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BLOOD MONEY [Vinyl]
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Performer Notes
  • Contains an untitled hidden track following "A Good Man Is Hard To Find".
  • Personnel includes: Tom Waits (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, piano, organ, calliope, chamberlain); Larry Taylor (acoustic & electric guitars, bass); Joe Gore (electric guitar); Dawn Harms (violin); Matt Brubeck (cello, bass); Colin Stetson (clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Don Plonsey (clarinet); Bebe Risenfors (bass clarinet, accordion, saxophone); Charlie Musselwhite (harmonica); Nik Phelps (trumpet, tuba); Ara Anderson (trumpet); Gino Robair (marimba, bongos, timpani, gong, bells); Andrew Borger (marimba); Stewart Copeland (drums, log drums); Casy Waits, Bent Clausen (drums).
  • Engineers include: Oz Fritz, Jacquire King, Jeff Sloan.
  • Recorded at In The Pocket Studios, Forestville, California.
  • Like the simultaneously released ALICE, BLOOD MONEY features songs written for a Robert Wilson play. That's pretty much where the similarity ends; unlike ALICE's moody balladry, BLOOD MONEY is full of crazed, rhythmic pieces of sonic barbed-wire. The lyrics portray the main character of Wilson's WOYZECK, a man filled with madness and rage. The combination of junkyard percussion, near-psychotic vocals, and lounge-band-from-hell tones provides the perfect complement. The outlook is an unremittingly dark one, eventually bypassing existentialism ("God's Away on Business") in favor of outright misanthropy (the aptly titled "Misery is the River of the World"). The brief, Raymond Scott-like instrumental "Knife Chase" is a madcap interlude that brings the glory days of SWORDFISHTROMBONES to mind. Despite the gusto with which Waits throws himself into all this craziness, a couple of sadly romantic ballads provide a brief respite from the mayhem and make the rest of BLOOD MONEY feel all the more hard-hitting in contrast.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (5/23/02, p.78) - 3.5 out of 5 stars - "...[Waits'] throat is...pure theater, a weapon of pictorial emphasis and raw honesty....BLOOD MONEY is especially grim, a bitter suite about greed and moral bankruptcy..."

Spin (6/02, p.109) - 7 out of 10 - "...From the fantastically sinister mock-tango instrumental...to the hilarious whiskey-bar soundtrack...this album has an edge and forward motion..."

Q (May 2002, p.114) - 4 out of 5 stars - "...A powerful and almost gleeful celebration of the horrors of the world...[Wait's] tunes and rhythms are at their jauntiest..."

Uncut (1/03, p.94) - Ranked #11 in Uncut's "100 Best Albums of the Year"

Alternative Press (7/02, p.96) - 8 out of 10 - "...BLOOD MONEY works perfectly....[its] biggest strength is in its lyrics, which are rich with symbolism..."

Magnet (6-7/02, p.111) - "...It all sounds like familair Waits territory, but the earth here is scorched, the characters more distressed, the tone more funereal..."

CMJ (5/20/02, p.6) - "...A subdued LSD hootenanny..."

Mojo (Publisher) (1/03, p.74) - Ranked #18 in Mojo's "Best Albums of 2002"

Mojo (Publisher) (5/02, p.94) - "...Makes for an extravagant headphone experience if you're in the right frame of mind....[It's] brutal, nihilistic, dark and visceral...with moments of tender, almost unbearable loveliness..."

NME (Magazine) (5/18/02, p.35) - 7 out of 10 - "...A cacophonous, fearsome and shadowy delight..."
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