Tom Waits Bad?


Tom Waits has many a devoted fan. But since I began to haunt the audiophile sites, I've noticed a particular animosity, even cringing hate, directed toward the artist. I would be especially interested in the perspective of those who do not care for his craft. I know, curiosity kills...
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Showing 1 response by zanth

I was first exposed to Tom Waits when I was 13 (I am now 35). It was a video I watched on Much Music (Canada's early answer to MTV). The video was engaging and weird, totally off-beat and utterly different to anything that I had ever seen up to then (and a good bit of anything well into my 20s).

I hadn't acquired a taste for his music until maybe 10 years ago and now I am hooked. First it was Alice (and Blood Money should have followed but I waited ten more years before I ever heard Blood Money). Then on to his first 5 albums which are absolute gems. I started jumping around after that but unlike the poster above who wasn't fond of Glitter and Doom, I was totally captivated. A live album of serious stuff with absolute laughs and a grand final set of Tom Waits telling odd-ball stories and singing a bit too. I was and still am, totally enamoured if only because he seems to be legitimately cool without trying. Just that type of guy who has gone through life with ups and downs and has chosen to tell tales of them all. The fact that he has stuck it out with his wife, has some great kids, is active in his community, at schools and art galleries, I just feel he is a man with integrity whether one likes his music or not.

In the music biz, I find it hard to locate those with true integrity. That's part of his magic, then comes his brilliant lyrics, his odd merging of vaudeville and avantgarde experimental blues rock with some tongue 'n cheek pop ditties and one has if nothing else, a very unique listening experience. Helps that I totally dig his voice, the more weathered the better. Kinda like Leonard Cohen, but without the overactive sexual innuendo.