The Vinyl Court: Tom Waits – Frank’s Wild Years

Tom Waits - Franks Wild Years

  • Artist: Tom Waits
  • Album: Frank’s Wild Years (1987)
  • Purchased at: Half Price Books (Independence, MO) for $15

A vinyl record is more personal than a CD or cassette in my opinion; it requires more attention, care and devotion. This inevitably leads to a closer relationship to the album which is a very good thing.

When trolling Half Price Books in Independence after a Royals afternoon game I was shocked to see a Tom Waits album on the front of the rack, not a common sight in the used bin. It was 1987’s Franks Wild Years, the $15 price tag was inconsequential; I owned it the moment I laid my eyes on it. With “Hang On St. Christopher” “Way Down In The Hole” “Temptation” and the beautiful ballads “Innocent When You Dream” and “Yesterday Is Here” it is easily one of Waits’ shining moments and a record I’ve been looking for.

Pulling the record from the sleeve at home would reveal newspaper clippings from a 1987 New York Times live review the original owner probably had seen. Somebody planted these in the jacket because they loved and cared for this record; I owe it to the record to do the same. I’m not sure of its journey in between 1987 and 2014 but you can rest assured it has landed in the right hands.

Rating: B+

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