Rain Dogs (1985)

Total Guitar - - BACK TRACK -

2

By 1983’ s Sword fish trom­bones, the hep­cat croon­ing of his early years was gone, usurped by a more ex­per­i­men­tal, per­cus­sive sound ce­mented here by the ar­rival of gui­tarist Marc Ri­bot. His lurch­ing, Latin-in­fused stac­cato can be heard on tracks like Jockey Full Of Bour­bon and C lap Hands, with Waits mem­o­rably di­rect­ing his band to ‘play it like a mid­get’s bar mitz­vah’. The pres­ence of Stones ma­jor­domo Keith Richards of­fers a coun­ter­point to the weird­ness, adding a waft of main­stream con­ven­tion to coun­try rocker Blind Love and the rak­ish R&B of Big Black Mariah. De­spite the in­clu­sion of Down­town Train (des­tined to be­come an AOR mega-hit for Rod Ste­wart), this is dense, un­con­ven­tional rock ’n’ roll at its most es­sen­tial.

Rec­om­mended track: Jockey Full Of Bour­bon

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