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Nighthawks at the Diner CD


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Audio CD, CD, October 25, 1990
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Biography

Tom Waits, according to the esteemed American critic Robert Hilburn, is “clearly one of the most important figures of the modern pop era.” Such sentiments are not mere hyperbole; in a career that now spans four decades and over 20 albums, Tom Waits has emerged as an extraordinary innovative force, a singular voice whose music remains determinedly—and even ... Read more in Amazon's Tom Waits Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Nighthawks at the Diner + Small Change + Heart of Saturday Night
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Asylum
  • ASIN: B000002GYG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,687 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Opening Intro
2. Emotional Weather Report
3. Intro
4. On A Foggy Night
5. Intro
6. Eggs And Sausage (In A Cadillac With Susan ....)
7. Intro
8. Better Off Without A Wife
9. Nighthawk Postcards (From Easy Street)
10. Intro
11. Warm Beer And Cold Women
12. Intro
13. Putnam County
14. Spare Parts I (A Nocturnal Emission)
15. Nobody
16. Intro
17. Big Joe And Phantom 309
18. Spare Parts II And Closing

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Tom recited his evocative jazz poetry (and fired off new rounds of wicked humor) for a live in-studio audience on this 1975 double-LP. He introduces the songs and digs into details of late-night life in LA as you hear Nighthawk Postcards; Putnam County; Emotional Weather Report; Better Off Without a Wife; On a Foggy Night; Warm Beer and Cold Women , and more. His first charting album, now available on CD or double-vinyl!

Amazon.com

As tour guide on a trip through the midnight-to-dawn streets of Los Angeles that the beautiful people never see through the smoked-glass windows of their limos, Waits details the lives of hipsters, down-and-outers, and lost causes in latter-day beat poetry and small-jazz-combo arrangements. This live album from 1975 almost has the quality of standup comedy, but the routines are richer and more carefully drawn. Check out the vivid detail, low humor, and hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold emotionalism Waits brings to songs such as "Nighthawk Postcards," "Putnam County," and a memorable reading of trucker poet Red Sovine's "Big Joe and Phantom 309." --Daniel Durchholz

Customer Reviews

Jazzy edge with witty beat poetry feel.
Teri Szynskie
This is another album that's perfect for night, in fact, late night driving.
Chris bct
Warm Beer and Cold Women ... that was the song that did it.
Kippy Spilker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 93 people found the following review helpful By stranger2himself on February 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I would like to correct a couple of possible misconceptions about this album. A previous reviewer alluded to "manufactured atmosphere". Don't construe this comment in any kind of negative way. I saw Tom Waits perform LIVE in the fall of 1975 at Alex Cooley's Electric Ballroom in Atlanta, GA. Leon Redbone opened for him. I have been to hundreds of live music concerts since, of all types, and this one remains the most memorable. Notice that the album was released in October, 1975. What you hear on this disc is EXACTLY what I saw & heard Tom perform that night. He had some props on stage, including old-fashioned gas pumps during "Burma Shave". The lighting effects were the best I've ever seen, and emphasized his expert use of cigarettes as props - his head & face were often shrouded in a cloud of blue smoke. What I'm getting at is the fact that this recording conveys almost perfectly the sense of being there, regardless of how it was done. Indeed, it is obvious that Tom strove for this live nightclub effect, and achieved it beautifully. The second misconception is the impression given by some reviewers that this is not one of his better ones. I disagree, and would nominate this recording as being the best example of the "essence" of Tom Waits. Others have correctly pointed out that he has inhabited 3 or 4 different personas during his career, with consequently different musical styles. However, I think there is a thread of essential Waits that is present on all the recordings, from the early ones like "Heart of Saturday Night" to "Bone Machine" and "Mule Variations", and I believe that we find that Essential TomWaitsness most perfectly captured on this recording.Read more ›
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By K. Brown on April 23, 2001
Format: Audio CD
While I couldn't pin down my overall favorite Tom Waits album, I can point to "Nighthawks at the Diner" as my favorite work of Waits in regards to lyrics. Tom Waits gives prose a saucy depth that is all his own, and this album is the piece that brings that prose out in its greatest glory! This is a unique live album since the audience is a small gathering, so the cheers and chuckles sound like Waits is entertaining several dozen people at a party. This initimate setting works well since he does unforgettable spoken introductions for a number of his songs which are almost as poetic as the songs (IE " I was reaching the end of an emotional cul-de-sac"). My personal favorite tunes on this CD (for both lyric and song) are "Putnam County" (spoken to music; describing the lazy social going-ons in a tiny blue collar American town) and "Spare Parts" (awesome upbeat tune describing dawn in a seedy urban setting: "The stew bums showed up like bounced checks/rubbing their necks, and the sky turned the color of Pepto Bismol/ and the parking lots growled") This CD is not just a great Tom Waits CD; this is a great CD for anybody's collection!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 1999
Format: Audio CD
When Tom Waits recorded this, my musical taste was largely confined to the American Top 40. I was thrilled when the Spinners hit #1 three weeks in a row with "Games People Play." Makes me wonder how my life might have turned out had I listened to "Nighthawks at the Diner" back then. Possibilities: I might have 1) grown a scraggly goatee, taken up the bongos and abstract painting, and moved to Greenwich Village; 2) ended up slumped over a bar, dead from alcohol poisoning by age 20; or 3) developed an eclectic appreciation for interesting music at an early age. In any event, without a clear idea of a career path, I meandered for a number of years and encountered some "bad" influences, which led me to jazz and blues and various mutations, and eventually to Tom Waits. Better late than never. This recording gets more time on my player per week than any other. Waits' compositions are often poignant, somewhat surreal, and generally hilarious depictions of life in a timeless subterranean Los Angeles. With a gravelly voice backed by some jazzy bass, sax, and drum licks and sweet guitar and piano, he takes the listener on a strange journey that weaves its way along urban boulevards, through sleezy lounges and greasy diners, in and out of people's homes, onto the open highway, and back into "Raphael's Silver Cloud Lounge," lamenting his troubled love life and celebrating his own solitude along the way. Whether a vicarious journey or a revisitation, this is a lot of fun.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jack Dempsey on August 16, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is probably my favorite Tom Waits release ever, with "Closing Time" and "The Heart of Saturday Night" and "Small Change" all constantly fighting for first place. "Blue Valentine", if, for nothing else, "Whistling Past the Graveyard" is in there too.
Flashback to when I was 4 or 5 years old. My grandfather's house. Texas. Sitting on the floor as he sat in his rocker, packing his pipe. He would tell me stories by some guy named Red Sovine. "Big Joe and Phantom 309" and "Giddy-up Go." He would also tell me stories about "A Boy Named Sue," "John Henry," "Whispering Pines," and "Springtime in Alaska," but those are for other reviews!
Fast forward to when I was 14 years old or so. California. Listening to college radio. KFJC. Maybe KSJS. "The piano has been drinking." Blows me away. Makes me go swipe my father's bottle of scotch.
Having that exposure may go some distance, at least to closet psychologists, in explaining my appreciation of Tom Waits. Ask many people, and they'll tell you that it sounds as if Mr. Waits has seen nothing but a steady diet of Lucky Strikes and Old Grandad for the last 40 years. Maybe that's true.
However, I can't get over how incredible this stage of Tom Waits' career is. These albums are amazing. And, try as I may, I cannot get into the supposed "wonder" albums of "Frank's Wild Years" or "Swordfishtrombones." Sure his later albums, i.e. those in the last decade, are amazing. However, most of them remind me of the snake in Disney's "The Jungle Book" singing "Trust in me." It just doesn't cut it as much as these releases.
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Her name is Delores Blackburn.
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