Tom Waits: The Early Years

Stringbanger

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Some of you might know about “The Early Years” where Tom Waits sang in his natural voice. I actually like it better than his Louie Armstrong gruff. Although, I’m still a big fan, and I am not trying to diminish his current chosen style. For those of you who haven’t heard the early stuff, you might be pleasantly surprised.



 

oregomike

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Some of you might know about “The Early Years” where Tom Waits sang in his natural voice. I actually like it better than his Louie Armstrong gruff. Although, I’m still a big fan, and I am not trying to diminish his current chosen style. For those of you who haven’t heard the early stuff, you might be pleasantly surprised.




I love all of his work. Nighthawks is my favorite.
 

drewg

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Some of you might know about “The Early Years” where Tom Waits sang in his natural voice. I actually like it better than his Louie Armstrong gruff. Although, I’m still a big fan, and I am not trying to diminish his current chosen style. For those of you who haven’t heard the early stuff, you might be pleasantly surprised.





Thanks for sharing these two, as I'd never heard them.

His voice does sound less gruff, but I wonder how you came to the conclusion that "...he changed his voice"? Do you think it was conscious decision on his part?

To me in these songs here he just sounds younger. I still hear the same essential voice in these as in later years, though obviously less gruff. I don't want to speculate but in pictures he's often smoking a cig and there are bottles around. Smoking and alcohol can take their toll on a voice. I would say his voice has changed over the years, but not that he has changed it.

Tom Waits' singing is so theatrical and I just see it as his evolution as an artist. The lyrics in this first song aren't nearly as original and as creative as what comes later. But I'll take any song from Tom Waits.

Rain Dogs was the first album I heard of his. I then went back and bought LPs of his earlier stuff, The Heart of Saturday Night, Small Change, Closing Time and forward to Frank's Wild Years and Mule Variations. In The Heart of Saturday Night he still has the less gruff voice that you say, but really, I could call any one of these albums my favorite of his, depending on the state of my mind.

Brilliant singer and poet. He's an original, that's for sure!
 

straightlbues

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Big Tom Waits fan. I like both voices. Just love his song writing and style.

Speaking of style, if you were trying to explain his music to someone what would you call it? I have never been able to describe it to other musicians I am trying to get to play this type stuff with me.
 

darkwaters

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Big Tom Waits fan. I like both voices. Just love his song writing and style.

Speaking of style, if you were trying to explain his music to someone what would you call it? I have never been able to describe it to other musicians I am trying to get to play this type stuff with me.
Louis Armstrong, Howling Wolf and Captain Beefheart walk into a bar….
 

Mike M

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I was never much of a fan until Swordfishtrombone. Love everything since, but especially his work with Marc Ribot. Big Time is a stone cold classic.

Used to hang out with Marc when I was a bartender at the Knitting Factory in the late 80's. Sweetest nicest guy ever!

I remember two things he told me about Waits.

1. Waits is a much better guitarist that ANYONE knows, Ribot was adamant about this
2. I forgot which song, but the only direction Tom gave Marc was "play it like a midget's Bar Mitzvah" (maybe "Downtown" ?)
 




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