Legacy Recordings (CK 85813)
Year Released: 1982 / 2004
|2.||Is There Any Way Out Of This Dream?|
|3.||Picking Up After You|
|6.||I Beg Your Pardon|
|7.||Little Boy Blue|
|9.||You Can't Unring A Bell|
|10.||This One's From The Heart|
|11.||Take Me Home|
|13.||Candy Apple Red|
|14.||Once Upon A Town / Empty Packets|
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|by Rafael Ruiz
on April 21st, 2004
After the grueling experience of Apocalypse Now, legendary director Francis Ford Coppola decided to do something lighter. Something fun. Like a musical. As he says in the linear notes, "I wanted songs, but I didn't want the stars to really sing them in the manner of, say, an old fashion musical." But instead have one male and female vocalist to be God like chorus commenting on the foibles of love-lorn mortals.
Inspired by a concert of Tom Waits with Bette Midler, Coppola enlisted Waits to compose and record the whole album before the movie went into production. "Want I really want you guys to do is make an album called One From the Heart and I'll make a movie that goes with it." The movie he made ended up being an overpriced flashy concoction of a movie which bombed at the box office and destroyed the dream of Coppola's which was American Zoetrope. Like a lot of troubled productions, the making of the movie is more interesting than the movie itself.
This would be the first large scale film project for Tom Waits, but it would retain all the roots and character of his 70's albums like "Blue Valentine" and "Small Change". I would complain that Bette Midler would have been better than Crystal Gayle. It would have given the vocals a bit more brassiness, but that's nitpicking considering the solid work Gayle does on the album.
The ensemble is kept intimate: a muted trumpet, strings, maybe a piano but mainly the focus is Wait's gravelly tone and Gayle's contrasting melodic voice. There are two instrument tracks, "Presents" and "Instrumental Montage (The Tango/Circus Girl)". The pieces get occasionally peculiar with steel drums ("You Can't Unring a Bell") but they always retain that uniqueness mellow vibe that is Tom Waits. Like a shot of rum, his melodies buzz with a warm mellowness that washes over the listener.
I would argue that it is foolish to make an energetic musical based on something so low-key and introspective, but that doesn't affect the work done on this album. If you know the man's work, this CD is easily a worthy purchase and for others this may be a nice introduction to Tom Waits outside of being a soundtrack collector or not.
Also included on the disk is a delightful behind-the-scenes video on the CD-ROM section of the disk including footage of Waits performing. Note to collectors, the recent two disk DVD of the movie includes a re-mastered insolated score track in 5.1.
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