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Essential Tom Waits

Phillip Wray "Heart Beats Music"
 
Alice
Alice
"His magnum opus. Blurry, weazy, tearful songs of obsession and madness."
Rain Dogs
Rain Dogs
"Follow up to Swordfishtrombones, and further steps down the bizarro path. Brilliant, and one of the 80s great albums."
Mule Variations
Mule Variations
"On first listen, a re-tread of familiar themes, but actually one of his very best and most rounded albums."
Swordfishtrombones
Swordfishtrombones
"The first (and still one of his best) of a new career phase, and what a start! Stunningly original."
The Black Rider
The Black Rider
"A dark story (Deals with the devil, addiction, and, on Gospel Train, the sound of said locomotive slowly loping its way to hell...) and twisted story telling. And what a band! Great stuff."
Blood Money
Blood Money
"His barking baritone is to the fore on these13 songs. "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" is the most Louis Armstrong-moment of his career."
Franks Wild Years
Franks Wild Years
"Pump organs and wierd percussion drive these wobbly, lovely broken-down songs."
Orphans
Orphans
"Like Clint Eastwood and Bob Dylan, Waits seems to be in a phase where everything he creates is openly loved by all critics, and rightly so. Pick your own favourite Waits on these 3 excellent discs."
Small Change
Small Change
"His best from the 70s. The street hustlers and broken hearted bums in these songs could soundtrack a Bogart film."
Blue Valentine
Blue Valentine
"Slow blues, Stories populated with prostitutes, ingenues and various shady characters."
Heartattack And Vine
Heartattack And Vine
"More guitar based than his other 70s Lps, this one features the great Jersey Girl."
The Heart Of Saturday Night
The Heart Of Saturday Night
"Another boozed up weekend. Album cover and early morning feel reflect Waits' love of Sinatra's Wee Small Hours."