If you’ve ever wondered what bizarre combination of musical tastes have influenced Waits’ gloriously unique body of work, you’re not alone. Luckily Waits himself has shared his all-time 20 favourite albums, giving us all a brief glimpse of what has made its way through his earholes throughout the years.
Ever been absolutely befuddled at what mixture of music could have possibly influenced Tom Waits? Gear it from the man himself with a list of his 20 favourite albums of all time.
Waits has previously expressed his love of James Brown, comparing seeing him live to a “mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Christmas… You’d been changed… everybody wanted to step down, step forward, take communion… get close to the stage and be anointed with his sweat, his cold sweat.”
Not only has Waits shared his list of favourite albums, he also wrote a mini-essay on each album for the Guardian, succinctly explaining his love for each one.
Waits’ career of avant-garde jazz, experimental, rock, and blues has undeniably influenced and inspired musicians around the globe, and will continue to do so for generations to come. Though if you want to hear for yourself what has influenced Tom Waits, check out his Top 20 albums list below, and listen to a playlist of these albums courtesy of Open Culture.
- Frank Sinatra – In The Wee Small Hours
- Thelonious Monk – Solo Monk
- Captain Beefheart – Trout Mask Replica
- The Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street
- Gavin Bryers – The Sinking Of The Titanic
- Bob Dylan – The Basement Tapes
- Lounge Lizards – Self Titled
- The Pogues – Rum Sodomy and The Lash
- Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man
- Little Richard – The Specialty Sessions
- James Brown – Startime
- Texas-Czech – Bohemian-Moravian Bands
- Frank Zappa – The Yellow Shark
- Passion for Opera Aria
- Bill Hicks – Rant in E Minor
- Prison Songs: Murderous Home Alan Lomax Collection
- Marc Ribot – Cubanos Postizos
- Houndog – Self Titled
- Les Claypool – Purple Onion
- Elvis Costello – The Delivery Man