Tom Waits picks his favorites

20 most cherished albums with characteristically surreal commentary

By Salon Staff
Published March 22, 2005 6:54PM (EST)

The Observer has posted a list of Tom Waits' 20 most cherished albums of all time, with fascinating commentary by the great man himself. There are, of course, a few concessions to friendship -- I'd be astonished if his occasional collaborator Les Claypool's "Purple Onion" was actually one of Waits' most cherished records of all time -- but it's still an illuminating list. Particularly fascinating: that Sinatra comes in on top, that of all the Elvis Costello records he chose the most recent one, that it was Mick Jagger's singing that inspired him to develop that extraordinary falsetto, and that, in the bizarre world of Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart's "Trout Mask Replica" is "a merlot reduction sauce."

Salon Staff

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