Tom Waits Fans!

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  • @quork  Mar 12

    Tom Waits has curated a 76 song retrospective of his career on Spotify. It includes remastered versions of many of his songs, which are a pleasure to hear.

  • @persaab Mar 13

    I hate spotify but love Waits.

  • @quork  Mar 13

    I like Spotify for checking out stuff to buy.

  • @persaab Mar 13

    Yeah maybe hate is wrong/strong word... i dont support or I dont use spotify. But I support Waits and use his music a lot. Haha

  • @edwardsmusic Mar 13

    I saw a remastered version of the album "Closing Time" in my suggested Bandcamp albums. I only had a listen to "Ol' 55" that time though; I'd already heard the original album a few months prior.
    Semi-related: Waits is one of those musicians I want to love but have a bit of difficulty fully becoming a fan of. My favourite song of his is the aforementioned "Ol' 55".

  • @quork  Mar 13

    He definitely pushes the bounds of melody and harmony. But what a story teller, and so creative. @edwardsmusic, here are a few suggestions: Hold On, Get Behind the Mule, Chocolate Jesus, Black Wings, Romeo is Bleeding, Wrong Side of the Road. Theyโ€™re a little more accessible, and for the most part pretty bluesy.

  • @quork  Mar 13

    Alice is also a beautiful song, based on the Alice from Alice in Wonderland.

  • @quork  Mar 13

    @persaab , what are some of your go to Tom Waits songs?

  • @petemurphy Mar 13

    I'm a massive Tom Waits fan. I have pretty much everything he's released, but like persaab I don't use Spotify.

  • @adforperu  Mar 13

    Tom Waits is an absolute legend. I also love Spotify, soo... perfect! Some Tom Waits faves:

    I Wish I Was In New Orleans
    Tom Traubert's Blues
    Kentucky Avenue
    Cemetery Polka
    Tango til they're sore
    Anywhere I lay my head (my absolute favourite)
    Falling Down
    Dirt in the ground
    I don't wanna grow up
    Come on up to the house
    Lost in the harbour
    Pay me

  • @donna  Mar 13

    Huge Waits fan here as well. Among many other of his songs, I love 'Martha'. The chorus melody almost brings me to tears every time I hear it.

  • @resonut123 Mar 13

    Huge fan here too!!!!
    I really like his older stuff up to Mule Variations. My fave albums of his: are Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs & Blue Valentine. His other discs always have some amazing tunes as well. Step Right Up is KILLER!

  • @jamkar  Mar 13

    Although not a huge fan, I think some of his works have rubbed off on my songwriting. So I definitely admire his work. OK, so yeah, if he came to my neck of the woods I would buy a ticket!

  • @izaakalexander Mar 13

    "What's he building in there?"

    No doubt one of my favorite songwriters. Rain Dogs is my go-to, but I like it all. Thanks for the heads up @quork !

  • @persaab Mar 13

    Almost like @resonut123 said. Rain dogs was first album that I heard from Waits and still love it, Swordfishtrombones, Bone machine, mule variations are also favorite albums. I saw here Black Rider in theatre and it was a killer.

  • @quork  Mar 13

    Black Rider was interesting. Almost no guitar. It's the only of his albums I haven't made much headway into. For me, it's Bone Machine, Mule Variations, Blue Valentine, Big Time, Rain Dogs, much of Heart Attack and Vine. But I can listen to anything he's recorded.

  • @petemurphy Mar 13

    I LOVE The Black Rider.
    Swordfishtrombones is my favourite TW album, but I love most of what he's done.
    Saving All My Love For You is an incredible song, even if Tom and Kathleen don't like it...

  • @carleybaer Mar 13

    Any 'Nighthawks at the Diner' fans? It's one of my desert-island albums.

  • @quork  Mar 14

    Wow, no love for "Nighthawks"! I appreciate his songs (great jazz) on it but enjoy his later, less down at the heels beat singer music.

  • @resonut123 Mar 14

    I also really like the Early Years Vol 1 (songs done before Closing Time). Early Years Vol 2 is essentially Closing Time & Heart of Saturday Night.

  • @headfirstonly  Mar 15

    Took me a long time to get where he was coming from, but when I finally did, I decided that the man's a genius. The three albums he released in the 90s - Bone Machine, The Black Rider, and Mule Variations - are exceptional. Mule Variations would be the album that I'd recommend for anyone wanting to get in to his stuff. Still haunted by "What's He Building."

  • @toms  Mar 15

    Tom Waits is amazing. I especially love the Kurt Weill influenced stuff. Also the early stuff. Also all of the layer stuff. Also, all of it. ๐Ÿ˜

  • @toms  Mar 15


  • @zecoop  Mar 15

    Huge fan. I came in with Nighthawks @carleybaer which I still love and then Step Right Up completely hooked me. I love Swordfish Trombones and Rain Dogs but there are so many great songs throughout his albums. I also love the Early Years album - nice picture of his 'normal' songwriting.

  • @zecoop  Mar 15

    @headfirstonly - YES! What's he building is so cool.... ๐Ÿ˜€

  • @persaab Mar 15


  • @driftwood1  Mar 15

    If you can track down a copy, his VH1 storytellers performance is spectacular. It was right on the heels of Mule Variations so it's heavy on that record, but a great setlist throughout. And his stories are as entertaining as the songs. I could listen to the man talk all day..

  • @zecoop  Mar 15

    Also, this episode of 'Fishing with John', in which John Lurie takes Tom Waits fishing. It's hilarious. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • @headfirstonly  Mar 15

    And the scene in Jim Jarmusch's "Coffee and Cigarettes" with Iggy Pop. It's like watching someone kick a puppy.

  • @fuzzy  Mar 15

    As a Captain Beefheart fan, I would just like to acknowledge his massive influence on Waits' music (said @fuzzy, in his ongoing effort to mention Beefheart in every possible conversation)

  • @silvermachine  Mar 15

    Ive got all his albums and yeah he posesses everything in spades I admire in an artist, and he bores me silly now. No one who has a career that long can avoid repeating themselves and diluting their great work.
    Most artists have one voice and one style they master and stick with. Waits has had three voices and two radically successful reinventions. He's amazing, so I've stuck with him to my detriment.
    When you've listened to all the great stuff, you've also had to sit through all the interminably average variations on the same few themes/ideas. Sadly the man is human after all.
    The doctor has ordered a complete abstinence.

  • @stevenwesleyguiles  Mar 16

    I really just love Waits work in Mystery Men.

  • @quork  Mar 16

    Maybe youโ€™ll come back to him with some distance. Itโ€™s telling that no one on this thread has mentioned his later releases (2004 and on) - Real Gone, Bad As Me, Orphans, Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards, Glitter and Doom and Bad As Me - as a favourite. I own almost every one of his albums, and like every artist some songs are stronger than others. A 45 year career with multiple reinventions and many utterly brilliant songs is damn impressive in my books. Iโ€™ll keep buying every one of his (hopefully) new albums, and will keep returning to my many favourite songs.

  • @silvermachine  Mar 16

    @quork Yeah I shoulda stopped at Mule Variations. Alice, Blood Money and Real Gone, were hard going, but that mammoth Brawlers 3cd album was what pushed me over the edge. You can have too much of a good thing.
    Just to corroborate my fan status I'm gonna recommend one of his lesser known albums as a testimony to the man's many tentacled talents - One From The Heart. A delight.

  • @petemurphy Mar 16

    I love Alice. Beautiful album.

    "... and I must be insane... to go skating on your name... and by tracing it twice... I fell through the ice... of Alice..."

  • @adforperu  Mar 16

    My favourite TW lyric, @petemurphy!

    As for those not mentioning his later work, I would state that it's all great still, just not quite as good! I thought Bad as Me was a brilliant album, and songs like Pay Me and Hell Broke Loose are among his best work. We always put New Years Eve on at NYE, naturally...

  • @pipewrench67  Mar 16

    Just to add into the conversation regarding later works, there is a remixed version of Real Gone and others are in the works

  • @quork  Mar 16

    Alice is my favourite Tom Waits song. Such beautiful lyrics and he sings them so tenderly (for Tom Waits). I've been trying to learn the sax solo on my chromatic harmonica. One day...

  • @captainvulpine  Mar 17

    I have way too much to talk about on the subject. @stevenwesleyguiles,
    At 14 years old the only thing I knew was film. Actors, producers, writers, directors, uncredited re-writes, injustices, casting, studio interference. I knew all the names, I knew it all. I think I first met Tom Waits from a bit part in The Fisher King, recognized the name a few other places, saw the name again from songs in Twelve Monkeys and Fight Club, then when I saw the wacky Heller and his non lethal weapons in Mystery Men, man... It all came together. He has been my guy ever since.

    @quork, I love his later stuff and absorbed all of it. Hell, I prefer it. I've never been able to find my own particular voice, and so I just do whatever the story requires. That's something I wouldn't have been confident in without Tom. Especially because the further you step into his discography, the further he steps out of the box.

    @silvermachine, I could probably play every song from "Brawlers". Named my car Lucinda, even.

  • @captainvulpine  Mar 17

    But I couldn't name a single song from "Bawlers", and as far as "Bastards" goes, I remember a few lines.

    And to no one else;
    About 12 years ago I dated a young lady who went to circus school with his nephew. We all got along famously and went to see Corteo by Cirque de Soleil together in San Diego. Well the young lady knew some folks in the show, so we all got backstage and were given an audition with the ringleaders. A fucking lovely night. On the way back my car broke down, so Tom's sister (whose son we were with) ended up picking us up. Upon hearing I was a fan she told some childhood anecdotes referring to him as "Tommy", and a week later I received a signed CD upon which was written "Follow your dreams. I ran away and joined the circus, and it was thes best thing I ever did."
    What CD was it you ask?
    Literally a used "greatest hits Vol. 2" by Springsteen.

  • @quork  Mar 17

    @captainvulpine , thanks for sharing your great stories. The man has touched so many lives, though for most of us not as directly as yours.

    Itโ€™s great to see his later catalogue getting some love.

    Do you still have the cd?

  • @captainvulpine  Mar 17

    @quork A fun fact is that a lot of Waits' royalties come from Bruce Springsteen covering Jersey Girl. I think that was the joke.
    But! I never once personally had the CD permenantly. The girlfriend got it from the nephew. It was "ours". She left me and kept it, as well as several of my favorite shirts.
    I've inquired, but she seems to have "misplaced it". I prefer the story over the object anyway, aye?

  • @quork  Mar 17

    For sure.

  • @bradbrubaker  Mar 19

    I like that story @captainvulpine.

  • @adforperu  Mar 22

    Not had chance to listen to these "remixes" yet... are they true remixes or just remasters? Differences noticeable?

  • @mikedebenham  Mar 24

    I'm interested to hear the remix of Real Gone. Great album ('Hoist that Rag' - oh man), but the fairly constant and samey distortion on the songs makes it hard to listen to in one go.

    I goddamn love Tom Waits. His early stuff is good, but everything Swordfishtrombones and after is pretty much essential for me. And Marc Ribot's guitar work for Waits is a huge inspiration.

  • @quork  Mar 24

    My favourite song from Real Gone is Sins of my Father. Marc Ribot is incredible.

  • @looprication  Mar 24

    Has anyone seen the YouTube video of God's Away on Business where it's all Cookie Monster clips from Sesame Street? Effing brilliant.

    Got to see Tom a couple years back at The Bridge Benefit up in Mountain View, CA. Just an hour of Tom being Tom, and even though I was on the lawn, it felt like a conversation with an old friend. Really, really hoping I get the chance to see him again.

  • @oldlostjohn  Mar 25

    I love Tom Waits, at least everything from Swordfishtrombones onwards. Mule Variations and Alice are probably my favourites if I have to choose, but they're all excellent. As a lyricist, Tom Waits has the qualities I most value in a songwriter; his lyrics are original, a bit weird, strikingly creative and peppered with odd references. Musically, he perfectly blends traditional with oddball avantgarde. One of a kind. Essential.

  • @leepat  Mar 27

    Love this thread as i've yet to discover most of the music.
    Remember reading a YouTube comment about him being the only musician Letterman would invite for a chat after a performance.

    That Alice lyric is a masterpiece

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