tom waits by anton corbijn - carlifornia dillon beach 2002 c anton corbijn courtesy schirmermosel

One of the greatest, most enjoyable and liberating things about Generation Bass is that we have never limited ourselves to just introducing many of you to Bass music from around the world, which we’re very good at. We blog almost anything that takes our fancy and occasionally I have taken time to blog about some of my musical inspirations.

This is not the first time that Tom Waits has made an appearance on our blog. Indeed I remember blogging about him right at the start a few months after the blog started – THE GENIUS THAT IS TOM WAITS! REMIX (gosh my writing sucked, still does lol).  We have continued to blog about him from time to time throughout the years because he is such a unique and visionary musician, just how we like them over here.

I won’t go into great detail about the man as I am more interested in the music than the man behind the myth.   If you’re interested in finding out more about his background and so forth, I’d suggest you do some research or read a book about him.

Tom’s musical history could be split into many different parts as he has experimented with a whole host of genres from Jazz, Blues, Vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley through to Industrial and Experimental stuff.  For me, however, I like to divide his work into 2 periods.

First, there’s the singer-songwriter period during the 70’s when he crafted some great tracks on traditional instruments using traditional techniques honing in on Country, Americana, Blues and Jazz.

Then there’s the period that began in the early 80’s when he reinvented himself and the way in which he created music and he used un-orthodox instruments but yet again crafting awesome tracks and here he sounded like a man possessed.

I much prefer work from his latter period as I found it more challenging and innovative albeit, the album that opened me up to his work was the Soundtrack to the Coppola movie “One from the Heart” which drew more on his jazzy side but also threw in shades of what was coming on tracks like “Can’t Unring a Bell”.

Indeed it was his 80’s output that really made me a lifetime fan of his work when he released a trilogy of albums on Island Records, “Swordfishtrombones” “Rain Dogs” and “Frank’s Wild Years”.

It was the album “Swordfishtrombones” that blew my mind as I had never heard music like that before and he introduced into his work unconventional instruments like the bassoon, waterphone, bagpipes, Marimba, Pump Organs and weird Percussion.  This album was very challenging and at first I liked a handful of tracks but as time went on my appreciation for it grew and grew to the point where it’s become one of my all time favourite albums.

Tom’s music is an acquired taste but once you get a taste for it, you find it hard to give it up and it stays with you forever.

“Rain Dogs” continued the off the wall experimentations but he had matured his art to a level where it was at its most mainstream.  This was perhaps, his most cohesive album and the one that was most accessible.  He had perfected the art on this album.

“Frank’s Wild Years” combined the underground and mainstream of the 2 preceding albums and threw in more weirdness and vaudeville.

He has proceeded with this sound on later albums like Bone Machine, Real Gone,  Mule Variations, Orphans and Bad As Me.

Out of the above bunch “Mule Variations” is a good place as any to start as it’s his most accessible work after “Rain Dogs”. For me, however, every one of his albums holds something special.

It’s been on my mind to do a mix tribute to him for some time but I never got around to it until now.  Saying that I did “Unofficial” compilations of his work some years ago that use to get a lot of rave reviews in the local Jazz Clubs and restaurants in my home city and that helped to introduce his work to many, many new people. So I have been well acquainted with his work for many years.

So these 2 mixes are a collection of some of my favourite Tom Waits tracks from his “Tame” & “Wild” Years.

There’s rip-roaring madness on the “Wild Years Mix” and some absolute gorgeous “Bawlers” on the “Tame Years Mix”.

Very few Artists can create a “Luv Song” with as much conviction, brutal honesty, sincerity and with an element of cool, than Tom Waits!

These 2 mixes consisting of almost 100 tracks are still not enough to provide a brief summary to this man’s incredible work, so many great things were left out and hard choices had to be made in the context of a mix to consider atmosphere & flow. At least it might provide those unfamiliar with a great introduction to his majestic & totally unique work. Both mixes are capped off with hilarious tales spoken by the man himself, he’s such a great liar!

Tom Waits is simply a GENIUS & one of my all time favourite artists, he helped me through a lot of first world problems as I was growing up!

This is my humble tribute to his Legend.

Thank you Tom, I never did like that dog!

Tom’s Wild Years Mix (DJ UMB August 2014) by Dj Umb on Mixcloud

RAINDOGS
JOCKEY FULL OF BOURBON
TEMPTATION
TELEPHONE CALL FROM ISTANBUL
SINGAPORE
I’LL BE GONE
16 SHELLS FROM A THIRTY-OUGHT-SIX
HANG ON ST. CHRISTOPHER
LIE TO ME
GET LOST
DOWN, DOWN, DOWN
WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE
GIN SOAKED BOY
HEARTATTACK & VINE
LOWDOWN
I DON’T WANNA GROW UP
HELL BROKE LUCE
FISH IN THE JAILHOUSE
BAD AS ME
BIG IN JAPAN
THE PONTIAC
LOWSIDE OF THE ROAD
EARTH DIED SCREAMING
BLOW WIND BLOW
DIAMONDS & GOLD
HOW’S IT GONNA END
CHOCOLATE JESUS
GUN STREET GIRL
GREEN GRASS
MORE THAN RAIN
LITTLE DROP OF POISON
MAKE IT RAIN
DOWNTOWN TRAIN
HOLD ON
COLD, COLD GROUND
HANG YOUR HEAD
BACK IN THE CROWD
JERSEY GIRL
CHILDREN’S SONG

Tom’s Tame Years Mix (DJ UMB August 2014) by Dj Umb on Mixcloud

OPENING MONTAGE
TOM’S PIANO INTRO
ONCE UPON A TOWN
I BEG YOUR PARDON
BLUE VALENTINES
SMALL CHANGE
THE GHOSTS OF SATURDAY NIGHT (After Hours At Napoleone’s Pizzza House)
PICKING UP AFTER YOU
TAKE IT WITH ME
JOHNSBURG ILLINOIS
I’M STILL HERE
IF I HAVE TO GO
BROKEN BICYCLES
SOLDIERS THINGS
RAINBIRDS
PICTURE IN A FRAME
TELL IT TO ME
LONG WAY HOME
PAY ME
TIME
5 SECOND PAUSE FOR THOUGHT WHILST I FIX THE CD PLAYER (TIME RESUMES)
SAN DIEGO SERENADE
SOMEWHERE
YESTERDAY IS HERE
WATCH HER DISAPPEAR
SHORE LEAVE
CLAP HANDS
SWORDFISHTROMBONES
9TH & HENNEPIN
INSTRUMENTAL MONTAGE
TANGO TILL’ THEY’RE SORE
MIDOWN
FRANK’S WILD YEARS
STRAIGHT TO THE TOP
LITTLE BOY BLUE
DIAMONDS ON MY WINDSHIELD
STEP RIGHT UP
BARBERS SHOP
TROUBLE BRAIDS
PASTIES & A G-STRING
CAN’T UNRING A BELL
BRIDE OF RAIN DOG
JUST ANOTHER SUCKER ON THE VINE
THE LAST ROSE OF SUMMER
INNOCENT WHEN YOU DREAM (78)
THAT’S THE WAY
BEND DOWN THE BRANCHES
YOUNG AT HEART
I’LL SHOOT THE MOON
PULLING YOUR LEG (UNTITLED)

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