Relive 5 Songs From Tom Waits
Tom Waits, "Tales from a Cracked Jukebox" - biskind stone / Youtube
Singer-songwriter Tom Waits has been around the industry since the golden age of rock, and has yet to stop creating and performing music. Known for his signature gravelly vocals and lyrics that point out to the bitterness of life’s reality, Waits was influenced by folk and jazz figures, most notably Bob Dylan, and movements like the Beat Generation. Though Waits’ music has had hardly any support over the airwaves, the effectiveness of his writing was reflected by his cult following. Here are some of the most memorable songs by Tom Waits.
“Hang On St. Christopher” – Franks Wild Years (1987)
Highlighted with brass parts, subtle tribal percussion, a guitar progression, and Tom Waits’ signature vocals, “Hang On St. Christopher” is chaos contained in a bottle. But that chaos is what gives off the amazing vibe only Waits could ever pull off.
“Temptation” – Franks Wild Years (1987)
A simmering track in its entirety, Waits surprises the listener with his own brand of falsetto. With Latin influences evident throughout the track, Waits effortlessly gives one of his most memorable vocal performances ever.
“Gun Street Girl” – Rain Dogs (1985)
Less is more, as can be heard in “Gun Street Girl”, which dreamily floats with its minimalistic instrumentation and half-sung vocal parts. Perhaps this is the perfect formula for a story to be told, as Waits pulls you into the narrative with ease.
“(Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night” – The Heart Of Saturday Night (1974)
During Waits’ earlier years, songs like this pervaded the senses of listeners with his no-nonsense lyricism affecting you like a speeding train about to hit you. Nothing flashy, just his voice and rudimentary guitar parts, Waits’ evokes melancholy like an old friend waiting for a reunion.
“Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis” – Blue Valentine (1978)
The contrast of the positive musical arrangement and the detached lyrics of “Christmas Card From a Hooker In Minneapolis” is a welcome treat for those who don’t want to be swayed with a singular emotion. While soberly funny at times, the track does well to evoke the pity of the listener as it runs its course, with the narrative so foreign yet so close to home.