Swordfishtrombones is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Tom Waits, released in September 1983. It was the first album that Waits produced himself. Stylistically different from his previous LPs, the album moves away from the piano and string orchestra arrangements of the late 1970s, replacing them instead with unusual instrumentation and a somewhat more abstract songwriting approach.
Released September 1, 1983. Swordfishtrombones Tracklist. 1. Underground (Original) Lyrics. Tom also adds a narrative to the album about his wife, musician Kathleen Brennan, whom he married in 1980. They had an intense relationship, and sources say Kathleen kept a close eye on his work, which is most likely what motivated him to include her in his storytelling. It all comes together to show not what Swordfishtrombones is, but more what it can do. Smay can hardly contain himself on the page, and he lets his ideas run wild, giving us a mosaic of a Tom Waits that we haven’t quite seen before. Where Kathleen (his wife) was Tom’s muse for the album, the album is Smay’s muse to discuss the idea of inevitable confession.
Swordfishtrombones has a certain atmosphere that is difficult to pick out. Tom creates a gloomy and eerie feel but the music isn’t overly depressing. I suppose that most of these songs sound dreary and have sort of a creepy crawly feel to them. He can go from a soft piano driven ballad to a loud, crunchy rock song. This was a big issue at first, but after multiple listens you sort of adapt to the way that Waits arranges the songs
The best choice for a starting point to get into probably the most imaginative singer/songwriter there is. I don't think Waits has ever created a full piece that balances the sounds of his early, crooner era and his freakish, era as well as this, so I can.