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Tom Waits second single “Back in the Crowd,” from Bad As Me released

By April MacIntyre Sep 27, 2011, 18:04 GMT

Tom Waits second single “Back in the Crowd,” from Bad As Me released

Tom Waits\' second single “Back in the Crowd,” from the upcoming new album Bad As Me is now available at all the regular digital retail outlets.

Tom Waits' second single “Back in the Crowd,” from the upcoming new album Bad As Me is now available at all the regular digital retail outlets.

"Bad As Me" is Tom Waits’ first studio album of all new music in seven years.

Waits, in possibly the finest voice of his career, worked with a veteran team of gifted musicians and longtime co-writer/producer Kathleen Brennan. From the opening horn-fueled chug of “Chicago,” to the closing barroom chorale of “New Year’s Eve,” Bad As Me displays the full career range of Waits’ songwriting, from beautiful ballads like “Last Leaf,” to the avant cinematic soundscape of “Hell Broke Luce,” a battlefront dispatch.

On tracks like “Talking at the Same Time,” Waits shows off a supple falsetto, while on blues burners like “Raised Right Men” and the gospel tinged “Satisfied” he spits, stutters and howls. Like a good boxer, these songs are lean and mean, with strong hooks and tight running times. A pervasive sense of players delighting in each other’s musical company brings a feeling of loose joy even to the album’s saddest songs.

“Back in the Crowd” is a romantic ballad featuring the Spanish Tinge guitar work of both David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) and long time collaborator, Marc Ribot. Crooned in his best “Jim Reeves-meets-Elvis tenor” Waits’ describes his richly intimate performance “as an old fashioned jukebox tune for a slow dance with your girl (or guy).” Adding to the romance, Hidalgo beat out a Latin clave rhythm using his wedding ring on the side of his Jarana (a traditional 8 string guitar from Vera Cruz).

Bad As Me
You’re the head on the spear
You’re the nail on the cross
You’re the fly in my beer
You’re the key that got lost
You’re the letter from Jesus on the bathroom wall
You’re mother superior in only a bra
You’re the same kind of bad as me

I’m the hat on the bed
I’m the coffee instead
The fish or cut bait
I’m the detective up late
I’m the blood on the floor
The thunder and the roar
The boat that won’t sink
I just won’t sleep a wink
You’re the same kind of bad as me

No good you say
Well that’s good enough for me

You’re the wreath that caught fire
You’re the preach to the choir
You bite down on the sheet
But your teeth have been wired
You skid in the rain
You’re trying to shift
You’re grinding the gears
You’re trying to shift
And you’re the same kind of bad as me

They told me you were no good
I know you’ll take care of all my needs
You’re the same kind of bad as me

I’m the mattress in the back
I’m the old gunnysack
I’m the one with the gun
Most likely to run
I’m the car in the weeds
If you cut me I’ll bleed
You’re the same kind of bad as me
You’re the same kind of bad as me


The new album Bad As Me is out October 24 and pre-orders are being taken at www.tomwaits.com for the 16-song limited deluxe edition, the 13-song CD and vinyl.

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