Biography

Tom Waits is certainly one of the most «stand out» artists on music scene today. He became known for his music and experiments with different genres, he became known as an actor and soundtrack composer, and, of course, he became known for his distinctive voice, described as «like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car». Despite having little radio or music video support, he became highly popular, being nominated for numerous music awards and has won Grammy Awards for two albums – Bone Machine and Mule Variations. His songs were covered by a lot of top singers, including Bruce Springsteen(Jersey Girl), Rod Stewart (Downtown Train) and The Eagles (Ol' '55). Waits' lyrics are known for their atmospheric portrayals of bizarre, seedy persons and places, while his music preferences include blues, folk, jazz and rock at the same time.

Thomas Alan Waits was born in Pomona, California, in 1949. His parents both were schoolteachers. He taught himself how to play the piano on a neighbor's instrument, and 1965, attending High School, he joined R&B/soul band called The System. After graduating he moved in San Diego (where he played his first paid gig for $25), and later to Los Angeles. Waits signed to Asylum Records in 1972, and released his first album Closing Time in 1973. Jazz- and folk-styled album became popular after a number of famous artists recorded covers on songs from it. Waits began touring with Charlie Rich and Frank Zappa. In 1974 he released The Heart Of Saturday Night. Next disk, double album Nighthawks At The Diner (1975), was recorded in a studio with a small audience in order to capture the atmosphere of a live show. This record featured lengthy spoken interludes between songs.

Small Change (1976) was performed in a much more cynical and pessimistic mood than previous records. It also became far more commercially successful. Next record, Foreign Affairs (1977) showed Tom Waits’ music searching, as it featured experiments with jazz and blues styles. Blue Valentine (1978) continued this experiments – it featured a lot of electric guitar and keyboards, but nearly no strings. Heartattack And Vine (1980) became Waits’ last record for Asylum Records. At the same year, he began a long working relationship with movie industry, being asked by Francis Ford Coppola to write soundtrack for his film One From The Heart.

After leaving Asylum, Tom Waits released Swordfishtrombones in 1983 with Island Records. On this album, he started to use uncommon instruments in his music. He continued his experiments on Rain Dogs (1985). Later, Tom Waits worked on soundtrack for musical Frank's Wild Years, which was premiered in 1986. Waits himself played the lead role. The album of the same name was released in 1987, featuring studio versions of this play.

In 1988, Waits released live album Big Time. In 1990 it was followed by The Black Rider: The Casting Of The Magic Bullets, «musical fable» in the avant-garde tradition about clerk, who must prove his hunting skills to marry huntsman's daughter. In 1992 Waits released instrumental album Night On Earth – actually, it was a soundtrack for the movie of the same name. This year Tom Waits recorded Bone Machine, concentrating on percussion and guitar sound with a little piano or saxophone. Next year, the soundtrack for The Black Rider musical, composed by Waits, hit the stores.

In 1998 Waits left for Epitaph record label and released Mule Variations (1999). In 2002, Tom released two albums at the same time – Alice and Blood Money, both based on material Waits wrote in previous years for theater plays. Real Gone (2004) became Waits' first album that featured absolutely no piano on any of its tracks. In 2006 Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards was released – three-disc compilation including both new and old compositions. The live album Glitter And Doom Live appeared in 2009. That record let one enjoy the charm of incredible Tom Waits’ live performance.

Studio Albums

Tom Waits, Bad As Me mp3Bad As Me
Extravagant bluesman Tom Waits released the new album, which became the seventeenth in his discography. Following a good tradition, the record Bad as Me will demonstrate a great variety of genres and moods
2011
  • Experimental Rock
  • Blues Rock
  • Jazz
Tom Waits, Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards mp3Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards
Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards, a new album of Tom Waits, is not only a set of a new songs but also a peculiar report of many years of his music activities, which, along with the Waits' diverse talents displays his incredible capacity for work
2006
  • Blues Rock
  • Experimental Rock
  • Folk Rock
Tom Waits, Alice mp3Alice
2002
  • Jazz
Tom Waits, Blood Money mp3Blood Money
2002
  • Experimental Rock
Tom Waits, Mule Variations mp3Mule Variations
1999
  • Blues Rock
  • Country Blues
  • Experimental Rock
Tom Waits, Cold Beer on a Hot Night mp3Cold Beer on a Hot Night
1993
  • Blues
  • Blues Rock
Tom Waits, The Black Rider mp3The Black Rider
1993
  • Dark Cabaret
  • Dark Cabaret
  • Experimental Rock
  • Dark Cabaret
  • Dark Cabaret
Tom Waits, Bone Machine mp3Bone Machine
1992
  • Blues Rock
  • Experimental Rock
Tom Waits, Franks Wild Years mp3Franks Wild Years
1987
  • Art Rock
  • Blues
  • Jazz
Tom Waits, Rain Dogs mp3Rain Dogs
1985
  • Blues Rock
  • Experimental Rock
Tom Waits, Swordfishtrombones mp3Swordfishtrombones
1983
  • Blues
  • Experimental Rock
  • Jazz
Tom Waits, One From the Heart mp3One From the Heart
1982
  • Vocal Jazz
Tom Waits, Heartattack and Vine mp3Heartattack and Vine
1980
  • Blues Rock
  • Rock
Tom Waits, Blue Valentine mp3Blue Valentine
1978
  • Blues
  • Jazz
Tom Waits, Small Change mp3Small Change
1976
  • Blues
  • Jazz
Tom Waits, Closing Time mp3Closing Time
1973
  • Blues
  • Jazz

Compilation albums

Lives

Tom Waits, Glitter and Doom: Live mp3Glitter and Doom: Live
2009
  • Blues Rock
  • Experimental Rock
Tom Waits, Big Time mp3Big Time
1988
  • Blues Rock
  • Experimental Rock