Rain Dogs

Rain Dogs

by Tom Waits


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With its jarring rhythms and unusual instrumentation -- marimba, accordion, various percussion -- as well as its frequently surreal lyrics, Rain Dogs is very much a follow-up to Swordfishtrombones, which is to say that it sounds for the most part like The Threepenny Opera being sung by Howlin' Wolf. The chief musical difference is the introduction of guitarist Marc Ribot, who adds his noisy leads to the general cacophony. But Rain Dogs is sprawling where its predecessor had been focused: Tom Waits' lyrics here sometimes are imaginative to the point of obscurity, seemingly chosen to fit the rhythms rather than for sense. In the course of 19 tracks and 54 minutes, Waits sometimes goes back to the more conventional music of his earlier records, which seems like a retreat, though such tracks as the catchy "Hang Down Your Head," "Time," and especially "Downtown Train" (frequently covered and finally turned into a Top Ten hit by Rod Stewart five years later) provide some relief as well as variety. Rain Dogs can't surprise as Swordfishtrombones had, and in his attempt to continue in the direction suggested by that album, Waits occasionally borders on the chaotic (which may only be to say that, like most of his records, this one is uneven). But much of the music matches the earlier album, and there is so much of it that that is enough to qualify Rain Dogs as one of Waits' better albums.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/15/1990
Label: Island
UPC: 0042282638229
catalogNumber: 826382
Rank: 6130

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tom Waits   Primary Artist,Guitar,Harmonium,Vocals
Robert Quine   Guitar
Marc Ribot   Guitar
Chris Spedding   Guitar
Ralph Carney   Bass Saxophone,Wind
Larry Taylor   Bass,Double Bass
Michael Blair   Percussion,Drums,Marimbas
Crispin Cioe   Saxophone
Greg Cohen   Bass,Double Bass
Mickey Curry   Drums
Bob Funk   Trombone
Tony Garnier   Bass,Double Bass
Stephen Hodges   Drums
Robbie Kilgore   Organ
Tony Levin   Bass
Ross Levinson   Violin
John Lune   Saxophone
John Lurie   Alto Saxophone
Robert Musso   Banjo
Bobby Previte   Percussion,Marimbas
Keith Richards   Guitar,Background Vocals
William Shimmel   Accordion
G.E. Smith   Guitar
Uptown Horns   Group
Arno Hecht   Tenor Horn,Saxophone
Paul Litterall   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Tom Waits   Composer,Producer
Robert Musso   Engineer

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Rain Dogs 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
tomtomgirl More than 1 year ago
Perfection! I love listening to this album as much today as when it was brand new.
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