Franks Wild Years
Label: Island Records
Subtitled "Un Operachi Romantico in Two Acts," Frank's Wild Years introduces Waits' collaborative partnership with his new wife, Kathleen Brennan. The seed of the concept came from the track by the same name on Swordfishtrombones, which was sketched out into a play that debuted in Chicago's venerated Steppenwolf Theatre a year before the LP's 1987 release. Its strength as a standalone LP is varied, but tunes like "Hang On St. Christopher" and "Innocent When You Dream" shine, as does the tortured "Temptation," where Waits' collaboration with guitarist Marc Ribot is a screaming triumph.