Tom Waits Heads Back to Asylum

 

Early LPs get a buffing and shining, and even
a limited edition red vinyl treatment.

 

By Fred
Mills

 

Rhino
has announced it will be reissuing Tom Waits’ classic 4-album Asylum Records run
from the early ‘70s this December on vinyl. 180-gram/original packaging
editions of  Closing Time, The Heart Of
Saturday Night
, Nighthawks At The
Diner
and Small Change. They
arrive Dec. 21, but get this: you’ll also be able to nab limited edition (just
1000 copies of each) red wax versions of that LPs directly from Waits, i.e., at
www.tomwaitsstore.com. (Pre-ordering has already begun, and these are
sure to be sellouts.

 

Here’s
some background hype – all true, marketing matters aside – about each record,
courtesy Rhino, to bring you newcomers up to speed. Full tracklistings follow….

 

***

 

Waits’
debut Closing Time arrived in 1973
when the singer-songwriter was 23 years old. A number of artists covered songs
from the album, starting a trend that would continue throughout Waits’ career.
“Martha” was recorded by Tim Buckley and frequently performed by Bette Midler,
while the Eagles recorded a version of “Ol’ ‘55” for the band’s 1974 album On
The Border
.

After touring with several artists including Frank
Zappa, Waits returned the following year with The Heart Of Saturday Night. Bones Howe produced the album and
would go on to produce Waits’ next five albums with Asylum. The album was
included in Rolling Stone‘s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All
Time.”

For his third release, Nighthawks At The Diner (1975), Waits recorded a double album of
new music live in front of an audience at the Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles. The album
features Waits setting up many songs by telling the stories behind them, a
practice that remains an integral part of his live show to this day. Waits
recorded this record with a jazz combo consisting of Mike Melvoin (piano), Pete
Christlieb (tenor sax), Jim Hughart (bass) and Bill Goodwin (drums).

Released in 1976, Waits recorded Small Change at Wally Heider’s studio in Hollywood. The album opens with “Tom
Traubert’s Blues,” one of the singer’s most enduring songs, and features
memorable cuts such as “I Wish I Was In New Orleans,” “Bad Liver And A Broken
Heart” and “The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me).”

 

 

 

CLOSING TIME

 

Side One

1.        “Ol’ ’55”

2.        “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You”

3.        “Virginia
Avenue”

4.        “Old Shoes (& Picture Postcards)”

5.        “Midnight Lullaby”

6.        “Martha”

Side Two

1.        “Rosie”

2.        “Lonely”

3.        “Ice Cream Man”

4.        “Little Trip To Heaven (On The Wings Of
Your Love)”

5.        “Grapefruit Moon”

6.        “Closing Time”

 

 

THE HEART OF SATURDAY NIGHT

 

Side One

1.       
“A New Coat Of Paint”

2.       
“San Diego Serenade”

3.       
“Semi Suite”

4.       
“Shiver Me Timbers”

5.       
“Diamonds On My Windshield”

6.        “(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night”

Side Two

1.       
“Fumblin’ With The Blues”

2.       
“Please Call Me, Baby”

3.       
“Depot, Depot”

4.       
“Drunk On The Moon”

5.        “The Ghosts Of Saturday Night (After Hours
At Napoleone’s Pizza House)”

 

 

NIGHTHAWKS AT THE DINER

 

Side One

1.       
(Opening Intro)

2.       
“Emotional Weather Report”

3.       
(Intro)

4.       
“On A Foggy Night”

5.       
(Intro)

6.        “Eggs And Sausage (In A Cadillac With
Susan Michelson)”

Side Two

1.       
(Intro)

2.       
“Better Off Without A Wife”

3.       
“Nighthawk Postcards (From
Easy Street)”

Side Three

1.       
(Intro)

2.       
“Warm Beer And Cold Women”

3.       
(Intro)

4.       
“Putnam County”

5.       
“Spare Parts I (A Nocturnal
Emission)” 

Side Four

1.       
“Nobody”

2.       
(Intro)

3.       
“Big Joe And Phantom 309”

4.       
“Spare Parts II And Closing”

 

 

SMALL CHANGE

 

Side One

1.        “Tom Traubert’s Blues (Four Sheets To The
Wind In Copenhagen)”

2.        “Step Right Up”

3.        “Jitterbug Boy (Sharing a Curbstone with
Chuck E. Weiss, Robert Marchese, Paul Body and the Mug and Artie)”

4.        “I Wish I Was In New Orleans (In The Ninth Ward)”

5.        “The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me) (An
Evening With Pete King)”

Side Two

1.       
“Invitation To The Blues”

2.       
“Pasties And A G-String (At
The Two O’Clock Club)”

3.       
“Bad Liver And A Broken Heart
(In Lowell)”

4.       
“The One That Got Away”

5.       
“Small Change (Got Rained On
With His Own .38)”
6.       
“I Can’t Wait To Get Off Work
(And See My Baby On Montgomery
Avenue)”

 

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