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Tom Waits


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yup, that's his wiki picture


So yeah, ive heard him namedropped around here plenty but i couldnt find a thread for him; most id known before were tracks like "Step Right Up" from the local jazz station, always meant to check out his other works. But "Way Down in the Hole" (used as the theme song for The Wire) really caught my attention. I'm checking out his album Frank's Wild Years at the moment, been hit or miss with me so far, just wanted to see if any fans of his could recommend more of his stuff.

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okay, so I too am new at this whole 'Tom Waits is great!' thing, but as far as lyrical prowess goes he is right up there with Bob Dylan. I can't always listen to him (anymore than I can Bob Dylan) his voice is a bit on the harsh side for long-term listening. I know people who have seen him in concert and he often drinks before, durning and after the show (less now that certin laws have taken effect). He's been in numerous movies as both charecters of himself (think Shrek) and as an actor (bram Styroker's Dracula, that's the only one I can think of off the top of my head). He plays a bit of everything, rock, jazz, folk and i swear...polka.


Tom has been doing the whole 'paino bar' scene scince Tori Amos was a just zygote.


oh and he hates advertisment. really hates it.


here's a playlist of some of the songs I found using the playlist program. i can only post a link tho...last time i tried posting anything of the sort it tried to kill the thread.




(click on whoa...)


Swordfishtrambone (as presented on leoslyrics.com)


Well he came home from the war

with a party in his head

and modified Brougham DeVille

and a pair of legs that opened up

like butterfly wings

and a mad dog that wouldn't

sit still

he went and took up with a Salvation Army

Band girl

who played dirty water

on a swordfishtrombone

he went to sleep at the bottom of

Tenkiller lake

and he said "gee, but it's

great to be home."


Well he came home from the war

with a party in his head

and an idea for a fireworks display

and he knew that he'd be ready with

a stainless steel machete

and a half a pint of Ballentine's

each day

and he holed up in room above a hardware store

cryin' nothing there but Hollywood tears

and he put a spell on some

poor little Crutchfield girl

and stayed like that for 27 years


Well he packed up all his

expectations he lit out for California

with a flyswatter banjo on his knee

with a lucky tiger in his angel hair

and benzedrine for getting there

they found him in a eucalyptus tree

lieutenant got him a canary bird

and shaked her head with every word

and Chesterfielded moonbeams in a song

and he got 20 years for lovin' her

from some Oklahoma governor

said everything this Doughboy

does is wrong


Now some say he's doing

the obituary mambo

and some say he's hanging on the wall

perhaps this yarn's the only thing

that holds this man together

some say he was never here at all


Some say they saw him down in

Birmingham, sleeping in a

boxcar going by

and if you think that you can tell a bigger tale

I swear to God you'd have to tell a lie...



wiki also has a great page on him check it out sometime!

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ok then,


i have every single tom waits recording, every album, every unique song released on best of's and a lot of rare unreleased stuff too.

he is in my opinion the greatest lyricist ever and is my favourite living musician (that's still recording)


tom is certainly unique, and you have to discover him in the right mood.

late night i think is best, he's usually what i listen to when i draw.

i'm actually currently working on a painting inspired by his song poor edward.


another thing about him is that there are two different era's of tom waits,

the first is similar to springsteen, dylan the second is unlike anyone else, it's quite experimental but my god is it brillaint.

i prefer his later/recent stuff, but it's all good



albums i recommend you have to own



best songs


poor edward




table top joe


Blood Money


misery is the river of the world


god's away on business


other great songs


heartattack and vine (off Heartattack And Vine)


blow wind blow (off Frank's Wild Years)


hoist that rag (off Real Gone)


chocolate jesus (off Mule Variations)



p.s. anybody that wants every tom waits recording, pm me and i'll send 'em to you

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have you seen him before??

nope, breaking my cherry in august.

i don't think i've ever looked forward to a gig as much as this one


Ah, I've been meaning to check his stuff out as for most of my life he's just been Dr. Heller from Mystery Men.

haha, i know,

i saw that before i new him and then had to get again after i found out who he was.


anyway, just look up.

i've posted enough songs to keep you busy for a while

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  • 3 years later...
Tom Waits will release his new album Bad as Me October 25 on Anti- Records, as TwentyFourBit points out. The album is up for pre-order on iTunes now, in both regular and deluxe editions. The title track single is on sale now as well. Tracklist below.


Bad as Me:

01 Chicago

02 Raised Right Men

03 Talking at the Same Time

04 Get Lost

05 Face to the Highway

06 Pay Me

07 Back in the Crowd

08 Bad as Me

09 Kiss Me

10 Satisfied

11 Last Leaf

12 Hell Broke Luce

13 New Year’s Eve

14 She Stole the Blush *

15 Tell Me *

16 After You Die *


it's out now! figured some of ya'll would be on this.

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  • 10 months later...
  • 6 years later...

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