Saturday, October 01, 2011

Tom Waits: "Downtown Train"

Music on Saturday @ The Reaction

By Richard K. Barry

A young colleague asked me a couple of days ago if I had ever heard of Tom Waits. Yes, I have. I must admit that I'm always pleased when younger people find music that has been around for a while and are aware enough to recognize how good it is.

A guy like Waits never seems to get enough recognition, while people like Rod Stewart, who had a major hit with Waits's "Downtown Train," are of course better known. As long as the song gets out there and the royalty check is delivered to the correct address I guess I don't care that much.

Here's "Downtown Train" performed by the man who wrote it. There's just something about the poetry and passion in evidence here that makes you take a deep breath.

For those who pay attention to the details, it was released on Waits's 1985 album Rain Dogs. Stewart had a hit with it in 1989 for which he received a Grammy nomination in the Best Male Pop Vocal Performance category.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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