Musician and occasional actor Tom Waits first achieved prominence with a series of albums in the 1970s in which he adopted the persona of a late 1950s hipster, sleazy and jazzy. By the 1980s, however, he sought to break away from those limitations and incorporate other influences
(described in the press notes for BIG TIME as avant-garde composer Harry Partch, Howlin' Wolf, Frank Sinatra, Astor Piazzolla, Irish tenor John McCormack, Kurt Weill, Louis Prima, Mexican norteno
bands and Vegas lounge singers; how that list managed to exclude Louis Armstrong is anyone's guess).
But while those influences can all be heard, Waits built a wholly unique musical landsca...