The Five Best Tom Waits Songs of All-Time

If you’re thinking that you’ve seen Tom Waits somewhere then you’re probably right since he’s been a part of the music industry and has also been in show business for quite some time. His distinctive look and gravely voice sometimes gets him mistaken for Ron Perlman but when you look at the two you can immediately tell who’s who. Waits has been in the business for some time it would appear and while his voice is kind of hard to take at times since he sounds like he’s gargling on razors he has managed to produce a good number of tracks that people have enjoyed throughout the years. On top of this just watching him in film makes it seem as though he can do so much more, giving the impression that he’s not the one-trick pony that some might have pegged him as. Well, if you didn’t know he was a musical person then you know now.

Here are some of his best songs.

5. Hell Broke Luce

Just the way this song starts makes it sound like it’s going to be something crazy. His growling voice is something that makes you think that it’s going to be something that you might not like but can’t really pull away from. It’s the same concept as a car crash in a way, you might want to really pull away and just move on, but it grips you and keeps you watching even as you try to divine the purpose of it all. In truth it does sound pretty cool and it does have a point to it, though you really need to listen in order to divine just what it is. This guy is great in a way that takes a more discerning ear to really figure out.

4. Downtown Train

Given the way his voice sounds you might not think that he’d be all the popular, but at the same time some people love the way Tom’s voice sounds and listen to him incessantly. It’s enough that he’s become something of an unknown legend in the music industry since he’s just good enough to be considered as someone that has a good deal of talent and yet not someone that’s always going to be lauded as one of the absolute best. But that growling voice is hard to simply discount since it’s got an allure to it that you can’t fully deny. It’s tough to explain, but it seems to speak to the ear in a way that makes it possible to listen and really get into it.

3. Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis

The title is something you might shake your head and wonder about since quite honestly it’s almost a story unto itself. But once you get into the song you start to at least get an idea of the madness that brought it on. Inspiration for a musician is in many ways like that for a writer, you take a look at the world around you and act and write accordingly. How it comes out when it’s presented to the audience is another matter, but those that can see through to what the artist is getting at tend to at least get the point of the whole thing. Where they take it from there is up to them of course, but Waits has seemed to make a career on words that some understand and some don’t.

2. Tom Traubert’s Blues

If you’ve never listened to this guy then it’s worth your while to be honest since it’s an eye-opening experience. The whole grating-voice thing aside, he’s not too bad and he does seem to have something to say. The whole voice thing he learned from someone along the way and decided to incorporate it into his overall act. When you hear his voice however it does make sense and seem to go with his look since he does look like a gruff kind of character. In fact the first time you see or hear him you might actually make the connection of his voice and his face without any real trouble.

1. Hope I Don’t Fall in Love with You

If you want the honest truth Tom Waits has had a long and storied career that seems to have been left by the wayside when it comes to just how much he’s done and how much more popular you would think he deserves to be. In a few ways it seems as though he’s been content to do this own thing and just hang out on the fringes of a celebrity life, perhaps enjoying the perks without the kind of high-profile existence that others have had over the years. All in all it would look as though he’s enjoyed himself and done what he wants to do throughout his life, for good or ill.

That seems like it might be the best way to go sometimes.


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