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Tom Waits

Born: 7 / 12 / 1949

Location: United States

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Tom Waits

Thomas Alan Waits (born December 7, 1949) is an American musician, composer, songwriter, and actor. His lyrics often focus on the underbelly of society and are delivered in his trademark deep, gravelly voice. He began in the folk scene during the 1970s, but his music since the 1980s has reflected influence from such diverse genres as rock, country, Delta blues, opera, vaudeville, cabaret, funk, hip hop and experimental techniques verging on industrial music. Per The Wall Street Journal, Waits “has composed a body of work that’s at least comparable to any songwriter’s in pop today. A keen, sensitive and sympathetic chronicler of the adrift and downtroddern, Mr. Waits creates three-dimensional characters who, even in their confusion and despair, are capable of insight and startling points of view. Their stories are accompanied by music that’s unlike any other in pop history.”Waits was born and raised in a middle-class family in California. Inspired by the work of Bob Dylan and the Beat Generation, he began singing on the San Diego folk circuit. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1972, where he worked as a songwriter before signing a recording contract with Asylum Records. His first albums were the jazz-infused Closing Time (1973), The Heart of Saturday Night (1974) and Nighthawks at the Diner (1975), which reflected his lyrical interest in criminality, poverty, and nightlife. He repeatedly toured the United States, Europe, and Japan, and attracted greater critical recognition and commercial success with Small Change (1976), Blue Valentine (1978), and Heartattack and Vine (1980). He composed the soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola's One from the Heart (1982). On the set of the movie, he met a young story editor named Kathleen Brennan.


1973 Closing Time
1974 The Heart of Saturday Night
1976 Small Change
1977 Foreign Affairs
1978 Blue Valentine

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