TOM WAITS - Closing Time: 50th Anniversary: Half Speed Master LP (Trans Clear vinyl)
2023 marks fifty years since Tom Waits released his landmark debut album Closing Time. Called "a minor key masterpiece filled with songs of late-night loneliness" by All Music Guide, Closing Time features the distinctly lyrical storytelling and blending of jazz, blues and folk styles that would come to be associated first with Waits. This 50th anniversary edition is presented on double 180g LP cut at 45 RPM with half speed mastering by London's Abbey Road Studios. The gatefold jacket was also specially created with thicker board and black poly-lined inner sleeves.
In Rolling Stone's original 1973 review of the record, writer Stephen Holden immediately detects elements of pathos and bathos that will be poured over by fans and journalists in Waits's records for years to come, saying that Waits "parodies the lounge music sub-genre so perfectly that we wonder if he's putting us on or if he's for real, and it is his especial triumph that in the end he has it both ways: He is able to deliver whole both the truth and the sham of the music."
Closing Time has become a cornerstone of his fans' milieu and has been endlessly covered by other artists, most famously the Eagles ("Ol' 55") and most recently on a 2021 covers album featuring Jeff Tweedy and Andrew Bird. Included in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Song Writers of All Time and a 2011 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Waits' Closing Time began the career of one of the all-time greatest artists and an exploration of blues, folk and experimental music that can't be replicated.