Music Diary – 7th December

Welcomt to my Music Diary – today for the 7th December!

Tom Waits by Jesse Dylan

Tom Watis by Jesse Dylan

Happy birthday to Mr. Thomas Alan „Tom“ Waits, who was born on the 7th December 1949 in Pamona, California!

The American singer-songwriter, composer and actor is one of the most outstanding artitsts, who recorded 16 studio albums so far and acted in many movies. So he was „Zack“ beside John Lurie and Roberto Benigni in Jim Jarmusch’s masterpiece „Down by Law“ (1986). Tom Waits‚ trademark is his very distinctive voice, which was described by critic Daniel Durchholz as „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.“ Also his music sound has became very unique and idiosyncratic: From the classic bar piano sound it developed in a very special style which includes beside Rock also Blues, Jazz and Vaudeville.


In the sixties Waits played in a band called „The Systems“ and at the age of 21 he signed for Frank Zappa’s and Herb Cohen’s label Bizarre/Straight. His first demo recordings of that time became available on the two compilations „The Early Years, Volume One“ and „The Early Years, Volume Two„. Shortly after that, he signed to „Asylum Records“ for which he recorded his jazzy-folky debut „Closing Time“ (1973). The LP received very good reviews and other artists covered some songs: Tim Buckley recorded „Martha“ in the same year and The Eagles did their version of „Ol‘ ’55“ for the album „On the Border“ (1974). Tom Waits described his second album „The Heart of Saturday Night“ (1974) appropriately as „a comprehensive study of a number of aspects of this search for the center of Saturday night, which Jack Kerouac relentlessly chased from one end of this country to the other, and I’ve attempted to scoop up a few diamonds of this magic that I see.“

After the 2-LP-set Nighthawks at the Diner„, which was recorded in a studio with a small audience, to create a certain live feeling, the very jazzy sounding album „Small Change“ (1976) was released and it broke onto the Billboards Top 100 Albums chart. With „Foreign Affairs“ (1977) Waits conitnued his jazzy way but changed it into a more bluesy and darker sounding for „Blue Valentine“ (1978). in 1980 „Heartattack and Vine“ followed and after that he wrote the score for Francis Ford Coppola’s movie „One from the Heart

In August 1980 Tom Waits married the screenwriter Kathleen Brennan, who became a major influence on his songwriting and „Swordfishtrombones“ (1983) proved that. This new sound was refined for the next two albums, which became real milestones: „Rain Dogs“ (1985) and „Frank’s Wild Years“ (1987).


In 1990 the theatrical colloboration with director Robert Wilson and writer William S. Burroughs happened for „The Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets„, which was based on the German tale „Der Freischütz“. The studio versions of the used songs were released three years later and in 1991 Waits recorded the soundtrack for „Night on Earth“ (another movie by Jim Jarmusch).


Five years after Waits‘ last studio album he recorded another masterpiece: „Bone Machine„. Critic Steve Huey (Allmusic) calls it „perhaps Tom Waits’s most cohesive album… a morbid, sinister nightmare, one that applied the quirks of his experimental ’80s classics to stunningly evocative – and often harrowing – effect. Waits‘ most affecting and powerful recording, even if it isn’t his most accessible.“ The LP received a Grammy in the „Best Alternative Album“ category.


The album „Mule Variations“ (1999) is another masterpiece. „Billboard“ described it as „backwoods blues, skewed gospel, and unruly art stomp into a sublime piece of junkyard sound sculpture.“ It won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album and sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide. In 2002 the two LPs „Alice„and „Blood Money“ hit the stores. All songs of these collections had been written almost ten years previously and were based on another theatrical collaborations with Robert Wilson.

Real Gone“ followed in 2004 and it’s the first album by Tom Waits which features no piano. Two years later the rarities set „Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards“ was released. This 3-CD-set features unreleased and new compositions. In 2008 Tom Waits started his „Glitter and Doom Tour„, which lead him through the USA and Europe (see here some pictures, videos and reviews of his performance in Paris). In November 2009 the live album „Glitter And Doom Live„, which features a fine song selection of the tour, was released.


In October 2011 his new studio album „Bad As Me“ hit the stores. After „Real Gone“ this is the first LP which is consisting completely of brandnew material by Tom Waits. Also in 2011, Tom Waits was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Get your Tom Waits stuff here (for Austrian customer):

Good Things Gmunden

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Tom Waits Shop (GERMANY)           Tom Waits Shop (UK)            Tom Waits Shop (USA)            GERMANY                                        UK                                               USA

Music Diary – 18th October

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 18th October!

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry

Happy birthday to Mr. Charles Edward AndersonChuck“ Berry, who was born on the 18th October 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri! Berry is one of the most important pioneers of Rock’n’Roll music and recorded classics like „Maybellene“ (1955), „Roll Over Beethoven“ (1956), „Rock and Roll Music“ (1957) and „Johnny B. Goode“ (1958),


Since his teens Chuck Berry was playing the Blues and in 1953 he was performing with Johnnie Johnson’s trio. And he developed his very own style – a fresh mixture of Country and Rhythm & Blues. In 1955 Berry travelled to Chicago where he met his idol Muddy Waters. On 21st May the first Chuck Berry Single was recorded for the legendary Chess Records label – an adaption of „Ida Red“ called „Maybellene„. And this was the big start of his carreer: Over one million copies were sold and the single went straight to No. 1 on the Billboard’s Rhythm and Blues charts. One year later „Roll Over Beethoven“ was released and from 1957 until 1959 more hits followed: Singles like „School Days,“ „Rock and Roll Music,“ „Sweet Little Sixteen“ and „Johnny B. Goode“ entered the top ten. Chuck Berry became a real superstar but his career was stopped in 1959: In December, Berry was arrested because of transporting a 14-year-old girl over state lines (Mann Act). Two trials happened and finaly Berry was served one and one half years in prison from February 1962 to October 1963. Before going into jail, Chuck Berry’s single „Come On“ hit the shops. In the meantime many British bands discovered Berry’s music and acts like The Beatles or The Rolling Stones recorded cover versions.


After beeing released from prison, Chuck Berry returned into the studio and recorded more classics like „No Particular Place to Go„, „You Never Can Tell“ and „Nadine„. And in 1964 he did a successful tour through the UK. Between 1966 and 1969 five albums were released. And on the LP „From St. Louie to Frisco“ (1968) the song „My Tambourine“ is featured, which became later with different lyrics the hit „“My Ding-a-Ling“ (1972). In the seventies, Chuck Berry toured a lot all around the world. Also in the eighties he performed tremendously – appr. 100 concerts per year. And his last studio album „Rock it“ came out in 1979. Until present Chuck Berry concentrates on concerts instead of recording new songs.

In 1986, the documentary „Hail! Hail! Rock ’n‘ Roll“ (directed by Taylor Hackford) was released, to celebrate Chuck’s sixtieth birthday. The event was organized by Keith Richards. The film features also the gues performances of Eric Clapton, Etta James, Julian Lennon, Robert Cray and Linda Ronstadt.

Get your Chuck Berry gear here (for Austrian customer):

Good Things Gmunden

 

Chuck Berry Shop (Germany/Europe):                   Chuck Berry Shop (USA):Chuck Berry Shop                               Chuck Berry Shop