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Small Change

4.8 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 15.17 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 24 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra Entertain.
  • ASIN: B000002GY9
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,493 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Tom Traubert's Blues (Four Sheets To The Wind In Copenhagen)
2. Step Right Up
3. Jitterbug Boy (Sharing A Curbstone With Chuck E. Weiss, Robert Marchese, Paul Body And The Mug...
4. I Wish I Was In New Orleans (In The Ninth Ward)
5. The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)
6. Invitation To The Blues
7. Pasties And A G-String (At The Two O'Clock Club)
8. Bad Liver And A Broken Heart (In Lowell)
9. The One That Got Away
10. Small Change (Got Rained On With His Own .38)
11. I Can't Wait To Get Off Work (And See My Baby On Montgomery Avenue)

Product Description

Product Description

Tom's audience vastly increased as he went #89 pop with this 1976 LP, which was recorded directly to two-track tape over six days that July. That's the legendary Shelly Manne on the skins, backing slinky saxophone runs and Tom's atmospheric song-stories: Tom Traubert's Blues; The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me); Bad Liver and a Broken Heart; Pasties and a G-String; The One That Got Away perhaps his quintessential '70s album!

En 1976, Tom Waits a encore tout du clochard céleste tel que dépeint par l'écrivain beat Jack Kerouac. Et ce n'est qu'un peu moins de dix ans plus tard qu'il évoluera vers l'opéra de quat'sous avec Swordfishtrombones. Pour l'instant, l'heure est au jazz. Et au blues. Accompagné, comme il les présente, par un trio de grands musiciens dont le batteur de jazz Shelly Manne et les cordes de Jerry Yester, Tom Waits distille une émotion à fleur de peau, que ce soit sur tempo lent ("Tom Traubert's Blues") ou soutenu ("Step Right Up"). Le titre d'un des morceaux rappelle celui d'un recueil de poésies de Bukowski: "The Piano Has Been Drinking". "Not Me" s'empresse-t-il d'ajouter! Small Change aurait été la B.O. idéale du film Barfly... --Philippe Robert

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Loved my first Tom Waits album "The Heart of Saturday Night" for its jazzed-up late-night-ramblings feel to it. This was before owning "Small Change," however, and here the ante is upped and Waits delves even deeper into the heart of the diners and back alleys of urban America.
All my favorite songs on this album are a testament to Waits's tremendous versatility. There is the silvertongue scat "Step Right Up..." the jazz dive "The One that Got Away..." the atmospheric "Small Change..." the weep-into-your-beer "Invitation to the Blues." "Invitation" and "Tom Traubert's Blues" (Waltzing Mathilda) are accompanied by heartbreaking strings and piano. The sax and string bass on some of the more jazzed-up tracks are pretty tight.
BTW I completely agree with the reviewer below that "I Can't Wait to Get off Work" would have been better middle-album filler, its slot as the final track of the album is somewhat bewildering. Of all the songs of the album that he could have ended on, this one is mediocre at best. The title track would have been the better choice - he used this to close a live performance on "Austin City Limits" in the late 70s and it was incredible. I'm insanely jealous of anyone who managed to be in the audience that night. For the rest of us, PBS still sometimes airs the reruns, so try and catch it sometime - really is something to see and as far as I know, no recordings of it are commercially available.
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Format: Audio CD
While much hoopla has been made of Tom Waits' early 80's "Frank's Wild Years" trilogy,let's not forget the brilliant work of "Small Change,"Foreign Affair" and "Blue Valentine" from the mid to late 70's.I've long maintained that Waits'career could be divided into three categories:The early,folksy troubadorism of "Closing Time" and "The Heart of Saturday Night",
the "street poet at the piano" of the aforementioned trilogy,and the sonic,avante-gard expressionist of the 80's and 90's.
"Small Change" is a brilliant,essential work that both documents and celebrates the late night barfly lifestyle our hero had come to lovingly embrace at the time.From the first sung lyrics of the impossibly beautiful "Tom Traubert's Blues"- "Wasted and wounded,it ain't what the moon did,got what I paid for now" the mood is set for a joyride in a broken down jalopy through trash-strewn streets at 4am,past the hookers,transients,all-night diner's and strip joints that
haunt Waits' work from this era.His voice,ravaged by alcohol,cigarettes,and God know what else (remember this a guy who lived in a 9 dollar a night motel writing songs for the better part of a decade)maintains a beautiful quality and annotates these tales confidently.There's "Jitterbug Boy",the story of a drunk "holding up a lamp post",bragging of how he's done it all,from sleeping with Marilyn Monroe to having breakfast in the eye of a hurricane,all the while burning hundred dollar bills.On the classic "Invitation to the Blues",
we get the best song Springsteen never wrote.A business man just about to leave town falls for a waitress at a greasy spoon,
gives up his seat on the next bus out of town,and accepts her "invitation".
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Format: Audio CD
How much do I love this recording? Well, let's go back to the 70's. There was always someone at a party who would troll through the hosts' record collection and select some atmosphere killing LP by Steely Dan, or Zappa, or Todd Rundgren, and, get this, they'd want you to love it too.I always left for the kitchen when this happened, but one party I guess I was a little slow afoot and I got hooked into hearing a couple of cuts from this wonderful album.So I went out and got it for myself. The first and last time a party troll ever influenced any record purchase of mine. On this ,Tom's fourth release, he completely succeeds in melding the Barfly-Bukowsky-Boho-meets The Beats influences into a cohesive and focused (if a barfly's eyes can focus)piece of work that is unmistakably Tom's own. It's hilarious (The Piano Has Been Drinking), sentimental in a good way (Tom Traubert's Blues, a song so good even disco era Rod Stewart couldn't ruin it)and hip,or hep as the case may be (Step Right Up). Everything on here is wonderful and the small authentic bopster/cool combo headed by L.A. jazz drummer Shelly Manne keeps everything swinging madly.Tom Waits is by no means an idiot and he realized he couldn't keep going to this same well.He handed the keys to his Caddy to Rickie Lee Jones and set out to make "serious" music that certain of my egghead friends assure me is a wonderful mix of Kurt Weill, musique concrete and a whole bunch of modern classical composers.Hmm...okay. Me, I'd rather be rained on with my own .38 .So I'll stick to old fashioned Tom Waits straight up with a twist. That's how much I love this record.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is nothing short of astonishing. It is a sort of culmination of Tom Waits's early work, his archetypal 70's album. He remains lyrically "chained to the same bowl of vomit" (as Nick Cave once put it so eloquently), which in his case is the seedy, late night, underworld of bars with beer-stained carpets and smoke-filled air. This does focus less on scene-setting and more on character sketches and narratives, but the lyrics are pure Waits: full of the off-color imagery and crazy internal rhyming that is distinctly his. The album is divided between jazzy, piano-based songs (with occasional orchestral backing), and a few more musically mundane pieces, featuring something along the line of spoken-word pieces. The first song is the excellent Tom Traubert's Blues (God only knows where some of Waits's song titles come from) - this is the first Waits song that I ever heard, and, when I heard it, the voice almost knocked me out. It's just yet another signature element. Step Right Up is a hilarous scat piece. Other highlights include Invitation To The Blues, The One That Got Away, and the surreal title track. This album also includes two of Waits's all-time classic songs, The Piano Has Been Drinking and Bad Liver And A Broken Heart (possibly one of my favorite songs of his.) This is certainly an essential Waits album, and it's not a bad place for a new fan to start.
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