A Tom Waits Listening Primer

English: Tom Waits during an interview in Buen...

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

“The songs are coming all the time,” Tom Waits said in 1999, more than 25 years after he first debuted with 1973’s singer-songwriter classic Closing Time. “Just because you didn’t go fishing today doesn’t mean there aren’t any fish out there.”

Throughout his 45-year recording career, Tom Waits has amassed one of the most enduring songbooks in American popular music. Waits, 68, is the rare songwriter whose body of work includes both an entire collection of songs that are distinctly and uniquely his (“The Piano Has Been Drinking,” “Bad As Me”) and a whole collection of ballads that have become modern standards (“Picture in a Frame,” “Ol’ 55”).

Waits’s longtime songwriting partner is Kathleen Brennan, who helped expose Waits to more experimental sounds and styles and has co-written nearly every song Waits has composed since the couple met in 1980.