Tom Waits' 'Swordfishtrombones' (33 1/3 Series)
- Narrated by: Carol Monda
- Length: 3 hrs and 38 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 03-08-12
- Language: English
- Publisher: Audible Studios
Given a cocky, sly reading by Carol Monda, this entry of the 33 1/3 series in some ways tries to replicate the freewheeling, boozy, romantic feel of Waits’ 1983 fusion of piano balladry and experimental jazz music. While he relays some biographical information about Waits reluctantly, Smay doesn’t so much explain the album as he free associates with it.
With a husky voice, Monda offers a performance that’s both congruent with Smay’s prose and the music that inspired it.
Swordfishtrombones was the first thing Waits recorded after his marriage, and it was at Kathleen's urging that he made a record that conceded exactly nothing to his record label, or the critics, or his fans. There aren't many love stories where the happy ending sounds like a paint can tumbling in an empty cement mixer. Kathleen Brennan was sorely disappointed by Tom's record collection. She forced him out of his comfortable jazzbo pocket to take in foreign film scores, German theatre, and Asian percussion.
These two stories - of a man creating that elusive American second act, and also finding the perfect collaborator in his wife - give this book a natural forward drive.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Teresa on 12-09-17
It's an entertaining listen.
I have to say the author moves off of the album into uncharted territory which for me makes an enjoyable ride. You'll no doubt get something of Waits here that you didn't know before, I did but then again I'm not big on interviews and such. The personal history tied to his songs is picked out, but it's also very much the authors coloring. It's worth a listen, I recommend it.
By Christopher on 16-11-16
Lovingly Written and Beautifully Read
I kept pausing it to listen to the songs in question. I wish the author would write similar books for other Waits albums.