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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for the true Waits connoisseur
The proportion of material on this second 'Early Years' volume that did eventually get released on subsequent albums is higher than on The Early Years, Vol. 1, with 'Ol' 55', 'I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You', 'Grapefruit Moon', and 'Old Shoes' on Closing Time, 'Shiver Me Timbers', 'Diamonds On My Windshield' and 'Please Call Me baby' on The Heart Of Saturday...
Published on 28 Jun. 2011 by Sebastian Palmer

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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Early blues beginnings of the twisted cabaret master
There is little musical indication on this CD of the twisted genius that Waits, reinventing himself in the 1980's with 'Swordfishtrombones', would become. Thematically, though, his work has always stayed true to his world of messed-up love affairs, after-hours sleazy bars, and alcohol-fuelled melancholia. A collection of simple blues-based melodies for voice and...
Published on 19 Jan. 2001


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for the true Waits connoisseur, 28 Jun. 2011
By 
Sebastian Palmer "sebuteo" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Early Years, Vol. 2 (Audio CD)
The proportion of material on this second 'Early Years' volume that did eventually get released on subsequent albums is higher than on The Early Years, Vol. 1, with 'Ol' 55', 'I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You', 'Grapefruit Moon', and 'Old Shoes' on Closing Time, 'Shiver Me Timbers', 'Diamonds On My Windshield' and 'Please Call Me baby' on The Heart Of Saturday Night, and 'Nobody' appearing on Nighthawks At The Diner.

So only five of the thirteen tracks presented here can't be had elsewhere, the exact opposite of the ratio on the previous volume. One might therefore conclude that the people putting these two albums together were cynically spreading material across two albums that could've made just one. Well, that may even be true, but I couldn't care less: Tom Waits is a real bona fide singularity, a genuine artist going his own way, and I love him. Having the different (presumably demo?) versions of the album tracks is just peachy as far as I'm concerned.

Like volume one, the country feel is strong on much of this material, showing that initially Waits had a more pronounced cowboy twang. He hits a few off notes, vocally, on this compilation, more noticeably than on volume one, but the quality of material is more consistent, and overall, higher. As with volume one, this isn't the very tip-top of Tom at his peak. But, dang it, he's so be-damned good, that it's still five-star fare. Love Waits? Buy it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My old faithful, 4 Sept. 2013
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Quills (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Early Years, Vol. 2 (Audio CD)
Everyone has a handful of albums they return to time and time again; the faithful old companions who always stand ready for you when your obsession with the latest new band has faded away. For me, the chief amongst those is Tom Waits' `The Early Years, Vol 2'.

Eight out of the thirteen tracks on this album can be found elsewhere in his discography, but for me this album proves true the old adage that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. There's just something about the whiskey-soaked blues vibe of the album that cuts straight to the soul. Waits possesses an enviable ability to convey the full range of emotion through each gravelly note he hits, and in my opinion he's the finest songwriter America has seen these past thirty years.

'The Early Years, Vol 2' definitely veers more towards the country side of Waits' range, coming as the title suggests from the earlier part of his career. Melancholic and at times slightly morbid, it's a wonderful introduction to the uninitiated. To me, there are four songs that particularly stand out - without detracting from the remainder, for each and every song on this album is a triumph in its own right. The opening track, though, surely has to be a contender for one of the greatest laments of unrequited love ever written. `Hope I Don't Fall In Love With You' is perfect, in every way.

'Mockin'Bird' is another song I find myself coming back to time and time again, laden with grief with that wry spark Waits is the master of running through every cadence. `Shiver Me Timbers' is a glorious old sea dog tune with some truly poignant lyrics, and `So It Goes', though simple, speaks to the heart of anyone who's ever lost someone they love.

Though technically this album might not be quite perfect, to me it's the epitome of everything Waits was about at this stage in his career, and it's one I can't see myself ever tiring of.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waits before the whiskey killed his voice, 30 Oct. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Early Years, Vol. 2 (Audio CD)
This is without doubt the finest introduction to Tom Waits. Absorbing lyrical content and a youthful Waits voice. It's not easy listening, his voice shows the beginnings of its slide into razor-blades and incoherence, but it is thoroughly amazing. 'Hope I don't fall in love with you' is THE greatest unrequited love song ever written. 'Shiver Me Timbers' is a remarkable sea shanty, and 'Diamonds on My Windshield' is just a gorgeous 'road song'. It's melancholy, slightly morbid, thoroughly miserable and totally wonderful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tom's early years, 26 Feb. 2014
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I love the late night intimacy of these demo home recording, along with 'Closing Time' my favourite records by this artist, love it !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 Jan. 2015
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Tom Waits for the WIn
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 17 Oct. 2014
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Mr. Paul Florence (birmingham england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Early Years, Vol. 2 (Audio CD)
superb
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Early blues beginnings of the twisted cabaret master, 19 Jan. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Early Years, Vol. 2 (Audio CD)
There is little musical indication on this CD of the twisted genius that Waits, reinventing himself in the 1980's with 'Swordfishtrombones', would become. Thematically, though, his work has always stayed true to his world of messed-up love affairs, after-hours sleazy bars, and alcohol-fuelled melancholia. A collection of simple blues-based melodies for voice and guitar/piano, highlights are 'Diamonds on my Windshield', 'Ol'55', and 'Grapefruit Moon'. Of interest to all Waits fans and for those who want an introduction to his world which is easier than his more challenging, but ultimately more rewarding, later work.
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The Early Years, Vol. 2 by Tom Waits (Audio CD - 2014)
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