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The Early Years Vol. 2

The Early Years Vol. 2 by Tom Waits
Released: Feb 1993
Label: Manifesto Records
Of the two Early Years compilations, both taken from 1971 demos, superior song selection makes this one slightly more successful. Here, we get developing versions of a number of favorites, like the guitar-only "Ol' 55" and a clutch of tracks that would end up on Heart of Saturday Night. Like on the first volume, the pubescent peach fuzz of Waits' tenor only faintly suggests the grizzled bar hound of the future. The embryonic snapshot of "Diamonds on My Windshield" -- mostly upright bass and Waits' typical jive -- is the session's highpoint.
Nate Cavalieri