Tom Waits – Blue Valentine Asylum 6E-162 (1978)
While not Tom Waits’ most strikingly original work, his Hollywood beatnik shtick is still quite effective here. There are plenty of faux jazz ballads, a showtune, and a few intimations of his edgier eighties songwriting. He even manages to pull off the maudlin “Kentucky Avenue”. Everything seems more polished and sober than Small Change and most people find it far more inspired than Foreign Affairs. This is one of Waits’ most successful albums of the 1970s. It was also his last effort completely dedicated to this particular old time hipster musical persona. His next albums would start to take a left turn toward rogue carnival weirdness.