mastodon friends i trust you with this task:

what's a good tom waits album for someone who has a vague idea of what he's about and wants to listen to more but has no idea where he's going

@itsnero I've always liked "Blood Money" , I dunno if there's a definitive album but it's probably my favorite

@itsnero Puddles Pity Party is probably not the answer you're going for here, alas.

@itsnero [cranks volume louder] sorry buddy can't hear ya over the clown songs

@itsnero I'm partial to "Rain Dogs" and "Frank's Wild Years", but really anything from the 70s or 80s is a good place to start.

My first album of his was Swordfishtrombones, and it took a little while to really appreciate it, but once I got the hang of it I really loved it.

@itsnero it's an early one but I've always enjoyed the album "The Heart of Saturday Night" from 1974, which I will now be relistening to

@itsnero Small Change, maybe The Black Rider if you're looking SPECIFICALLY for sad clown music. i started with Bone Machine, and while i appreciate it now, maybe don't start with Bone Machine

@itsnero there's like three eras of Tom Waits: the seventies dive bar era, the "holy shit the Thirties existed" era, and the Deeply Unsettling Percussion era

@itsnero I'm going to say Bone Machine, because it is the single album I own of his. I am helping.

@itsnero I started with Rain Dogs but I don't know if that's a good first album.

@Ormur see a lot of people have said “I started with [x] but I don’t know if it’s a good first album”, so who KNOWS

@itsnero I started almost exactly like you, just trying to get into him without knowing where to start and there are a couple of great songs on Rain Dogs but on the whole what I got from it was liking the idea of Thom Waits more than the whole record. But it made me want to check out more albums at least.

@rgggn @itsnero This was the first Tom Waits album I heard, and it took me almost five years to give him another chance.

@rgggn @itsnero These days? I'm a big fan.

But Swordfishtrombone did not work for me as an introduction, and it's still not among my favorites.

@ajroach42 it's quite the opposite for me! I started with it and Rain Dogs, and they are still my two favorites. 🙃 @itsnero

@itsnero Tom Waits' Early Years Vol. 1.

Heartattack and Vine

Small Change

Bone Machine

When you've gotten through those, you'll be sold.

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