I recently found out one of my friends is a big TW fan. He drove from Michigan to St Louis just to see him!
Mule Variations is one of my favorites as well plus several of his earlier records, too numerous to name.
I bet if you search the archives you will see plenty on Tom Waits.
Get Blue Valentine. Not talked about much, but brilliant. It's earlier period stuff.
best i've heard are Mule, Swordfishtrombones, Blood Money, with a nod to Foreign Affairs.
but my word, what a collection of songs. i'd stack his songwriting up against anyone since Cole Porter.
Waits is fantastic. Check out Blue Valentine.
If you like Mule Variations then Blood Money and Real Gone are probably up your ally as well.
I am a big fan. Amazing, unique voice. A great gift for metaphor. So many of his songs create both aural and visual images that listening to him is like experiencing synesthesia
. Here is my current Tom Waits playlist:
Dead & Lovely
Sins of My Father
Way Down in the Hole
Jesus Gonna Be Here
How's It Gonna End
Yep, big Waits fan here too, since way back. I think my introduction to him was Blue Valentine and I've been hooked ever since. He's never disappointed me, but certainly some recent work is more 'challenging' than previous work. Still, love all his work. His mastery of language is genius, and entirely unique. I'm particularly fond of the collaborations with his wife, Kathleen Brennan, especially, "SwordfishTrombone". For some reason I'm particulary drawn to his spoken works too. A recent favorite is "Circus" from RealGone (a great live version of which is on "Glitter and Doom" makes that album worth the investment - otherwise that album is very poor acoustically, but has some good live performances).
If I had to list three favorites they'd be, SwordfishTrombone, Small Change, and Rain Dogs.
There's some very good compilation collections: Used Songs, Beautiful Maladies, The Early Years, Orphans..., and The Asylum Years. For anyone unfamiliar with Waits one of these might be a good place to start...I'd go with Beautiful Maladies as that's pretty approachable and midway through his career (also some of my favorite stuff of what he's done).
I seriously need to get Swordfishtrombones. That's one I don't have. I'm always looking for a clean copy when I go to record shows. And I agree, Jax2, Small Change, and Rain Dogs are absolute classics. I too have Orphans on CD. Bend Down The Branches is worth the price of the CD alone.
I'm a big fan. A great poet. If Dylan is a journalist, Waits is a cinematographer.
Big fan. Saw him at Alex Cooley's Electric Ballroom in Atlanta. Probably late 70's. One of the best shows I've ever seen. He did 5 encores.
Heck, yeah. Best show I EVER saw was Waits at the Fox in Atlanta on his Glitter and Doom tour...the coolest crowd, too. He started an hour late, but when he started, it was like nothing I'd ever heard. His band was killer too. Utterly effortless and relaxed sound like none of them were working. This show I later found out was recorded in its entirety for NPR's All Songs Considered, and it's a jewel.
Between the release of "Closing Time" and "Heart of Saturday Night" in the early '70s, I used to see Waits in bars and clubs on the east coast, no cover charge. I could all but stand right next to him. After "Saturday" was released, it cost $1 - $3 to be able to get in. I was an instant admirer.
Most of his early albums were recorded with simple mic'ing, and hence are paragons for natural sound. Also explosive dynamics from his vocals. Every creative turn he's taken has been interesting, expressive and worth following. "Orphans" is a compelling tour of the back side of "Tom Waits for No One"'s meandering mind.
Funny saying Waits is a cinematographer. Dylan was there first but Waits certainly wrote for Technicolor, and still does today.
Waits on vinyl is especially vivid.
check out his latest live album 'glitter n gloom'.
rocking version of 'going out west'.
Real Gone is incredible! Insane energy. Try two CDs:
Step Right Up - The songs of Tom Waits
New Coat of Paint - Songs of Tom Waits
(both performed by other artists)
He is great performer, great composer - great artist. Not too many like him these days.
I have been a Tom Waits fan ever since hearing Bone Machine in 1992. That one holds a special place for me in Tom Waits line-up. I have to say Black Rider is often neglected too, but I saw a live staging of it by One Yellow Rabbit and it's a great take on Weber' Opera.
From his earliest Albums, I will have to say I love both Closing Time and Heart of Saturday Night equally - lots of amazing songwriting on those first two: From "I hope that I don't fall in love" and "OL'55" on Closing Time to "San Diego Serenade" on Heart of Saturday Night, they are both amazing albums.
The middle period (1980s) is pretty popular, but for myself I am somehow always drawn to the earlier 1970s and early 1990s albums.
Huge fan here also. Heartattack and Vine is my personal favorite too. Saw him at The Backdoor on the campus of San Diego State i the early 70's. Also worked at a high school and partied with the music teacher who was a good friend and part time piano player with Tom.
Im a huge fan... especially Toms early stuff
but I have to say his Glitter & Doom Live is a bit too much for me. His Orphans CD shows off his genius in of all things writing songs for childrens' movies
while at the same time it includes a bed time story that clearly suggests that children should be locked safely away if Toms anywhere near. I love the liner notes picture of Tom standing in front of the horn speakers blowing his hair back. He is a treasure to say the least.
I used to see him in his barfly days down in LA's Chinatown. He used to frequent a bar called Yee Mee Loos. Really funny guy who was always pining for free drinks. I love Mule, Alice and Real Gone.
Own a lot of his music, but my favorite is the 1st one I ever picked up; 'Rain Dogs'!
I have thought Waits unlistenable for the last 15 years, even though I loved his earlier stuff...But you have all made me want to re-listen, starting with Rain Dogs. Gotta love Audiogon...
i am diehard Tom Waits fan...no fav album...i like all of his work...coolest man on earth...must hear on vinyl...
Essential, old to new. Love Marc Ribot, amazing guitarist.
Yup, Ribot is a unique and excellent musician. His recent Asmodeus disc is a good ripping electric trio date, but not as well recorded as some others. The Eclecticism CD w/ Kazutoki Umezu, (especially track 1) is incredible. I know it's kind of apples and oranges, but I've always thought Don Van Vliet (whose birthday is today) did a helluva lot more than Waits to enrich and expand popular (and maybe not so popular) music.