The underlying concept of Blood Money -- that of a German soldier, driven so mad by his role as a medical guinea pig that he ends up murdering his girlfriend in cold blood -- isn't exactly the stuff of party albums. But doggone it if Tom Waits doesn't practically force you to dig into this Grand Guignol feast and enjoy it. Sonically, the songs on Blood Money -- which Waits wrote with longtime collaborator Kathleen Brennan for a sociopolitical play called Woyzeck -- rank the album among Waits's wilder ones. There's a hint of his trademark calliope music, a dash of Charles Aznavour-styled crooning, and a bedrock of the stomping art-blues that marked his mid-'80s offerings. He sets the tone early on, regaling listeners with a pair of short, sharp pieces that leave little doubt about where his characters, or his listeners, are heading. "Misery Is the River of the World" stealthily seeps into the edgy, muttered "Everything Goes to Hell" with a creepy élan -- a spell that's briefly broken by the unabashedly lovely, heart-on-sleeve dedication of "Coney Island Baby." The sweetness and light don't last long, however, since Waits is soon off pondering divine malfunction on the sardonic "God's Away on Business" and sprinkling biblical metaphor into the woozy "Starving in the Belly of the Whale." By album's end, Waits sounds irrevocably convinced that we're all utterly doomed to suffer "Woe" and permanently bemoan "The Part You Throw Away." Blood Money is guaranteed to make you think -- and pretty likely to keep you up at night after your first listen.
Performance CreditsTom Waits Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Calliope,Electric Guitar,Vocals,chamberlain,Pump Organ,Toy Piano
Charlie Musselwhite Harmonica
Stewart Copeland Drums,Log Drums
Matthew Brubeck Bass,Cello
Larry Taylor Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar
Myles Boisen Guitar
Bent Clausen Bass Drums,Marimbas
Joe Gore Electric Guitar
Nick Phelps Trumpet,Tenor Tuba
Gino Robair Bongos,Gong,Marimbas,Bells,Timpani,Floor Tom
Dan Plonsey Clarinet
Andrew Borger Marimbas
Colin Stetson Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,Baritone Horn,Saxophone,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Ara Anderson Trumpet
Dawn Harms Violin
Bebe Risenfors Accordion
Casey Waits Drums
Technical CreditsTom Waits Producer
Kathleen Brennan Producer
Bent Clausen Contributor
Oz Fritz Engineer
Mule Patterson Contributor
Allen Sudduth Engineer
Heather Fremling Contributor
Jeff Abarta Art Direction
Jacquire King Engineer
Jeff Sloan Engineer
Jesse Dylan Concept
Matthew Sperry Basic Track
Richard Fisher Studio Support
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Blood Money based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Blood Money¿ and ¿Alice¿ are head-aches when one must decide which is Tom¿s best work ever. I say it¿s good. I say it¿s perfect, but what isn¿t in Tom Waits¿ music?
starving in the belly of a whale is the most beautiful full-throttle madness tom has ever created. only filipino box spring hog comes close. it makes bone machine sound tame. alice is good, but the title track may be a disappointment if you're a fan of the old demo version. neither sounds like the expected progression after mule variations, but they were written before mv, so they shouldn't. don't get me wrong, these are the best 2 albums you'll hear this year, buy em both, but blood money's highs are higher than alice's. again, BUY THEM BOTH.
Blood Money & Alice are quite simply the best productions Tom Waits has given out yet... I ordered them both before they were released,in order to be sured to have them as fast as possible:) I'm willing to state that These two albums are the Definitive Tom Waits anthology as it combines both the modern productions (Black Rider,Mule Variations) with his older style..
On my first full, close listen to Blood Money, I was certain it was my favorite Tom Waits album. It combines the best parts of the ''Holy Trilogy'' (Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs, Frank's Wild Years) with his more recent material (The Black Rider, Bone Machine) seamlessly. After repeated listening, I am fairly certain this is my favorite album by any atrist - EVER. If you like Tom Waits (how could you not?), you need to buy this album. Now.
I am truly a devout Tom Waits fan, and I must say that these two new works (Blood Money and Alice) are great accomplishments. However, I don not agree that this is some of Tom's strongest material, as mentioned in a number of other reviews. The dark and foreboding world addressed in both these albums limits the content significantly. Subsequently, the songs sound more alike than any recent Waits release. I realize militant Waits fans will disagree, but play Blood Money against something as varied and expansive as Frank's Wild Years, Rain Dogs or Mule Variations and you'll see my point. Obviously these two new works are themed by story more than the standard studio albums, as they are meant to accompany theatrical works. I'm sure the theatrical works are dazzling, but since here we are supplied only with the audio, it comes across as a little repetitive. Tom Waits brilliance lies in his descriptions and the creation of the musical atmosphere in a world that he creates, rather than describing the world or work of others.
This album is fantastic--my favorite album from one of my favorite artists.