What can never be truly found can also never be truly lost, so the quest to find it can give us direction as long as we'd like. It's not about the thing we're looking for, but rather it's about the looking for the thing. There's a flip side to all that, of course, because the quest can become a pointless pursuit that leaves us running in circles until one day waking up and realizing we've wasted our lives.
In this song, it's not clear which form the quest has taken for the central character. The character in the song drives along the boulevard with a six-pack of beer and his "sweet one" on his arm on a Saturday night.
He shaves his face, gets a call from his second cousin, stops on a red and goes on a green. Nothing obvious or explosive happens, but that's not the point. It's just a portrait of life in all its mystical simplicity. Here the audio is so much more full - in your face with its clarity and not uber-trebled for the sake of it. The sliding upright double-bass notes of James Hughart practically chop the tips of your ears off in " The Heart Of Saturday Night".
The 'one, two, three, four So - great audio and musically the album is a stone five-star singer-songwriter winner but naught a lot else.
Images in this review. I stumbled across Tom Waits via Beth Harts cover of "Chocolate Jesus", and Amazon reviews suggested that this album was a good place to start on his considerable body of work. Well, after a couple of listens I was well and truly hooked and now have, 6 months later, his first 6 albums --Fantastic Stuff and, as far as I know, Truly Unique.
It's been suggested here that if your into Dylan, Kerouac,Bukowski, etc. Agreed, and I would add Damon Runyon. And any of many great American "noir" movies. His songs form perfect vignettes of American low or street life,often moving,often rough [mostly raw in delivery],often sweetly melodic and often real cool jazz. I would suggest buying his albums in chronological order His "style"does develop as he goes along. I am about the same age as Tom and don't quite know how I have missed him - Suppose he's never been big in the UK.
Just buy and try it I can readily understand that some will not like or "get" the man. On the other hand I'm sure that for many, like me, the man will be a major find. Having found the perfect foil for this point in his career, in jazz drummer-turned-producer 'Bones' Howe, Waits builds solidly on the promise of his debut, Closing Time , still drawing on the pool of songs he had in his bag before he secured a deal, but also adding to his repertoire.
Amongst the best tracks is the title number, in which Waits voice and guitar are ably complemented by the sinuous serpentine bass of Jim Hughart, traffic and other incidental noises adding to the evocative effect. I believe the fabulous bass part may have evolved when Waits was working with bassist Bill Plummer, and Tom's guitar part, in drop-D tuning, is the essence of Waits as self-accompanist: it seems, indeed it is in some ways, very simple, but it's also absolutely perfect.
And that's not so easy! Over the span of his career Waits turns in some truly sublime turns on piano, guitar and vocals, not to mention songwriting, and it's all done with understated panache. He's not a virtuoso, technically speaking, in any of these departments, and yet he gets more emotion and meaning across than many a technician could possibly achieve. That's the 'art' part of the deal, it's about feel, and is almost magical. Amongst the stellar sidemen Howe brought Waits together with, not only are the notable rhythm team of bassist Jim Hughart and drummers Bill Goodwin or Shelly Manne, worthy of special mention, so to is arranger Bob Alcivar, whose lush cinematic arrangements work perfectly with Waits' sophisticatedly sleazy material.
Waits would continue to work with these guys to great effect over a number of years, releasing some music that is, in my view, amongst the greatest committed to wax in the latter part of the 20th century.
The material is of a very high standard throughout, although it's not all even. Some pieces flesh out spoken word raps that he was delivering in his early gigging days, often accompanied only by his own toe-tapping and finger-popping. On wax, such numbers as 'Diamonds On My Windshield' and 'Ghosts of Saturday night' make the transition with admirable aplomb. Waits develops the bluesier side begun with 'Virginia Avenue' and 'Ice Cream Man', with the fabulous 'New Coat Of paint', a rarity in the Waits cannon for the use of the rich tremolo Rhodes did Waits play this?
His maudlin melancholy, replete with honeyed strings courtesy of Alcivar, finds expression in 'San Diego Serenade', the more minimal title track, 'Please Call me Baby', and 'Drunk On The Moon', this last of which goes into an out and out jazzy swing section for sax and trumpet solo sections, before resuming the more downbeat song.
Kerouac experimented with mixing his words with music, and his writing was itself influenced by the jazz music and life, but Waits brings the two together more successfully. This is the Waits that some critics, and Waits himself, seem keen to distance themselves from: the boozy romantic barfly. Energetic Happy Hypnotic.
Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Articles Features Interviews Lists. The Village Voice. Retrieved May 14, Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 5, Rolling Stone. December 11, Archived from the original on December 20, May 31, Retrieved September 9, British Phonographic Industry.
Sign up for our newsletter today! Facebook Google Twitter. Marketplace Buy Now. Reviews Comments NEW!