14 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A colossal 1982 box-office flop that all but sealed the demise of director Francis Coppola’s ambitious Zoetrope Studios venture, his Vegas-set bittersweet romantic musical now finds itself a cult film merely a couple decades ahead of its time. One of its most daring creative cornerstones remains arguably its most satisfying: Tom Waits’ elegantly boozy collection of bittersweet ballads, as voiced by one of the most accomplished oddball soundtrack duets ever — Waits himself and country songbird Crystal Gayle. The songs come wrapped in the lush orchestral production of Bones Howe, which variously serves as stark counterpoint to Waits’ typically gruff, if often playful delivery, and as a perfect frame for the oft-bluesy ache of Gayle’s diva turns. Its that dichotomy — intimate, emotion-charged interplay, played against a jazzy, Vegas-ized orchestral backdrop — that perfectly echoes the film’s romantic dilemmas, yielding one of the most unlikely gems in either singer’s canon. Includes the previously unreleased Waits outtake “Candy Apple Red” as well as a discarded early version of the film’ s “Once Upon a Town / Empty Pockets” opening montage.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A colossal 1982 box-office flop that all but sealed the demise of director Francis Coppola’s ambitious Zoetrope Studios venture, his Vegas-set bittersweet romantic musical now finds itself a cult film merely a couple decades ahead of its time. One of its most daring creative cornerstones remains arguably its most satisfying: Tom Waits’ elegantly boozy collection of bittersweet ballads, as voiced by one of the most accomplished oddball soundtrack duets ever — Waits himself and country songbird Crystal Gayle. The songs come wrapped in the lush orchestral production of Bones Howe, which variously serves as stark counterpoint to Waits’ typically gruff, if often playful delivery, and as a perfect frame for the oft-bluesy ache of Gayle’s diva turns. Its that dichotomy — intimate, emotion-charged interplay, played against a jazzy, Vegas-ized orchestral backdrop — that perfectly echoes the film’s romantic dilemmas, yielding one of the most unlikely gems in either singer’s canon. Includes the previously unreleased Waits outtake “Candy Apple Red” as well as a discarded early version of the film’ s “Once Upon a Town / Empty Pockets” opening montage.

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