982)
Swordfishtrombones
(1983)
Rain Dogs
(1985)
Singles from Swordfishtrombones
  1. "In the Neighborhood"
    Released: August 1983

Swordfishtrombones is an album by American singer-songwriter Tom Waits, released in September 1983. It was the first album that Waits produced himself.

Stylistically different from his previous LPs, the album moves away from the piano and string orchestra arrangements of the late 1970s, replacing them instead with unusual instrumentation and a somewhat more abstract songwriting approach.[citation needed]

The cover art is a TinTone photograph by Michael A. Russ[1][2] showing Waits with the actors Angelo Rossitto and Lee Kolima.[3]

The album peaked at #164 on the Billboard Pop Albums and 200 albums charts. In 1989, Spin named Swordfishtrombones the second greatest album of all time.[4] In 2006, Q placed the album at #36 in its list of "40 Best Albums of the '80s."[5]

Pitchfork Media listed Swordfishtrombones as 11th best album of the 1980s. Slant Magazine listed the album at #26 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980's".[6]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[7]
Blender 5/5 stars[8]
Mojo 5/5 stars[9]
Q 5/5 stars[10]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[11]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5 stars[12]
The Village Voice A–[13]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Tom Waits. Arranger Frances Thumm. Recorded by Tim Boyle and Biff Dawes. Mixed by Dawes at Sunset Sound Studios, Hollywood, CA.

Side one
  1. "Underground" – 1:58
  2. "Shore Leave" – 4:12
  3. "Dave the Butcher" (instrumental) – 2:15
  4. "Johnsburg, Illinois" – 1:30
  5. "16 Shells from a Thirty-Ought-Six" – 4:30
  6. "Town with No Cheer" – 4:22
  7. "In the Neighborhood" – 3:04
Side two
  1. "Just Another Sucker on the Vine" (instrumental) – 1:42
  2. "Frank's Wild Years" – 1:50
  3. "Swordfishtrombone" – 3:00
  4. "Down, Down, Down" – 2:10
  5. "Soldier's Things" – 3:15
  6. "Gin Soaked Boy" – 2:20
  7. "Trouble's Braids" – 1:18
  8. "Rainbirds" (instrumental) – 3:05

Personnel[edit]

  • Tom Waits - Vocal (1:1-2, 1:4-7, 2:2-7), Chair (1:2), Hammond B-3 Organ (1:3), Piano (1:4, 2:5, 2:8), Harmonium (1:6, 2:1), Synthesizer (1:6), Freedom Bell (1:6)
  • Victor Feldman - Bass Marimba (1:1-2), Marimba (1:2, 2:3), Shaker (1:2), Bass Drum with Rice (1:2), Bass Boo Bams (1:3), Brake Drum (1:5), Bell Plate (1:5), Snare (1:5, 2:4), Hammond B-3 Organ (1:7), Snare Drum (1:7), Bells (1:7), Conga (2:3), Bass Drum (2:3), Dabuki Drum (2:3), Tambourine (2:4), African Talking Drum (2:7)
  • Larry Taylor - Acoustic Bass (1:1-2, 1:5, 1:7, 2:2, 2:4, 2:6-7), Electric Bass (2:3)
  • Randy Aldcroft - Baritone Horn (1:1, 1:7), Trombone (1:2)
  • Stephen Taylor Arvizu Hodges - Drums (1:1-2, 1:5, 2:4, 2:6), Parade Drum (1:7), Cymbals (1:7), Parade Bass Drum (2:7), Glass Harmonica (2:8)
  • Fred Tackett - Electric Guitar (1:1, 1:2, 1:5, 2:6), Banjo (1:2)
  • Francis Thumm - Metal Aunglongs (1:2), Glass Harmonica (2:8)
  • Greg Cohen - Bass (1:4), Acoustic Bass (2:3, 2:5, 2:8)
  • Joe Romano - Trombone (1:5), Trumpet (2:1)
  • Anthony Clark Stewart - Bagpipes (1:6)
  • Clark Spangler - Synthesizer Program (1:6)
  • Bill Reichenbach - Trombone (1:7)
  • Dick "Slyde" Hyde - Trombone (1:7)
  • Ronnie Barron - Hammond Organ (2:2)
  • Eric Bikales - Organ (2:4)
  • Carlos Guitarlos - Electric Guitar (2:4)
  • Richard Gibbs - Glass Harmonica (2:8)

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
position
Dutch Top 100[14] 48
UK Albums Chart[15] 62
US Billboard 200[16] 167
Chart (1984) Peak
position
New Zealand RIANZ Albums Chart[17] 45
Norwegian Albums Chart[18] 18

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Michael A. Russ' Swordfishtrombones Cover Art Gallery". Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  2. ^ "'TinTones - Rough Print' exhibition by Michael A. Russ". Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  3. ^ http://lareviewofbooks.org/article.php?id=1275&fulltext=1
  4. ^ "The 25 Greatest Albums of All Time". Spin 5 (1). April 1989. p. 46. Retrieved 14 August 2007. 
  5. ^ Q August 2006, Issue 241
  6. ^ "Best Albums of the 1980s | Music". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  7. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Swordfishtrombones – Tom Waits". Retrieved July 29, 2005. 
  8. ^ link[dead link]
  9. ^ "Tom Waits – Swordfishtrombones CD". CD Universe. Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Swordfishtrombones". Q: 100. October 1992. 
  11. ^ Shewey, Don (November 24, 1983). "Tom Waits Swordfishtrombones > Album Review". Rolling Stone (409). Archived from the original on October 22, 2007. Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  12. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 854. 
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 24, 1984). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved December 8, 2011.  Also posted at "Tom Waits: Swordfishtrombones > Consumer Guide Album". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved October 19, 2005. 
  14. ^ "dutchcharts.nl - Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2012. 
  15. ^ "TOM WAITS | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 2, 2012. 
  16. ^ Swordfishtrombones - Tom Waits at AllMusic. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  17. ^ "charts.org.nz - Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2012. 
  18. ^ "norwegiancharts.com - Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2012.