Big Time is a satisfying, though not revelatory, live album from Tom Waits. It features mainly a selection of the best of his material from Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs, and Frank's Wild Years, as well as a few tracks from earlier albums. Waits is an artist who has rarely performed live (especially in later years, and especially this material), and it is quite a treat for fans to hear him live. The performances here are all well, but they generally stick fairly close to their studio counterparts, and only a few are revelatory. In contrast with his earlier live shows, Tom rarely talks to the audience here - when he does, it's for a totally wry aside that you'll love and treasure. As anyone who has heard any of Wait's music since the early 80's, it's quite complex music and uses an extremely odd and unique array of instrumentation. You'll be quite surprised to learn, then, that the band that Tom has assembled here reproduces these songs in all their glory quite well. That said, though, there is also that fact's counterpart to be said about the album: since these songs aren't that much different from the original versions - aside from (perhaps unintentional) differing vocal inflections from Tom - you probably won't want to pick up this album unless you are a die-hard fan. A couple of the versions here are definitive, and an immense improvement over the studio versions (Way Down In The Hole), and there is also the previously unavailable studio recording, Falling Down, stuck into the middle of the album. I recommend getting all of Tom's excellent studio albums first, and then picking this up later if you want more.