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Album Review
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Tom Waits

560 Bone Machine by Tom Waits

Bone Machine

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Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan
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Tom Waits' Grammy Winning eleventh album Bone Machine from 1992 is a wild ride of strange characters and stripped-down production

Author & Special Guests

He's an outlier, an enigma, an iconoclast, an original. We're talking about Tom Waits, whose career is more closely tied to the 70s and 80s, but who released his Grammy Award-winning album Bone Machine in 1992 just as the first wave of grunge was talking off in 90s rock. Trying to compare Waits, and this album in particular, to any of his contemporaries, is a fool's errand. Sure, there's a bit of Nick Cave here, some Mark Lanegan there, even some Morphine and Beck, but Waits is often on another planet entirely. Using a collection of non-traditional percussion instruments (some homemade) combined with buzzing guitars and ramshackle pianos, to create a junkyard orchestra. It often sounds like it's falling apart before it even starts, but Waits is able to bring it together with his vocals, even if they are the most divisive aspect of a Tom Waits album.

Does This album bring back some great vibes?

Remember when you first discovered this album? We’re grateful to dig into these hidden gems and bring them the attention they deserve. Your support helps us uncover more albums deserve another moment in the spotlight.

Songs in this episode

  • Intro - I Don't Wanna Grow Up
  • 17:26 - Black Wings
  • 24:49 - That Feel
  • 29:54 - Whistle Down The Wind
  • 34:26 - Goin' Out West
  • Outro - The Earth Died Screaming

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Bone Machine