One of the records I found while sorting my cds. I intend to make a thread for all those awesome records I found, since I personally think they are all masterpieces. Already did Q-Tip - Kamaal The Abstract, time for Tom Waits Tom Waits is one of those voices in music that are instantly identifiable. His raspy vocals are almost painful at times, and his albums are not for the faint of heart. If you are in the mood for a soft, sensual pop album, you are in the wrong thread. Waits' grew up in Southern California, and was discovered and signed by Frank Zappa manager Herb Cohen in the early 70s. Waits' 70s material consisted of lyrics depicting a desperate, lowlife lifestyle, and his real life persona very much mirrored his music. Waits' formal debut came in 1973 with his release of Closing Time which contained the song "Ol' 55", a song later covered by the Eagles. Over the next several years, he released new material just about every year with 1974s The Heart of Saturday Night, 1975s live album (and one of my favorites) Nighthawks at the Diner, 1976s Small Change, 1977s Foreign Affairs, 1978s Blue Valentine, and 1980s Heartattack and Vine. By the late 70s and early 80s, Waits' had built up a pretty significant catalogue of music. In the late 70s, Waits launched a parallel career as an actor and composer of film music. He wrote songs for and appeared in the film Paradise Alley, and wrote the music for Francis Coppola's One From the Heart which earned him an Academy Award nomination. In 1983 Waits released his first full album in 3 years with Swordfishtrombones, and he had found a new style of music, implementing horns and percussion to go along with an unusual recording technique. The same year he appeared in several films, including Coppola's The Outsiders. Rain Dogs was released in 1985, and continued the style that started with Swordfishtrombones. Since Rain Dogs Waits has appeared in many movies, and has released 10 more albums including film scores. His most recent release is 2004s Real Gone. On the album Rain Dogs, Waits incorporates a wide range of sounds including marimba, accordion, and various other percussions that are not usually heard in popular music. This album is very much a followup to Swordfishtrombones. The style is similar, but there is a major edition, Marc Ribot's electric guitar leads. This album is not near as focused as his previous albums, and it is that artistic freedom that allows this to shine. Waits is able to effectively mix his experimental songs that bring back his roots with several amazingly catchy pop songs, most notably "Downtown Train", "Hang Down Your Head", and "Time". This album contains the best individual songs by Waits, although as a whole it is not his best work. In any case, it didn't have the shock value for his style change that Swordfishtrombones did. In my past experience discussing Tom Waits with fmates, it seems that if there is one sticking point when it comes to him, it is the grity, raspy vocals. It seems that there is no in between, either you love them or you hate them. I for one love them, and think they add so much emotion and make the music "real". This is a near flawless album. Uploading the album for those interested.