Rain Dogs (studio album) by Tom Waits

Rain Dogs by Tom Waits
Year: 1985
Overall rank: 98th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
84/100 (from 1,208 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution   Average rating historyAverage rating history
Accolades:
Award Top 5 albums of 1985 (2nd)
Award Top 20 albums of the 1980s (13th)
Award Top 100 albums of all time (98th)
Product Details
Availability

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TOM WAITS Rain Dogs JAPAN CD UICY-6453 2007 OBI
Condition: Very Good
Time left: 3h 45m 6s
Ships to: Worldwide

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eBay
TOM WAITS Rain Dogs RARE FIRST PRESS JAPAN CD OBI P35D-20009
Condition: Like New
Time left: 6h 29m 17s
Ships to: Worldwide

eBay
eBay
Tom Waits Rain Dogs CD
Condition: Very Good
Time left: 6h 47m 35s
Ships to: Worldwide

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Tom Waits bestography

Rain Dogs is ranked as the best album by Tom Waits.

Tom Waits album bestography « Higher ranked This album (98th) Lower ranked (389th) »
-Rain DogsSwordfishtrombones

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Rain Dogs track list

  Track ratingsTrack ratings The tracks on this album have an average rating of 84 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).

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1.
Rating: 87 (256 votes)Comments: 1
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2.
Rating: 86 (236 votes)Comments: 0
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3.
Rating: 82 (202 votes)Comments: 0
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9.
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Rating: 88 (260 votes)Comments: 2
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10.
Rating: 87 (227 votes)Comments: 0
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11.
Rating: 77 (177 votes)Comments: 3
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13.
Rating: 84 (196 votes)Comments: 0
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14.
Rating: 80 (175 votes)Comments: 1
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15.
Rating: 81 (186 votes)Comments: 0
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16.
Rating: 81 (184 votes)Comments: 0
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Track pick
Rating: 88 (255 votes)Comments: 3
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Rain Dogs rankings

Rain Dogs collection

Rain Dogs ratings

Average Rating: 
84/100 (from 1,208 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
where:
av = trimmed mean average rating an item has currently received.
n = number of ratings an item has currently received.
m = minimum number of ratings required for an item to appear in a 'top-rated' chart (currently 10).
AV = the site mean average rating.

Showing latest 5 ratings for this album. | Show all 1,208 ratings for this album.

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55/100
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4 days ago fabm0  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 2,57765/100
 
100/100
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07/26/2021 11:18 Timestarter  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 2,03788/100
 
90/100
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07/21/2021 10:49 black-light  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 62177/100
 
70/100
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07/20/2021 17:49 tybo7  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 20383/100
 
25/100
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07/15/2021 06:05 LammyTS1  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 39866/100

Rating metrics: Outliers can be removed when calculating a mean average to dampen the effects of ratings outside the normal distribution. This figure is provided as the trimmed mean. A high standard deviation can be legitimate, but can sometimes indicate 'gaming' is occurring. Consider a simplified example* of an item receiving ratings of 100, 50, & 0. The mean average rating would be 50. However, ratings of 55, 50 & 45 could also result in the same average. The second average might be more trusted because there is more consensus around a particular rating (a lower deviation).
(*In practice, some albums can have several thousand ratings)

This album is rated in the top 1% of all albums on BestEverAlbums.com. This album has a Bayesian average rating of 84.4/100, a mean average of 82.6/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 84.5/100. The standard deviation for this album is 17.1.

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Rain Dogs comments

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Rating:  
95/100
From 04/27/2021 09:23
For years, Tom Waits constructed a visage of a midnight, woebegone crooner slouched over a piano which supported a glass of hard liquor home to a school of swirling cigarette ash. For years, that character would morph and contort into something less and less conventional until the 1980's ushered in a Waits completely detached from society who resembled a vagabond guttersnipe that embraced a new sonic identity. Hobo Waits would first surface in earnest on 1983's Swordfishtrombones, a record characterized by unorthodox percussion motifs, reminiscent of a subterranean city of banished circus mutants planning their ascent. Still, on that LP, he embodied the role of a freak show ringmaster parading his ostracized compatriots through the streets. On Rain Dogs, Waits' ninth full-length release, he more closely examines the lives of the disenfranchised, alleyway dreamers who live in sky-blackening squalor. The album approaches this as a purveying construct rather than a single track one-off that Waits commonly flirted with earlier in his career. However, instead of employing the prior method of getting shit-faced in downtown L.A. while mining for narrative inspiration from Skid Row's finest, Waits decided to put himself in their shoes on Rain Dogs. The music produced seems decidedly out of place when set against the backdrop of a 1980's music landscape dominated by new wave and synth pop tunes. Waits rarely gets enough credit when discussing music's most triumphant reinventionists, but the man who claimed to be born in a taxi cab was guilty of metamorphizing more than once in his checkered career. Rain Dogs just happens to be his finest reawakening.

The record begins with "Singapore" which functions as a gothic sea shanty of sorts (if you can imagine such a thing). Similar to the opening track of Swordfishtrombones, "Singapore" shines light on a theatrically-rendered sub-culture with a ragtag group of sailors as his subject. Waits declares, "The captain is a one-armed dwarf, he's throwing dice along the wharf; In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." The track chugs at a steady pace, lead by trumpet and junkyard percussion and invites the listener into the world of Rain Dogs. Second track, Clap Hands, continues the trend of unorthodox percussion, employing the marimba as the spine of the song. The piece is centered around a grotesque locomotive trip through the Big Apple with Waits himself attaching backstories to fellow passengers to pass the time. "Cemetery Polka" arrives third and it features a bizarre roll call of the most aberrant family members one could have. At this family reunion, accordion and farfisa organ take center stage. Waits describes, "Uncle Bill will never leave a will, and the tumor is as big as an egg; He has a mistress, she's Puerto Rican and I heard she has a wooden leg." On "Jockey Full of Bourbon", he recants a tale of a drunken, fragmented evening with the help of conga drums and a baritone sax. Waits invokes the spirit of his idol Jack Kerouac here with his prose, "Schiffer broke a bottle on Morgan's head and I've been stepping on the devil's tail; Across the stripes of a full moon's head, through the bars of a Cuban jail." Waits' lyricism displays shades of influence from Bob Dylan to Allen Ginsberg while effortlessly being raw, idiosyncratic and indigenous. Fifth track, "Tango Till They're Sore" is a waltzy, crooked ballad seemingly played by the town drunk on a 300 year old grand piano. The track is seemingly the last will and wishes of a destitute, easily visualized on the curb near a dive bar as light from the nearest window backlights him for his small gathering of similars. Waits promises, "I'll tell you all my secrets, but I lie about my past; Send me off to bed forevermore." It's a proposition that receives further treatment later in the LP.

"Big Black Mariah" showcases a howling Waits describing this Mariah as a black hearse coming for New Orleans' recently deceased. The song includes an appearance from Keith Richards on guitar which is a match made in heaven with Waits' one of a kind vocal delivery. Waits concludes, "He's got a wooden coat, this boy is never coming home." Eighth track, "Hang Down Your Head", is far more digestible than previous entries. Waits recruits a softer touch in the solemn, reflective track. The cut is vaguely Springsteenian, if the boss had swallowed glass while smoking a cigar.. The end result is something profoundly earnest and devoid of any decoration, strengthening the pathos within. Speaking of pathos, Waits doubles down on ninth track "Time", an understated guitar stroll evocative of his 1970's output. Here, Waits isn't trying to rekindle a former love. He knows he's incapable of it and urges his paramour to move on. It's symbolic of Waits giving himself to abstraction and leaving the world of lounges and muses behind. The title track introduces itself with wheezing accordion and chronicles a man who champions his position on the outskirts of society. These Rain Dogs are a proud bunch that shoo away taxis in favor of walking through torrential downpour and dance all night long, free of societal restraints and commitments. It's also a track that doubles as a rallying cry for Earth's outcasts during Waits' live sets. The LP winds down with one of its most enduring cuts. "Downtown Train" was made famous by Rod Stewart's rendition, but it's Waits' original that retains the piece's soul and depth. Waits pens a siren song for a nameless beloved as he rides a New York City train in the hopes that she will be amongst those in attendance. He questions if he himself would be good enough for his soulmate and how she'll be illuminated amongst all the "Brooklyn girls looking to break out of their little worlds". Waits' delivery here is remarkably passionate and vulnerable that it provides lucidity to his character's eternal strife. The record culminates with the hyper-appropriate "Anywhere I Lay My Head", a jubilant, triumphant funeral march celebrating the life and times of defiant transient. Sonically, it wouldn't be out of place at Mardi Gras, with brass tones sending the narrator off into the great beyond. He declares, "I don't need anybody because I learned, I learned to be alone and I say anywhere, anywhere, anywhere I lay my head, boys; I will call my home." It's a glowing, stirring epitaph that symbolizes America's homeless and calls upon to the listener to undergo a paradigm shift. A miraculous end to a poignant record.

Waits' prophetic prose on Rain Dogs would be distinctly pertinent both within the walls of a philosophy classroom and sketched onto the stall of a subway toiletry. Few men can walk such a thin line and Waits' approach to this principle was never more dynamic than on Rain Dogs. His provocative commentary and crystal clear imagery are bolstered even further by the daring sonic experimentation that helped define the album. In a few short years, Waits graduated from barfly, lonesome anthems to concept albums about hobo culture and sideshow empowerment. Only Tom himself could make the transition between these two abstracts an unbridled success. Even with the runaway acclaim garnered with Rain Dogs and subsequent albums, Waits has rarely seen consistent recognition as one of history's finest songsmiths and innovators. However, to those who know his work well, it never fails to shine as brightly as a silver dollar intertwined amongst the discarded waste of a city's populace. His underground appeal is his lifeblood and Rain Dogs is his inspirational tale to endlessly entertain an audience of three that feels like three-hundred huddled around a barrel of fire to escape old man winter's scorn.

"Well it's 9th and Hennepin
And all the donuts have names that sound like prostitutes
And the moon's teeth marks are on the sky
Like a tarp thrown all over this
And the broken umbrellas like dead birds
And the steam comes out of the grill
Like the whole goddamned town is ready to blow"

-9th & Hennepin

1. Anywhere I Lay My Head
2. Tango Till They're Sore
3. Time

94
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
75/100
From 03/25/2021 12:20
A onda é forte e difícil de embarcar, mas explode várias passagens de pura genialidade.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
70/100
From 01/10/2021 21:42
Not sure I've heard better from Tom Waits, but I ultimately prefer my urban noir a little more Steely Dan slick.
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Rating:  
95/100
From 06/17/2020 00:44
Wonderfully weird with some really strong songwriting. Tom Waits’s poetry really fits his gruff voice. Definitely better than Swordfishtrombones.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 12/31/2019 10:36
Excellent.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From 06/25/2019 12:05
This was an awesome album. A bunch of filler as well, but scattered well enough that it doesn't drag the album down.

Favorites: Big Black Mariah, Union Square
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
85/100
From 05/22/2019 16:50
Highlights:

Clap Hands
Anywhere I Lay My Head
Downtown Train
Union Square
Jockey Full Of Bourbon
Singapore
Rain Dogs
Hang Down Your Head
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From 04/21/2019 01:25
A timeless triumph in the musical world as a whole, standing as an incredibly poetic, creative and original collection of songs that each possess their own ability to grasp you in a wave of different emotions. When you feel it, you really feel it.
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Rating:  
100/100
From 02/20/2019 20:33
In 1985, Tom Waits released "Rain Dogs". The album is unclassifiable: it is both jazzy and rock. This album offers us 19 short titles assembled strangely. I'm a big fan of Tom Waits: his music is weird but really interesting. His voice is extremely special and creates a reel universe around his music. This album is a real musical experience to live at least once in this life. The guitarist Keith Richards is present on some songs of the album. "Rain Dogs" is one of my favorite albums of the 80s, it is really excellent and creative.

10/10

Best track: "Time"
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
95/100
From 01/21/2019 04:12

1. Anywhere I Lay My Head
2. Tango Till They’re Sore
3. Time
4. Hang Down Your Head
5. Rain Dogs
6. Downtown Train
7. Cemetery Polka
8. Singapore
9. Jockey Full of Bourbon
10. Big Black Mariah
11. Clap Hands
12. Gun Street Girl
13. Blind Love
14. Walking Spanish
15. Union Square
16. Diamonds & Gold
17. Bride of Rain Dog
18. 9th & Hennepin
19. Midtown

(90/100)
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 unhelpful)

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Best Albums of 1985
1. Hounds Of Love by Kate Bush
2. Rain Dogs by Tom Waits
3. Brothers In Arms by Dire Straits
4. Meat Is Murder by The Smiths
5. Psychocandy by The Jesus And Mary Chain
6. The Head On The Door by The Cure
7. Songs From The Big Chair by Tears For Fears
8. Tim by The Replacements
9. Low-Life by New Order
10. Misplaced Childhood by Marillion
11. Steve McQueen by Prefab Sprout
12. Rum Sodomy & The Lash by The Pogues
13. This Nation's Saving Grace by The Fall
14. This Is The Sea by The Waterboys
15. New Day Rising by Hüsker Dü
16. Fables Of The Reconstruction by R.E.M.
17. Little Creatures by Talking Heads
18. Around The World In A Day by Prince And The Revolution
19. Love by The Cult
20. Live At The Harlem Square Club, 1963 by Sam Cooke
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