Sunday, 6 July 2008

What the Caked Crusader chose to bake to this week (5 July 2008)

It’s strange how you can have a CD in your collection and go for ages without listening to it but then someone else mentions it and suddenly it’s the only album you want to hear! My brother mentioned Tom Waits’ masterpiece “Blue Valentine” (a pox on the two Amazon reviewers who only give it 4 out of 5) and ...guess what I baked to this week? Yep. Blue Valentine!

Tom Waits’ songs are usually sad tales of hard boiled drifters and losers. The comparison has often been made between his songs and the paintings of Edward Hopper and I also see a comparison between his characters and the great Noir thriller novels of the 1940s and 50s – Raymond Chandler, James M Cain et al.

Blue Valentine was released in 1978 but is utterly timeless; the blues guitar and bluesy growling vocal could have been recorded yesterday. It’s so hard to nominate a “best track” on such a wonderful album but, for me, it’s “Wrong Side of the Road”. I can’t even begin to pretend I know what a lot of the lyrics mean but they just sound cool:

strangle all the christmas carols
scratch out all your prayers
tie ‘em up with barbed wire
and push them down the stairs

While we’re on the topic, why would you choose to drive all the way to Reno on the wrong side of the road? Answers on a postcard to.....

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