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Tom Waits vs. Bob Dylan

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Showing 1-25 of 46 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 14, 2013 2:54:13 PM PST
alysha25 says:
I have Never listened to Tom Waits before. But I recently recieved this 2 CD Bootleg Concert as a gift. Very Cool! The first thing I thought was that his sound , or style reminded me of Bob Dylan.

So, which do you prefer? Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, neither? Both?

I did a little youtubing and Now I Have to have This album, LOL:

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 4:23:32 PM PST
Gena Chereck says:
Aw, I love 'em both. :)

My dad owns a bunch of Dylan records, so I grew up with his stuff; and after 'Love & Theft' I got serious about trying to keep up with his later work (I even went back and checked out 'Oh Mercy' and 'Time Out of Mind').

Waits, on the other hand, is somebody I discovered on my own -- largely through other artists covering his songs (the Ramones' "I Don't Wanna Grow Up," both Rod Stewart's and Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Downtown Train," Nanci Griffith's "San Diego Serenade," Holly Cole's 'Temptation' album, etc.), but I started looking more into his own recordings after checking out 'Mule Variations' and falling in love with it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 4:26:15 PM PST
Gena Chereck says:
"Going Out West" and "Earth Died Screaming" -- great stuff. Oddly enough, I didn't get into 'Bone Machine' until several years after I picked up 'Mule Variations,' but better late than never. :D

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 11:23:25 PM PST
Hinch says:
I like both, but I prefer Dylan. I suppose there are some similarities, but I never thought of a comparison.

I own most of Dylan's music. I really haven't listened to Waits much but I like what I've heard. I've probably seen him on tv more than I've listened to his records. I did borrow some of his albums from the public library.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 12:13:46 AM PST
Two of the best songwriters of the past 50 years no question. though no one can question dylans ability to write a song, I give the edge to tom waits because I think he has been consistantly good and maturing over his entire career more so than dylan, who peaked early and has always kind of been struggling to get back to that level, going through ups and downs. Another reason I give waits more props is because of his experimenattion with music which lifts him to another level above just being a good songwriter, but honestly they are both desert island artists for me

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 12:58:44 AM PST
TheFoe says:
Neither, they both grate.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 8:59:40 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 11:58:24 AM PST
B-Jak says:
There's a few things of Dylan's I like ("Desire", "Blood on the Tracks"), but I never really got into him. Waits has always been a favorite since my sister turned me on to "Nighthawks at the Diner" back in 1980. When he started getting really out there, beginning with "Swordfishtrombones", I got so excited that I started collecting everything. I think he reached his peak with "Black Rider", though "Bone Machine" is close to being on par. In terms of sheer originality, I think Waits is far superior (one could argue he owes a debt of gratitude to Capt. Beefheart, but I think he took the weird to a whole new, and more listenable, place).

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 11:53:22 AM PST
K. Carter says:
Dylan, of course, is Dylan. Waits is probably a little more of an acquired taste, but "Rain Dogs" is one of my all-time favorite albums by any artist ever. Check it out.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 12:13:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 12:15:08 PM PST
I think Bob dylan is 'greater' but I enjoy Tom Waits more.

He is one of the three artists that I started listening to in high school(i was born in 1960) and still enjoy today because they are still putting out new and interesting music. the other two being Richard Thompson and emmylou Harris.... yeah I had to 'back up' a bit and pick up thompson's work with Fairport convention, but Waits and Harris have been pretty much part of my musical tapestry since their earliest works.(anyone else remember EH on 'mary hartman, mary hartman' and Tom waits on its spinoff 'Fernwood Tonight'? )

Posted on May 10, 2013 8:47:18 AM PDT
Stratocaster says:
Bump it up!

Posted on May 10, 2013 12:04:00 PM PDT
Nice comparison. Songwriters with odd voices and a roots leaning but always rebels with their own take who go their own way. Both cool. I listen to Waits more, but that early Dylan is just untouchable by anyone. Love 'em both.

Posted on May 10, 2013 4:00:37 PM PDT
I really like them both, Dylan has points taken away because of his 80s output. Waits gets points deducted, because once he started the yelling and screaming style, he hasn't deviated it much.

Wow,,,,,,, I listen to Dylan more and I don't own all of the Waits I should, because of the way he sings.

Dylan for me.

Posted on May 11, 2013 11:09:32 AM PDT
Bob Dylan

Posted on May 11, 2013 11:19:46 AM PDT
Captain Ogre says:
That's a tough one. Both have been my favorite song writers since I was a young teen (early '70s)
Very similar in that they never compromised their integrity, and never lost their creativity.
In fact, I put both of their last albums among the best of their careers. Top 5 for Bad As Me, and Tempest may be in Dylan's top 10.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2013 11:21:03 AM PDT
Captain Ogre says:
Anyone who's turned off by their vocals just doesn't get it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2013 11:26:00 AM PDT
Captain Ogre says:

Waits is a comedian, too:

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2013 11:26:57 AM PDT
Captain Ogre says:
Mike Douglas *gets* Tom Waits, Marvin Hamlisch does *not*

Posted on May 11, 2013 1:20:57 PM PDT
Captain Ogre says:
I could do this all day...

Tom Waits press conference announcing his last tour:

Posted on May 11, 2013 1:43:39 PM PDT
Bob Dylan - hands down.
To fair though, I don't listen to Waits very much, Like what I hear though. But no contest. Dylan forever!

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2013 1:50:21 PM PDT
Captain Ogre says:
It's closer than "no contest" for me but, yeah, saying Waits is better than Dylan is sacrilege

Posted on May 11, 2013 3:17:53 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 11, 2013 4:06:38 PM PDT
Johnny Bee says:
I appreciate both artists' work and own the vast majority of their respective back catalogues up to their last releases - 'Tempest' and 'Bad As Me' were both excellent (imo).

But as someone astute has already said, early Dylan is just untouchable by anyone. Waits would no doubt agree.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2013 3:59:48 PM PDT
onsenkuma says:
Waits is the better actor. I like and appreciate both musically. Waits has been pretty consistently good and hasn't produced any true duds a la (e.g.) 'Empire Burlesque', but nor has he recorded anything on the order of 'Highway 61 Revisited', 'Blonde on Blonde' or 'John Wesley Harding'. Dylan's best work is pretty much untouchable...

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2013 4:28:27 PM PDT
Johnny Bee says:
I wouldn't say that 'Empire Burlesque', which contains the wonderful 'Dark Eyes', is a particularly bad album. 'Dylan' (A Fool Such As I) or 'Self Portrait' are the real howlers to me.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2013 5:23:02 PM PDT
onsenkuma says:
Empire Burlesque suffers from dated production but - you're quite right - is not anywhere near as cringe-worthy as 'Self Portrait'. When Bob is good he soars with eagles; when Bob's bad he can roll with the best (and some of the worst) of the trolls. But at the end of the day, he STILL is Dylan...

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2013 6:01:23 PM PDT
Johnny Bee says:
Indeed ;-)
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  20
Total posts:  46
Initial post:  Jan 14, 2013
Latest post:  Jul 14, 2016

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