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Audio CD (November 23, 2009) - Number of Discs: 2 - Format: Live - Label: Anti - Catalog Number: 7053-2
Alternative, Rock, Rock/Pop
Tom Waits' Glitter and Doom Live doesn't fall into the various traps that many other concert recordings do, though it does have its problems. This double-disc set marks his third live effort in his nearly 40-year career, each one summing up his career to the point of its release. The first, Nighthawks at the Diner, issued in 1975 on Asylum, is regarded by many as one of the greatest live albums of all time. Big Time, released during his tenure at Island in 1986, is hotly debated in fan circles. It is likely that Glitter and Doom Live will be too, but for different reasons. The musical performances here were culled from Waits' historic sold-out tour of the U.S. and Europe. He compiled and sequenced the tracks himself, intending to make them sound like a single show. The material leans, understandably, on his recordings with the Anti label. There are stellar performances here, of "Get Behind the Mule" from The Mule Variations, "Trampled Rose" from Real Gone, and a haunting version of Leadbelly's "Fannin Street" from Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards, to mention just three of the 17 cuts included on disc one. But he also goes back to his Island albums with a new approach to the material. For instance, there are completely re-visioned readings of "Lucky Day" and "I'll Shoot the Moon" from 1993's Black Rider, and a killer -- though equally revamped -- version of "Singapore" from 1985's Rain Dogs.
Musically, the performances are flawless, as is the sound on this set. The killer stage band includes Vincent Henry on woodwinds and harmonica, guitarist Omar Torres, Patrick Warren on piano and keyboards, Casey Waits on drums/percussion, and Seth Ford Young on bass. There is also a guest appearance by Sulliv
Review: This is easily Tom's best album in years. Doing what he does best, but too rarely - play live -his latest effort sparkles and pulses with a ferocity of life that leaps out of your sound system - and pulls you - screaming or willingly - into the live freak show that is "Glitter and Doom." Recorded over the course of his 2009 tour, the two discs are separated and mixed into a sort of hybrid (one singing/one talking) that somehow feels perfectly natural and in all reality plays exactly how most listeners will want it, rather than breaking up the songs with too-long narratives that play well in a club, but tend to drag down a purely aural experience.
The 17 songs of Disc One play out at over 70 minutes of electrifying music with Waits and his band running the gamut from his own unique version of "high energy" carnival music to full on, break your heart ballads all delivered in that inimitable voice that season-after-season increases its rasp and its grasp on his audience.
It would be impossible to single out a "best" number, but there are several that - on first hearing - stood out a bit above the rest. "The Part You Throw Away" (recorded in Edinburgh) from the album "Blood Money" with its pizzicato strings and the endless pathetic waltz undulating, beneath and a old world Spanish-style guitar solo is one of those timeless numbers that could have come from the Jacques Brel Songbook - or written a century ago.
In similar fashion, Disc One's closer, "Lucky Day" (recorded in Atlanta) is a gooseflesh and teary-eyed finale that has that Waits ballad operatic feel
Along the way there is that Waits prose that paints pictures in the mind more than almost any songwriter in the last 50 years. For instance, who but Mr. Waits could come up with lyrics like those in Circus Lyrics ((here, "Live Circus"): "Topping the bill was Horse Face Ethel And her 'Marvellous Pigs In Satin'".
The ambient audience noise feels natural and non-intrusive - and Waits feeds off their respective energies like a vampire at a blood orgy. Everybody wins with "Glitter and Doom."”
01 - Lucinda Ain't Goin Down - 5:37
02 - Singapore - 5:00
03 - Get Behind The Mule - 6:26
04 - Fannin Street - 4:16
05 - Dirt In The Ground - 5:18
06 - Such A Scream - 2:54
07 - Live Circus - 5:04
08 - Goin' Out West - 3:48
09 - Falling Down - 4:21
10 - The Part You Throw Away - 5:06
11 - Trampled Rose - 5:06
12 - Metropolitan Glide - 3:09
13 - I'll Shoot The Moon - 4:25
14 - Green Grass - 3:20
15 - Make It Rain - 3:58
16 - Story - 2:02
17 - Lucky Day - 3:47
Patrick Warren - piano, reed organ, chamberlin, Mellotron
Tom Waits - vocals, guitar, piano
Vincent Henry - guitar, harmonica, woodwinds, saxophone
Casey Waits - drums, percussion
Omar Torres - guitar, mandolin
Seth Ford Young - upright bass
Sullivan Waits - clarinet, alto saxophone
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