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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Ol' '55|
|2. I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You|
|3. Virginia Avenue|
|4. Old Shoes (& Picture Postcards)|
|5. Midnight Lullaby|
|9. Ice Cream Man|
|10. Little Trip To Heaven (On The Wings Of Your Love)|
|11. Grapefruit Moon|
|12. Closing Time|
Millions of spellbound witnesses to Tom's nocturnal visions were born with the 1973 release of Closing Time. Ol' 55 (covered by the Eagles) joins the heartbroken Martha ; the muted trumpets of Virginia Avenue; Midnight Lullaby , and the album-closing title track; the vintage bounce of Ice Cream Man ; the gentle acoustic folk of I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love with You , and more from the top of an utterly unparalleled singer-songwriter career!
It starts with a sunrise, it ends with "one star shining", and in between Closing Time contains an honest year's worth (1973, to be exact) of sweet, melodic, vintage Tom Waits--minus some of the vocal growl and thematic grit of his later stuff (but you can see it coming). Waltzes, lullabies, blues, jazz, you name it. Driving songs and drinking songs, even an honest to gosh country tune: "Rosie." There are torchers ("Lonely"), scorchers ("Ice Cream Man"), and back- porch senior citizen love songs ("Martha"): "Those were the days of roses/Poetry and prose, and/Martha, all I had was you and all you had was me." Other standouts are "I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love with You" (guess what--he does!) and "Grapefruit Moon", in which Waits croons: "Every time I hear that melody, something breaks inside." Hang on to your hearts and hats, folks. --Dan Leone
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Top Customer Reviews
Below is my take on each song on the album. It is not a perfect album. There are some weak tracks. But it is an album that every self respecting music fan should own.
Ol' 55 - Arguably the best song he has ever written and that is saying quite a bit for such a legendary musician.
I Hope That I Don't... - From a great song to this you may think he's not as good as you thought. Be patient, it gets better. This song is reminiscent of the Bob Dylan song 'Eternal Circle' (See the 'Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3'). It is told in that conversational style that Dylan used. In my opinion, one of the weaker tracks, but still not so bad you would want to skip it.
Virginia Avenue - A jazzy song that is a little glimpse of what is to come from Tom Waits.
Old Shoes - This is what country music should sound like. A great song with an inviting groove.
Midnight Lullaby - Sounds best after two or three Jack and Coke's. Another great one.
Martha - Beautiful. If I weren't a grown man it would make me cry. If you've ever tried to reconnect with a lover you wish you never lost, this song will take you back to how you felt.
Rosie - A 'come back lover' song that actually sounds cool.
Lonely - Here's where the album takes a down turn. This is very much a skip-able track. A good reason why sometimes you shouldn't write music on the piano. Sometimes it just doesn't work to be signing the same notes you're playing.Read more ›
Here are some of the album's highlights:
Ol' 55's laid back country charm is now a classic. The backing vocals are memorable and the piano arrangement is simple yet brilliant.
I Hope that I Don't Fall in Love with You strikes you as a simple ballad at first. Then it becomes a part of you. The guitar arrangements and that beautiful lyrical pause: "Now it's closing tiiiiime...... the music's fading out" is perfect.
The bluesy Virginia Avenue with its muted trumpet is gorgeous. It foreshadows future masterpieces such as Fumblin' with the Blues and Invitation to the Blues.
Midnight Lullaby has the same Virginia Avenue feel. Great trumpet arrangements and closes out with a great "lullabying" piano.
Martha is one of the highlights of the album. The opening lines are full of melancholy and beautiful melodies. Then comes the change of tempo with the "weeping" strings and Tom's penetrating voice. Amazing.
Grapefruit Moon has to be one of the greatest songs of all time. Something truly "breaks inside".
And the closing instrumental Closing Time is the perfect finisher. One of the great masterpieces of the 20th century.
But the debut is more than the album to listen to when you want to hear Tom Waits but don't want to scare your friends. This style best accents the man's impeccable song-writing talent and what a great selection of songs this is. "Old 55," a tribute to the morning after the ball, is perhaps the best known due to the vastly inferior Eagles cover. Yet the album has a slew of as-good or better numbers. "I Hope I Don't Fall in Love With You" is perhaps Waits' best anti-love song (and he's written many). "Old Shoes (& Picture Post Cards)" is a song about moving on that somehow sounds both forlorn and hopeful at the same time. And "Midnight Lullaby" is the kind of understated, gorgeous number that makes the career of Tony Bennett or Johnny Hartman-types.
On "Martha" Waits calls-up an old lover and reminisces of days gone by. "Those were the days of roses, poetry and proses/And Martha all I had was you and all you had was me," he sings. It is familiar territory for singer/songwriters but Waits writes and sings about it with such a sincerity and tenderness that that scarcely matters. This song epitomizes what Closing Time is about: great songs sung straight from the heart.
This album contains one undisputed candidate for Best Song Ever ("I Hope that I Don't Fall in Love With You"), and a whole bunch of good songs ("Ol 55" and "Martha" spring to mind, but that's just me). Oh, and at least one bad one ("Grapefruit Moon"...ok, but so much less than something special).
Likewise, Waits isn't too sure of himself here. He gets pushed around by Jerry Yester, the producer. Not that any of the songs sound bad, mind you. More that too many of them lack identity, and that Waits seems shoehorned into a folk-jazz stew not of his own making.
So why does this get the big 5 stars from me? Because here's a great example of a man overcoming the limitations placed on him. Waits's raw emotion, empathy, and understanding of his subjects shines through. He's the rare singer/songwriter who can present a negative character and make us feel for him (or her). For proof, look no further than "I Hope that I don't Fall In love" or the rollicking jazz of "Ice Cream Man."
He developed over the years into the amazing original we know today, but you know something? This is a pretty good place to start. A must for all serious Waits fans, and a "why don't you have this?" for everyone else.
Most recent customer reviews
Great record. One of Tom Wait's classic early albums. Really good vinyl pressing. Highly recommendedPublished 1 month ago by Vladimeer
I have had two previous copies of this album. This is a replacement. To me it is a staple. This verion on vinyl sounds great!Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Got it for my girlfriend and it definitely got me laid. Thanks, Amazon.Published 5 months ago by Terry Hartwright
Have long been a fan - most unusual voice which is truly used as a instrument on each track Waits has ever cut. This CD is one of my favorites !Published on Feb. 10 2013 by B.L. Bradley
Closing Time is not as dark or quirky as some of the later Tom Waits albums and is an excellent introduction if you are unfamiliar with his music. Read morePublished on June 19 2006 by Amazon Customer
Without a doubt, Waits' best work (yes, I'm getting on my stump - above "Small Change", and I have them all...). Read morePublished on July 2 2004
Tom Waits is a brilliant singer/songwriter, and a true performer. This artist has accomplished quite a bit in his long and interesting career. Read morePublished on June 1 2004
Its a rarity in rock and roll that you find an album like this one. Strong melodies, inspired lyrics, and just plain well executed performances from a 22 year old Waits. Read morePublished on April 13 2004 by Leo Fuchs
It's not the beat Tom, and it's not the later, husky, noisy Tom. It's poetic and, yes, sentimental. Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2004 by Carey