Everyone’s favorite gravel-throated troubadour is getting the reissue treatment: San Diego’s own Tom Waits is set to release remastered versions of each studio album he’s released on Anti Records.
Those albums include 1999’s “Mule Variations,” 2002’s “Blood Money” and “Alice,” 2004’s “Real Gone,” and 2011’s “Bad as Me." In addition, his 2009 live album “Glitter and Doom Live” will also reissued, along with his sprawling three-disc 2006 box set “Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards” -- all of which will be issued as separate records for the first time. Each fall release will be available on 180-gram vinyl.
The remastering process is an intensive and arduous task that improves overall sound quality, typically achieved by using the original source tapes. Waits and his wife/long-time musical collaborator Kathleen Brennan personally oversaw the process.
”This restoration project could arrogantly be compared to restoring a faded tapestry, a painstaking process that requires meticulous attention to each color-faded thread,” Waits said in a press release. “Spending months on something completed once many years ago, was necessary though cursedly laborious for us.”
Also of note, the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/actor announced that his entire “Real Gone” album has been “fully remixed,” so prepare to hear the record in a whole new light.
For the unfamiliar, Waits got his start right here in South Bay. In the ‘60s, he attended Hilltop High School in Chula Vista, joined an R&B band called the Systems, and eventually landed his first job at National City’s Napoleone Pizza House -- which he sings about in “The Ghosts of Saturday Night (After Hours at Napoleone’s Pizza House).”
Years later, he’d perform his first paid gig at the Heritage coffeehouse in Mission Beach (which later turned into the Liars Club before eventually closing). After serving with U.S. Coast Guard, he traveled north to LA and signed to Asylum Records. The rest, as they say, is history.
Tom Waits remastered release schedule
- "Bad As Me" out on Nov. 16
- "Blood Money" out on Nov. 24
- "Alice" out on Nov. 24
- "Real Gone" out on Nov. 24
- "Glitter and Doom Live" out on Dec. 1
- "Mule Variations" out on Dec. 15
- "Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards" out separately in 2018