Small Change

Tom Waits - Small Change
Critic Score
Based on 2 reviews
1976 Ratings: #9 / 84
User Score
Based on 113 ratings
1976 Ratings: #19
Liked by 2 people
September 1, 1976 / Release Date
LP / Format
Asylum / Label
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The circus hadn't arrived yet... Instead, other attractions: the guy in the street, banging his drums the old-fashioned way, bragging that he can imitate each of the old masters to perfection - remember that sneaky, hot, headachesome scene in "Taxi Driver" when Travis Bickle starts to go off the rails? A faded Hollywood, full of pompous orchestras, in syrup that freezes, takes on blue-black hues-melancholy that poisons - the dough, however, the ... read more
Small Change is the first of Waits' albums that begin to incorporate his gravelly and weathered vocal pattern. Even if the instrumental aspects remain in tact from the previous two albums, his vocal change makes this feel like a completely different person performing. Given how long the small change would impact his career, you would have to think that this effort was something that both listeners and Waits himself bought into.

The weathered voice fits the tone of blues and jazz well, whether ... read more
probably my favourite 70s waits record. im not a huge fan of his early more rigidly blues and jazz inspired work but this album is definitely where his personality begins to shine a bit more as well as his vocal idiosyncracy and his chops at a songwriter. the first two tracks are among his best (the harmony of his abrasive driving voice and that uptempo rhythm section is sublime on step right up). the rest is almost as solid - yet it's still abundantly clear he went on to do even better things. ... read more
I guess I can give this props for having good instrumentation but god damn that voice is annoying.
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Track List


  1. Tom Traubert's Blues (Four Sheets to the Wind in Copenhagen)
  2. Step Right Up
  3. Jitterbug Boy (Sharing a Curbstone with Chuck E. Weiss, Robert Marchese, Paul Body and The Mug and Artie)
  4. I Wish I Was in New Orleans (In the Ninth Ward)
  5. The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me) (an Evening with Pete King)
  6. Invitation to the Blues
  7. Pasties and a G-String (At the Two O'Clock Club)
  8. Bad Liver and a Broken Heart (In Lowell)
  9. The One That Got Away
  10. Small Change (Got Rained on with His Own .38)
  11. I Can't Wait to Get Off Work (And See My Baby on Montgomery Avenue)


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Added on: March 24, 2013