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Small Change by Tom Waits
Released: Jan 1976
Label: Rhino/Elektra
Until 1999's Mule Variations, this 1976 LP was the highest charting Tom Waits release, reaching a modest No. 89 on Billboard. It was also his biggest early critical score, compiling a set of string-soft drunkards' ballads and scatting jazz pop that fully embraced the graveled "zoobie-zabie" yowling for which he is so loved. Listen for classics in "The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)" and "I Wish I Was in New Orleans," and hints of the kind of rawboned accompaniment that would drive late-career releases on the drums-only "Pasties and a G-String."
Nate Cavalieri