16 February 2008


Here’s another one of those if- you- haven’t- heard- of- him- you- should- just- stop- trying- to- pretend- you- know- about- music posts.

Tom Waits was born in California in 1949. He began his professional recording career in 1973, with an album of bluesy beat-poet style songs. Over the years he has evolved into an avant garde singer-songwriter (and actor) whose style spans the range of jazz, folk, blues, experimental, rock and funk. And probably a few more that aren’t popping to mind at the moment. But then, you already knew all that.

A couple years back, he released a three disc set of rarities (highly recommended), but as expansive as that was, there’s still quite a bit that didn’t get covered in that set. Here’s a few other things for those die hard fans:

(all files expired)

Tom Waits - “The Fall of Troy” (solo radio session) Recorded March 31st, 1998 at KCRW studios. Released on Rare On Air, Vol. 4.
Ken Nordine with Tom Waits - “Thousand Big Bangs” Taken from Ken’s album Devout Catalyst.
Tom Waits - “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” (live James Brown cover) Recorded at Massey Hall. Toronto, Canada. October 7, 1987.
Tom Waits - “It’s Alright with Me” (Cole Porter cover) From the tribute album Red Hot + Blue.
Thelonious Monster with Tom Waits - “Adios Lounge” From Thelonious Monster’s self titled album.
John Hammond with Tom Waits - “I Know I Been Changed” (traditional) Released on John’s album Wicked Grin.

Tom Waits discography: (while all of these are recommended, my top five are *)

Closing Time, 1973 (buy)
The Heart of Saturday Night, 1974 (buy)
Nighthawks at the Diner, 1975* (buy) (live)
Small Change, 1976 (buy)
Foreign Affairs, 1977 (buy)
Blue Valentine, 1978 (buy)
Heartattack and Vine, 1980 (buy)
One From the Heart, 1982 (soundtrack)
Swordfishtrombones, 1983 (buy)
Rain Dogs, 1985* (buy)
Frank’s Wild Years, 1987 (buy)
Big Time, 1988 (buy) (live, but they chopped out all the monologues)
Night On Earth, 1992 (soundtrack)
Bone Machine, 1992* (buy)
The Black Rider, 1993 (buy)
Mule Variations, 1999* (buy)
Blood Money, 2002 (buy)
Alice, 2002 (buy)
Real Gone, 2004 (buy)
Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, and Bastards, 2006* (buy) (rarities collection)

For further info, I recommend the Tom Waits Library.

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