Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Historical Perspective on Tom Waits

Here's an interesting bit from David Smay's book about Swordfishtrombones:

In 2007 it's difficult to remember that the man who put out Orphans used to be lumped together with Billy Joel. Longtime Waits fans may howl at this comparison, but the early audience for The Heart of Saturday Night when it came out in 1974 probably already owned Piano Man (1973) and Bruce Springsteen's The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle (1973). Like Joel, Tom was marketed as a tough but tender piano balladeer with a talent for Tin Pan Alley melodies. Like Springsteen, Tom was sold as a rough but romantic street poet with a pronounced Dylan influence.

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