Tom Waits – Get Behind the Mule
I was introduced to Tom Waits by a college friend, now sadly deceased, during long drinking sessions in Cambridge one summer (sometimes beer, but often tea). At that time Waits was in a sort of amusing drinking piano blues groove with a bit of jazz or country flavour, then he must have dropped acid or something and did a few weird but compelling albums with a bonkers marimba orchestra, then in later years got back to the bluesy feel. I like all his stuff as a rule but this one rang a chord: there’s something about coming from an area dominated by agriculture that city kids don’t get, about seasons and obligations to the land and to nature, and your impotence before them. This is an anthem for life.