Monday, October 27, 2014

Overheard at the Counter: Verble's Quick Guide to Tom Waits

Verble Gherulous’s Brief Introduction to the Mad Mad World of Tom Waits

First, one should know that there are two Tom Waits:

1)      Piano Blues Tom Waits


2) Pure Gravel Static Tom Waits. 

Both are absolute genius.

A start with the “transitional” albums (late 70’s/early 80s) between the two is probably the best way to get a true appreciation of the entire oeuvre.  Personally, I would suggest listening to the following albums in order:

Album #1) Blue Valentines.  My personal favourite.  Pure poetry, rainslicked streets, and whiskeysoaked vocals.

Album #2) Rain Dogs.  *THE* transitional album, although some may think that  actually is . . .

Album #3) Swordfishtrombones.   This album is suburbia seen through the eyes of Picasso.

Album #4) Foreign Affairs. Tight mysteries and midnight road movies.

Album #5) Bone Machine. Suffering madness, beautiful delusion.

Album #6) Small Change.  Punks, pimps, tramps, thieves, such beautiful tragedy.

Album #7) Mule Variations. Picture American Gothic drenched in sepia tones.

Album #8) Nighthawks at the Diner. An intimate evening with a brilliant magician at a piano.

With these albums tucked under your belt, you will have the essential Tom Waits.  All the rest is just gravy. Delicious gravy with a haunted aftertaste of blood and gin.

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