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I started with Real Gone; probably not the best one to start with. I've heard Mule Variations or Rain Dogs is the place to start. I am particular to Orphans though.   (how's that for a convoluted ans

1973 Closing Time 1974 The Heart of Saturday Night 1975 Nighthawks at the Diner (Recorded live in the studio over two nights for small audiences) 1976 Small Change 1977 Foreign Affairs 1978 Blu

Closing Time is absolutely my favorite Waits album.

his storytellers is a definite download imo. i could listen to him talk for hours. i've only seen that ACL performance once (about 5 years ago). never been able to track it down since.

I know some clips can be found on Youtube. I do own a copy myself, but only after searching endlessly for it for years. I finally got it from a very generous person on the Tom Waits fan forum it frequent.

 

Are you looking for the video, audio, or both?

 

 

Edit: Found both for you! But the PM's aren't working again...

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What is the best album or best place to start?

 

Almost like asking where to start with Dylan. You have to pick a period.

 

I would recommend Mule Variations as a good introduction to his post Rain Dog works. I see it as good middle point to jump in between Rain Dogs era works and his more recent stuff. Lots of good stuff and good varieties of styles on that album too.

 

As for his early boozier/beatnik/hipster themed stuff, I never got into it that much to distinguish between those efforts. Closing Time, Small Change are a few to get you started.

 

Rain Dogs could be a good place to start between the early and late Waits styles. Good stuff on there and very little chaff -- that might give you an idea whether you want to go back or forward from there.

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I know some clips can be found on Youtube. I do own a copy myself, but only after searching endlessly for it for years. I finally got it from a very generous person on the Tom Waits fan forum it frequent.

 

Are you looking for the video, audio, or both?

 

 

Edit: Found both for you! But the PM's aren't working again...

 

i have audio. that's easy to track down!

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Toms a genius. Probably the only 'legend' I can think of who has never put out a bad record. If you compare 'Real Gone' 'Alice' 'Blood Money' and 'Mule Variations' to the recent output from Dylan and Neil young you'll see who the main man is. Personal favourites:

 

1) Rain Dogs;

2) Mule Variations;

3) Swordfishtrombone;

4) Heart of Saturday Night;

5) Real Gone;

 

The Orphans set is also pretty amazing. I believe he has a new album out at the end of this year.

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I believe he has a new album out at the end of this year.

 

Yep, either the end of this year of the beginning of next!! I cannot wait to hear this one. I know he was scheduled to collaborate with British musician 'Tricky,' who has been called the British Tom Waits on acid. If you listen to his stuff, he has a very strange and unique sound, which should suit Tom perfectly. This collaboration should be quite interesting to say the least! Very excited!!! :dancing

 

 

BTW: Wild Frank, I love your avatar. Can't wait to see that film!

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Here is the article talking about the collaboration!

 

Tom Waits and Tricky to team up for album

Written by Mark Thompson

In something of a moody love-in Waits and Tricky have traded praise for one another with the resulting climax set to be a collaborative album between the pair.

Island records boss Chris Blackwell was the mutual go-between, contacting Waits to ask him about the possibility of working with Tricky.

 

"We talked on the phone six months ago," Tricky told Teletext. "Tom's not usually a fan of other people, but Chris said he likes me. Tom invited me to chill out with him in San Francisco, and when I've got time, I will."

 

With nothing recorded as yet, this hasn't stopped Tricky expecting something truly earth shattering when the pair get together.

 

"It's almost like me and Tom were fated to work together," outlined the singer. "I can't imagine what will come out of it, but I know it'd be a brand new type of music, different to him or me."

 

He added, "I was compared to 'Tom Waits on acid' when I first came out. I didn't know his stuff then, but it led me to checking him out and I love it."

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those two early years compilations have some good stuff on them too.

 

Yeah, that version of "Diamonds On My Windshield" off of Volume 2 is fantastic! I often wondered if a Volume 3 would ever be released. However, I think Tom would do everything in his power to prevent that from happening. I know how hard he tried to get Elektra to not release Volumes 1 and 2.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah, that version of "Diamonds On My Windshield" off of Volume 2 is fantastic! I often wondered if a Volume 3 would ever be released. However, I think Tom would do everything in his power to prevent that from happening. I know how hard he tried to get Elektra to not release Volumes 1 and 2.

I have never understood this. The material on these early comps is really good; the guy still could sing in a regular voice back then and most of the songs are also very good.

 

LouieB

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I have been a TW fan for mmany years. A couple of years ago, we remodeled our home, and now we were able to sit on an upper deck, looking over a pond full of bull frogs. When we played various tunes we began to notice that the frogs got really loud in response to certain singers. It was not a fluke, we tested it a number of times. Sure enough, the frogs liked 2 singers clearly best of all. Some songs just did nothing for them. Others were met weith loud reactions. These 2 singers (the preferred ones) only got the very large froggy reactions. Inititially, it seemed certain our very own beloved Tweedy solo songs were the most high; highly preferred but then Tom Waits songs came on, and it was clear beyond a doubt. Our bull frogies selected Mr. Waits as the most favored singer of all. Closing time somgs were a very big hit with the froggey set, in particular though some Mule songs seemed revered as well. So, based on natural 'selectiona" I would recommend Closing Time as a greta plave to start...

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I'd say Mule Variations because it has some of his more accessible experimental stuff along with a couple of his "pretty" tunes. I started with Rain Dogs and loved it but I know some people need to lead into it a little more with some of his other stuff (such as his real early albums like Closing Time and Heart of a Saturday Night)

 

Whichever way you choose, good choice from the get go! That guy is one hell of a guy

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Jazzy beat poetry, pork pie wearing, Tropicana living era:

Small Change, if only for Bad Liver and a Broken Heart, and Tom Traubert's Blues

Heart of Saturday Night

Nighthawks at the Diner (sometimes considered one of the worst received, and just plain worst live records. I like it for Big Joe and Phantom 309.

 

Junkyard maestro, playing on hubcaps, cavorting around on every other Jim Jarmusch film set era:

You could pick any record from the Island-Anti catalogs, and be hard pressed to a find a one that isn't wonderful. Maybe Swordfishtrombones isn't that fantastic. I love Raindogs, and Mule Variations. But Bone Machine has a doomsday melancholy to it that stirs the soul. Listen to A little Rain, or Who Are You. Or I don't wanna grow up, or the Keith Richards co-authored That Feel. I could go on and on about Waits. I couldn't say there's a quantifiable starting point as I bought the Big Time, his second live record (and the soundtrack to his not quite block busting, now cult classic "The Big Time") and proceeded to buy every recorded moment the man was beating on something with a mallet. You could argue Waits is the missing element.

I love him to pieces.

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1) Rain Dogs;

2) Mule Variations;

3) Swordfishtrombone;

4) Heart of Saturday Night;

5) Real Gone;

 

The Orphans set is also pretty amazing. I believe he has a new album out at the end of this year.

 

Now there is a coincidence. I would have went with that list as well but I would have put swrodfishtrombone at No. 1. First heard it at a party in the late 80s. Blew me away. I still laugh to this day at the line in Shore Leave "and shot billiards with a midget until the rain stopped". I was hooked from there on it.

 

I was lucky enough to finally see Waits live in a circus big top in Dublin last year. One of the best shows I've even.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I love pretty much anything Tom Waits does, but the track "Spacious Thoughts" on the recent N.A.S.A. record was pretty much un-listenable to me. I even went so far as to delete it from my iTunes library. Anyone else hear this song? Care to weigh in?

 

Can't say I've heard it but I'll be looking it up now!

 

I am completely obsessive and bias over Waits...even if Spacious Thoughts weirds me out, I'll listen until it doesn't. Anything he does is pure gold to these ears....that said, it sounds like you come from a similar angle so maybe I will be caught!

 

His greatest moments change from day to day with me. Rather than recommend an album, I'd suggest sitting in front of youtube for a couple of hours and see if you can drag yourself away!

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I love pretty much anything Tom Waits does, but the track "Spacious Thoughts" on the recent N.A.S.A. record was pretty much un-listenable to me. I even went so far as to delete it from my iTunes library. Anyone else hear this song? Care to weigh in?

 

When I listen to that song, I tend to always fast forward to Tom's parts. But yeah, it's not a favorite of mine. Though, I'll listen to it because, well... it's Tom Waits. :D

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This video started the fb rounds this morning with my friend Lorenzo in Italy. FB is viral.

 

I can't be bothered with trying to embed it.

 

Two of my favorites: Tom and Jim.

Incidentally, Jim Jarmusch walked right past me at Tom's gig in Akron Ohio on the Orphans tour. It was near the end of the set and he was presumably making his way backstage. This guy exudes coolness.

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