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POP EYE

August 16, 1987|PATRICK GOLDSTEIN

NAME GAME: Geez, how could we have mentioned a new Tom Waits album without supplying any song titles? Worse yet, how could we mention any song titles without letting Waits--one of pop's slyest raconteurs--describe some of the tunes himself. After all, this is a man who insists that he did all the vocals using a battery-operated police bullhorn (available for $30 at Radio Shack). Here are a few highlights, culled from a recent Rip Rense interview for Island:

"I'll Take New York": "Kind of a uh . . . Jerry Lewis going down on the Titanic."

"Hang on St. Christopher": "Jamaican shoeshine music."

"Straight to the Top--Rhumba": "Louis Prima in Cuba. A little pagan."

"I'll Be Gone": "Kind of a 'Taras Bulba' number . . . Halloween music from Torrance."

"Frank's Theme": "Rudy Vallee. From beyond the grave."

"Temptation": "Gazzari's on the Strip."

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