Editors’ Notes This tribute to Tom Waits features an eclectic mix of performers working over songs from Waits’ early years. Tim Buckley’s “Martha” had been recorded back when Waits was just starting out and Buckley was the living legend. There are plenty of surprises here. The Tindersticks are expected to do right by “Mockin Bird,” but the brilliance of Drugstore’s interpretation of “Old Shoes” is a head-turner. The vocals capture a desperation that goes beyond garden-variety mid-‘90s alternative rock. The Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley turns the barroom-clearing “Better Off Without a Wife” into a power-punk tune. The Wedding Present twist out “Red Shoes By the Drugstore” into a maniacal piece of post-punk worthy of the Fall. These Immortal Souls are the perfect group to whack out the dark undertow of “You Can’t Unring a Bell.” The Gun Club’s Jeffrey Lee Pierce is the only man worthy of turning “Pasties and a G-String” into a subversive piece of new-wave blues. Giant Sand turn out their southwestern rock for “Invitation to the Blues.” The Blasters’ Dave Alvin adds a deliberate poignancy with his solid guitarmanship and sincere vocal for “Ol ’55.”

SONG
Mockin Bird
1
4:27
 
Old Shoes
2
6:27
 
Better Off Without a Wife
3
3:34
 
Red Shoes By the Drugstore
4
2:32
 
Step Right Up
5
6:32
 
Downtown
6
4:57
 
Heart of a Saturday Night
7
1:57
 
You Can't Unring a Bell
8
5:52
 
Pasties and a G-String
9
4:41
 
Invitation to the Blues
10
4:40
 
Ol '55
11
3:39
 
Christmas Card from a Hooker In Minneapolis
12
4:26
 
Romeo Is Bleeding
13
5:12
 
Ruby's Arms
14
4:27
 
Martha
15
3:17
 

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