BCB 100 - Tom Waits

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geoffcowgill
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BCB 100 - Tom Waits

Postby geoffcowgill » 03 Jul 2006, 18:54

I'm eager to hear the variety of opinions about what's Wait's best. He's one of those unique artists whose work doesn't lend itself towards consensus opinions, yet I imagine almost all of us here like at least some of his stuff.

I'm a particular fan of those transitional albums of the mid-80s. Rain Dogs I think is his most consistent, but "A Soldier's Things" from Swordfishtrombones is the finest thing he's ever done. Blue Valentine might have been a contender for me if there was just a bit more variety on it. One From The Heart would also rank highly.

Favorite Album - Rain Dogs

Favorite Song - "A Soldier's Things"

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Postby Sea Of Tunes » 03 Jul 2006, 18:59

Album: Frank's Wild Years
Song: Innocent When You Dream (both versions)
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Postby purgatory brite » 03 Jul 2006, 19:33

album Swordfishtrombones

song Tom Traubert's Blues

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Postby Toby » 03 Jul 2006, 19:53

Can't choose an LP sadly.

Song - Martha

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Postby toomanyhatz » 03 Jul 2006, 20:32

I love some of his stuff, but I've never been able to embrace him whole-heartedly. There's something about his schtick that's too- well, too much of a schtick. I wonder who he is. I think he's turned into his persona, and while it's interesting, I like artists who reveal themselves a little more.

Album - Probably Swordfishtrombones, ultimately, but with reservations.

Song - Invitation to the Blues
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Postby Gater05 » 03 Jul 2006, 20:47

Hard to pick an album, Blue Valentine or Heartattack and Vine

Song- On the nickel
Waits is one of my gods, but he lost lost me for the three album stretch Raindogs/Swordfish/ Frank's Wild Years, which almost everyone else consider great. Some day I'll have to give them another chance.
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Postby bixhenry » 03 Jul 2006, 21:01

toomanyhatz wrote:I love some of his stuff, but I've never been able to embrace him whole-heartedly. There's something about his schtick that's too- well, too much of a schtick. I wonder who he is. I think he's turned into his persona, and while it's interesting, I like artists who reveal themselves a little more.

Album - Probably Swordfishtrombones, ultimately, but with reservations.

Song - Invitation to the Blues


I was a huge Waits fan throughout the '80s - I think from the '70s to about Bone Machine, he was one of the artists whose vision I admired greatly, and has at least a couple of dozen songs from that time period that I'd classify as unequivocally great.

However, his luster has started to wear off for me over the last several years - too much 'Man In The Shed' persona, and the use of theater in his adaptations of voices ("today I'll sound like Howlin' Wolf or Captain Beefheart, tomorrow I'll sound like a male Lotte Lenya; next week I'll do Leonard Cohen!") has grown thin. But he still has a knack for writing a moving song, such as Real Gone's 'The Day After Tomorrow.' So count me currently as a former fanatic, and now a casual fan.

Album - Rain Dogs

Song - 'Time'

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Postby Billybob Dylan » 03 Jul 2006, 21:02

Early era Waits for me. Tough to pin down one album - even tougher to pin down one song. But I think I'll plump for:

Album: Heart Of Saturday Night

Song: I Beg Your Pardon.
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Postby Matt Wilson » 03 Jul 2006, 21:02

toomanyhatz wrote:I love some of his stuff, but I've never been able to embrace him whole-heartedly. There's something about his schtick that's too- well, too much of a schtick. I wonder who he is. I think he's turned into his persona, and while it's interesting, I like artists who reveal themselves a little more.


Well, that's just it--it is a shtick.
Whenever I pull out one of those '70s Waits CDs I'm always struck by the "I'm the bastard son of Keruac" persona he cultivated. Fine, as far as those things go and there certainly wasn't anyone else around at the time doing it but let's face facts: He was a Californian, for Christ sakes. On Asylum, no less (unless memory fails me yet again).

Ya gotta question the authenticity of a guy like that.

Stirling Moss

Postby Stirling Moss » 03 Jul 2006, 21:11

...anyone remember the infamous mid-80s Ian Hislop interview which had to be abandoned because Hislop could not understand a solitary word Tom said?

Fucking brilliant telly.

:lol:
LP: Franks Wild Years
Song: I Don't Wanna Grow Up

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Postby The Slider » 03 Jul 2006, 21:50

This is harder for te song than the LP.
If compilations were allowed I should pick the Asylum Years but as they probably aren't:

Album: Heartattack and Vine.

Song: Kentucky Avenue


But it could have been Ruby's Arms or Martha on another day.
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Postby Bungo the Mungo » 03 Jul 2006, 21:55

Sea Of Tunes wrote:Album: Frank's Wild Years
Song: Innocent When You Dream (both versions)


The song is great, but I remember it being almost ruined by his 'gritty' vocal. Is that the case on both versions?

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Postby The Slider » 03 Jul 2006, 21:56

yes :lol:
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Postby Bungo the Mungo » 03 Jul 2006, 21:57

The Slider wrote:yes :lol:


Damn! Mr. Gimmick strikes again!

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Postby Sneelock » 03 Jul 2006, 23:03

album: Swordfishtrombones
song: 'Picture in a Frame'

"I'm gonna love you til the wheels come off. oh. yeah"

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Postby the masked man » 03 Jul 2006, 23:25

Album: "Rain Dogs" (although "Blood Money" runs it close)

Song: "Alice"

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Postby John_K » 03 Jul 2006, 23:53

Album: Frank's Wild Years
Song: Martha
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Postby & » 04 Jul 2006, 02:02

Tom waits for no one.
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Re: BCB 100 - Tom Waits

Postby take5_d_shorterer » 04 Jul 2006, 04:23

geoffcowgill wrote:Rain Dogs I think is his most consistent, but "A Soldier's Things" from Swordfishtrombones is the finest thing he's ever done.


We'll just have to disagree on this. "A Soldier's Things" for me demonstrates how swordfishtrombones is a trial run for Rain Dogs.

What do I mean by this? Had Waits made "A Soldier's Things" in 1985 or recut it later, he would not have played the piano the way he did on this song. He would have played it more sparsely, maybe eliminated it altogether. There are some things that I think still needed to be sorted out on swordfish and the instrumentation on "A Soldier's Things" is one of them. The guitar in "Down Down Down" is another.

"Trouble's Braids" though is exactly right. To me swordfish is a transitional album, and you can see how Waits is trying to figure out what to do and how to play this new type of music.

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Re: BCB 100 - Tom Waits

Postby geoffcowgill » 04 Jul 2006, 05:43

take5_d_shorterer wrote:
geoffcowgill wrote:Rain Dogs I think is his most consistent, but "A Soldier's Things" from Swordfishtrombones is the finest thing he's ever done.


We'll just have to disagree on this. "A Soldier's Things" for me demonstrates how swordfishtrombones is a trial run for Rain Dogs.

What do I mean by this? Had Waits made "A Soldier's Things" in 1985 or recut it later, he would not have played the piano the way he did on this song. He would have played it more sparsely, maybe eliminated it altogether. There are some things that I think still needed to be sorted out on swordfish and the instrumentation on "A Soldier's Things" is one of them. The guitar in "Down Down Down" is another.

"Trouble's Braids" though is exactly right. To me swordfish is a transitional album, and you can see how Waits is trying to figure out what to do and how to play this new type of music.


Hearing it in my head right now, I don't notice anything that I dislike about the piano, but to me the greatness of the song is in the lyrics and their delivery. That swelling pride on "This one's for bravery" turning to a private hush on "and this one's for me"; it's just devastating. I always thought that this would have been the perfect song for Billie Holiday to have done if that were somehow possible.