Tom Waits

~ Person

Legal name: Thomas Alan Waits


Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits (born December 7, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor.

Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding 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". With this trademark growl, his incorporation of pre-rock music styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music, Waits has built up a distinctive musical persona. He has worked as a composer for movies and musicals and has acted in supporting roles in films, including Paradise Alley and Bram Stoker's Dracula. He also starred in Jim Jarmusch's 1986 film Down by Law. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart.

Waits' lyrics frequently present atmospheric portraits of grotesque, often seedy characters and places, although he has also shown a penchant for more conventional ballads. He has a cult following and has influenced subsequent songwriters despite having little radio or music video support. His songs are best-known through cover versions by more commercial artists: "Jersey Girl", performed by Bruce Springsteen, "Ol' '55", by the Eagles, and "Downtown Train", by Rod Stewart. Although Waits' albums have met with mixed commercial success in his native United States, they have occasionally achieved gold album sales status in other countries. He has been nominated for a number of major music awards and has won Grammy Awards for two albums, Bone Machine and Mule Variations. In 2011, Waits was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is also included among the 2010 list of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers, as well as the 2015 list of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.

Waits lives in Sonoma County, California, with his wife Kathleen Brennan (married August 1980) and their three children.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1973 Closing Time Tom Waits 4 4
1974 The Heart of Saturday Night Tom Waits 3.5 4
1976 Small Change Tom Waits 4.35 6
1977 Foreign Affairs Tom Waits 5 4
1978 Blue Valentine Tom Waits 6
1980 Heartattack and Vine Tom Waits 7
1983 Swordfishtrombones Tom Waits 4.75 7
1985 Rain Dogs Tom Waits 4.35 11
1987 Franks Wild Years Tom Waits 5 6
1992 Bone Machine Tom Waits 5 7
1993 The Black Rider Tom Waits 3 4
1999 Mule Variations Tom Waits 5 7
2002 Blood Money Tom Waits 5 7
2002 Alice Tom Waits 5 5
2004 Real Gone Tom Waits 5 5
2006 Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards Tom Waits 5
2011 Bad as Me Tom Waits 7
2012 Mercy and Grand Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan; Jess Walker, Gavin Bryars, Joe Townsend & Jim Holmes 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1981 Bounced Checks Tom Waits 1
1984 Asylum Years Tom Waits 4
1991 The Early Years, Volume 1 Tom Waits 2 3
1992 The Early Years, Volume 2 Tom Waits 4
1997 Super Stars Best Collection: Tom Waits Tom Waits 1
1998 Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years Tom Waits 2
2001 Used Songs: 1973–1980 Tom Waits 2
2013 Anthology of Tom Waits Tom Waits 1

Album + Compilation + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2015 Transmission Impossible Tom Waits 1

Album + Interview

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2002 We're All Mad Here: A Conversation With Tom Waits Tom Waits 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1975 Nighthawks at the Diner Tom Waits 4.25 6
1988 Big Time Tom Waits 4
2009 Glitter and Doom: Live Preview Tom Waits 1
2009 Glitter and Doom: Live Tom Waits 2
2011 Round Midnight: The Minneapolis Broadcast 1975 Tom Waits 1
2013 My Father's Place Tom Waits 1
2014 A Small Affair in Ohio: FM Radio Broadcast, Live in Cleveland, 1977 Tom Waits 1
2014 Nighthawks on the Radio Tom Waits 1

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1982 One From the Heart Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle 4
1991 Night on Earth Tom Waits 5 2
1999 Alice Tom Waits 1
2003 Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet Gavin Bryars & Tom Waits 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1978 Somewhere Tom Waits 1
1985 Downtown Train Tom Waits 1
1985 In the Neighborhood Tom Waits 1
1988 16 Shells From a Thirty-Ought-Six Tom Waits 1
1992 Goin' Out West Tom Waits 1
1993 Heartattack and Vine Tom Waits 1
1999 Hold On Tom Waits 1
2011 Bad As Me Tom Waits 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2009 Live Tom Waits 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2006 Burma Shave Tom Waits 1
Bukowski Waits for Us, Volume 2 Tom Waits 1
Woyzeck Tom Waits 1

Other + Interview

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1975 Coffee Break Radio Show 2-3-1975 Tom Waits 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1976 The Heart of Shaboo Night Tom Waits 1

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