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Closing Time

Tom Waits Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 8.93 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Closing Time + Heart of Saturday Night + Small Change
Price For All Three: CDN$ 37.41

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Product Details


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
6. Martha
7. Rosie
8. Lonely
9. Ice Cream Man
10. Little Trip To Heaven (On The Wings Of Your Love)
11. Grapefruit Moon
12. Closing Time

Product Description

Amazon.ca

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

Product Description

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!

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just Buy It June 9 2004
Format:Audio CD
Before Tom Waits became so uniquely original he was simply a balladeer. Back in 1973 Tom Waits wasn't singing about those topics that only he could think of like the 'Big Black Maria' (Rain Dogs) or cookin up a 'Filipino Box Spring Hog' (Mule Variations). No, back then he sang about love.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The standard May 3 2004
Format:Audio CD
If I had to choose an album that changed my life and the way I listen and play it's Closing Time.
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Waits' un-Tom Waits-ish debut Aug. 21 2003
Format:Audio CD
Fans only familiar with the feral boogie man who recorded Rain Dogs and Bone Machine may be surprised to hear Tom Waits' distinctively minor key debut, Closing Time. The early Waits was a melancholy, serene singer/songwriter. Instead of screaming and growling his lyrics over a rumbling mixture of blues, rock and Kurt Weill-ish melodies, Waits gently croons them over a tender piano. Closing Time is definitely Tom Waits at his most conventional and listener-friendly.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, such a Debut June 20 2003
Format:Audio CD
Will I stand here and call it brilliant? Nope. How about sitting here and calling it a "fully realized, emotionally fueled album"? Ooops, nope, sorry, not that either.
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hoplessly Romantic
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 19 months ago by B.L. Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars possibly Tom Wait's greatest album
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 more
Published on June 19 2006 by Ms. H. Sinton
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime and the perfect record...end of story, period...
Without a doubt, Waits' best work (yes, I'm getting on my stump - above "Small Change", and I have them all...). Read more
Published on July 2 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Waits' Best Album. Period.
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 more
Published on June 1 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greats
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 more
Published on April 13 2004 by Barney Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Waits at his sentimental best
It's not the beat Tom, and it's not the later, husky, noisy Tom. It's poetic and, yes, sentimental. Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2004 by foundpoem
5.0 out of 5 stars And this was just the beginning...
30 years since it came out, the entire album is timeless and stands on its own. I've heard covers of "Ol'55", and "I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love With You" as... Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2003 by dvdtrkr
5.0 out of 5 stars A great album and a must have!!!!
This is a great album. Tom Waits at his earliest and best. This is the perfect starter for anyone who wants to become a fan of one of the greastest and most orignal songwriters... Read more
Published on Oct. 3 2003 by "dashgalaxy2"
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Muzak For the Wee Hours
From the gentle piano musings which open "Ol '55", to the 'exit stage left' ambience which closes the title track, this album is a bittersweet nightcap for shattered... Read more
Published on July 9 2003 by Jamie Pettit
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