After signing with Asylum Records in the early 1970s, Tom Waits recorded a series of acclaimed albums whose noir tales about the after-midnight underworld transformed the seedy into the sublime in songs laced with both dark humor and profound longing. Decades and several musical evolutions later, Waits' Asylum years still hold a special place in the hearts of many fans. Waits' first seven albums on Asylum have been remastered and will be re-released via Anti-Records.
1978's Blue Valentine is a big departure from earlier Waits albums. Trading the piano for the guitar, the singer/songwriter is getting rawer and bluesier and the title track is a great example of this. Waits is in transition here, so you also get a stunning orchestrated rendition of Gershwin's "Somewhere," and the beautiful piano ballad, "Kentucky Ave.," but you also get the juke joint swagger of "Romeo Is Bleeding" and "Whistlin Past the Graveyard." This is also the record that contains one of Waits' most popular songs ever, "Christmas Card from A Hooker in Minneapolis."