500 Greatest Albums of All Time


Tom Waits, 'Mule Variations'

Anti-/Epitaph, 1999

After five silent years, Variations was the victorious return of Waits' rawboned, bluesy art rock. Using found instruments for rhythm and Smokey Hormel's angular guitar for color, Waits careers from carnival baker to croaky balladeer. The highlights: the sad but sweet "Hold On" and "House Where Nobody Lives."

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