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Small Change Import


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Audio CD, Import, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

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!

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 Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002GY9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,046 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By K. Brown on October 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
First off, I think this entire album is excellent, from the tormented "Tom Traubert's Blues" to the hysterical "The Piano Has Been Drinking" to the mellow "Jitterbug Boy." But even if abovementioned tunes did nothing for me, it would be made with the title track.

"Small Change" is one of the most chilling tunes I have ever heard. The combination of Waits' raspy voice, the instrumentals being a lone saxophone, and the bleak lyrics describing the crime scene and the gunned down gambler are more haunting than any ghost story you were told as a child. This is Tom Waits at his poetic best.

The bonus is that while this song steals the show, there is plenty to enjoy on the rest of the cd. The mood of the album gravitates toward the down & out pool hallers, hucksters, and all-around tormented souls. From heavy to humorous, this release has it all.

"Pasties and a G-String" is a hysterical salute to the old burlesque haunts, and the dancers and droolers that inhabit them. Like "Small Change," the focus is on one instrument, the drums, albeit in an entirely upbeat manner.

Other standout pieces are "Jitterbug Boy," a rare calming piano piece, singing the Jitterbug Boy's unlikely claims of places he's been and people he's met; "The One that Got Away," another hard-boiled hard-luck song showcasing some wicked saxophone, and "Invitation to the Blues."

This is easily one of Tom Waits' greatest efforts, though you can't go wrong with any of his earliest albums. Like I said, everything here is excellent, but "Small Change" alone is worth the money.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bud Kinch on August 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Sometimes Tom Wait's 70's stuff sounds something like if you read Jack Kerouac over Kind Of Blue-era Miles Davis. If that's not enough to tempt you, he also has ballads that are musically rich, lyrically depthful and heartbreakingly beautiful all at once. Small Change is probably the most all-round example of this. If you want extremes, buy Nighthawks At The Diner for the former and Blue Valentine for the latter. Lot's of these tunes are already the stuff of legend - Tom Traubert's Blues, the title track, I Can't Wait To Get Off Work - but a lot of the gems on this you probably haven't heard of. I Wish I Was In New Orleans is perfection, no other word for it. Some may call this music too maudlin, too schmaltz - including Waits himself - but if you ignore the cynic inside of you, what you'll find is something that's not like any other record out there. There is no such thing as a bad Tom Waits record, and I'm not usually one to make such fanatic claims. Nowadays he's doing this great, mysterious, musically challenging and innovative thing. In the 80's he was mutating his 70's work into something very unique and magic indeed. In the 70's he was making music that made his world yours, completely sensational. Every song on Small Change is like a novel, every note is like gold. Listen to Invitation To The Blues, Bad Liver & A Broken Heart, Step Right Up - from ballads to beat, this guy is a heavyweight. Always has been, always will be.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Rollie Anderson on March 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
On this album Tom takes the listener to the same place "Notes from the Underground" takes the reader. It's a real world that daylight doesn't penetrate and heartbroken loners like Mr. Waits portrays wander the darkened streets alone. Anyone with a broken heart can relate to "Tom Taubert's Blues" and enjoy the fact that misery loves company and the singer is sharing a bench with you. In other words, this ain't no party cd. This is for listening and learning about another way of life.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Chris bct on March 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Some of Tom's greatest hits are here, Tom Traubert's Blues (Four Sheets To The Wind In Copenhagen), Step Right Up, I Wish I Was In New Orleans (In The Ninth Ward), The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me), Invitation To The Blues, Pasties And A G-String (At The Two O'Clock Club), The One That Got Away, Small Change (Got Rained On With His Own .38) and I Can't Wait To Get Off Work (And See My Baby On Montgomery Avenue).

Ok, did I pick most of the album? Well, that's because this really is, along with Heart of Saturday Night and Nighthawks at the Diner, one of his three classic 70's albums.

Tom Traubert's Blues got me misty eyed for decades.

Step Right Up is one of the funniest huckster word spinning takes on capitalism in existance.

The Piano Has Been Drinking is sublime. On first listening you get sucker punched at the end of the song. Every time I have heard it after that I'm enjoying his clever imagery and looking forward to that sweet, perfectly formed ending.

Pasties and a G-String is bawdy and puts you right there.

This is an album to cherish. He's fully into his character, it's the smokey piano lounge scene and it's in full bloom on this record. He takes us to his place deep in the heart of the city and we're never the same afterward.

Taken together with those other two 70's albums of his, the trilogy is one of the finest works of musical art presented to the public over the period of a decade ever. You could throw in One From the Heart if you wanted as the bookend of his 70's work despite it being done in 1981.

That's all we got of 70's Tom. His 80's reincarnation is not the same musical character.
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