Mule Variations, whilst being typical of Tom Waits later work -- mixing experimental sounds, stomping percussion, jazz and beautiful songwriting, is also a high watermark in his career. Notable tracks include the mournful ballad "Georgia Lee", the creepy and original "What’s He Building In There?" and the gravel-edged blues of "Chocolate Jesus". Essential 180g Vinyl reissue on Anti.
Vinyl Double LP £21.49 265473
Remastered 180g vinyl 2LP on Anti.
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8/10 Jack 27th November 2017
This is the first record that Waits recorded for the independent label Anti, and it seems like it was either a palette-cleanser or a consolidation of his skills, because it's a far cry from the densely unified records that preceded it and the ambitious albums that followed it. Despite seeming like a very laid back guy, there aren't many moments on record when Tom Waits just kicks back and belts out a few good songs in no particular order, so this album is a rare opportunity to hear him at what appears to be his most casual.
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