Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tom Waits is Amazing

Tom Waits

Sometimes I like that I can have convoluted explanations about why I posted some artist or another, but this is a time when I have to say, why bother. I just love Tom Waits, and was in the mood to post a couple of his songs, so I am. Tom Waits is a brilliant musician, one who is not appreciated nor listened to nearly enough.

Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? was written in 1931 by lyricist E. Y. "Yip" Harburg and composer Jay Gorney. Harburg is best known for writing the soundtrack to The Wizard of Oz with the great Harold Arlen. Waits recorded it for his 1976 album, Spare Parts.

Best known as a Doo Wop song, Sea Of Love was written by Phil Phillips and George Khoury, and recorded by Phillips in 1959. Thirty years later, Waits recorded it for the soundtrack of a movie of the same name, starring Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin. Not surprisingly, it was a bit on the darker, more tortured side.

I am not sure who first had the idea to have Waits cover a song from the 1959 Broadway musical West Side Story, but the choice of putting Somewhere on his 1978 album Blue Valentine was pure genius. To have this singer record a song by the immortal Leonard Bernstein and a young Stephen Sondheim was something that just makes me happier than listening to an album should.

For more about Tom Waits, check out his official website here. You can find his music everywhere they sell music, like iTunes,, and CD Universe. And I must do another post on Tom Waits soon, for I haven't even posted my favorites yet!


  1. I have to admit - I've tried listening to his music and his voice really gets me....he's a brilliant songwriter...but I will have to get back into his music!

    Also - he does have an amazing spectrum of photos - they're quite artsy!

  2. SteveA, Waits might be a bit of an acquired taste, but I just love him.

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