Personnel: Tom Waits (vocals, guitar, banjo, piano, Farfisa organ, pump organ, harmonium); Keith Richards (vocals, guitar); Chris Spedding, Robert Quine, G.E. Smith, Marc Ribot (guitar); Robert Musso (banjo); Ross Levinson (violins); William Shimmel (accordion); Ralph Carney (clarinet, bass saxophone); John Lurie (alto saxophone); Arno Hecht (tenor saxophone); Crispin Cioe (baritone saxophone); Hollywood Paul Litteral (trumpet); Bob Funk (trombone); Robert Kilgore (organ); Larry Taylor, Tony Garnier, Greg Cohen (acoustic bass); Tony Levin (bass); Stephen Arvizu, Taylor Hodges, Micky Curry (drums); Robert Previte (percussion, marimba); Michael Blair (percussion, marimba, congas, drums, bowed saw).
Recorded at RCA Studios, Los Angeles, California.
Tom Waits discarded his bohemian sage persona with the radical Swordfishtrombones, and this follow-up release synthesized and developed themes from that groundbreaking album. Ever-shifting percussive textures are supported, where applicable, by horns or Farfisa organ and several guest musicians, including Rolling Stone Keith Richards, contribute to its melange. Waits' bourbon-laced voice is as riveting as ever, intoning lyrics that are, at various times, touching, evocative, sly or simply funny. His off-kilter perceptions encompass country, polkas and heart-rending ballads, each of which he expresses with consummate ease. Rain Dogs is yet another strong statement from a highly innovative artist.
Rolling Stone (11/89) - Ranked #21 in Rolling Stone's "100 Best Albums Of The Eighties" survey (November 1989).
Q (10/92, p.101) - 5 Stars - Indispensable - "...[Waits has] thrust spiky tendrils out to the hidden corners of the continent and sucked their influences into his own bourbon-soaked worldview..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.77) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "RAIN DOGS is ambitious and immensely satisfying. All human life is indeed here..."
NME (Magazine) (9/25/93, p.19) - Ranked #21 in NME's list of the `50 Greatest Albums Of The '80s.'
NME (Magazine) (10/2/93, p.29) - Ranked #70 in NME's list of the `Greatest Albums Of All Time.'