I saw this article from Bandcamp, and it gave me thought.
This Article was a primer, and introduction to Tom Waits.
Now I’d never really thought about primers, I had always thought that music was genetic – you grow into a style of music, and it comes to you.
I’d first heard Tom Waits from my friend Sion, who was a lighting engineer at Theatr Gwynedd.
At 19, I’d go around and listen to music whilst playing Mahjongg, and Swordfishtrombones was my first exposure. Not considered the right first album to listen too. And this is where this primer got to me.
I’ve always listened to the “wrong album”.
I listened to Zappa’s Overnite Sensation, Beeftheart’s Clearspot, and even Alice Coopers Welcome to My Nightmare first. None of these are considered introductory albums to the artists.
It’s really your friends that put on an album, and say “Listen to this, I think you’ll like it”, are the primers in most peoples lives.
Don’t get me wrong, Bandcamp primers are brilliant, they are full of insightful review and praise for seminal albums, however if you can find something in an album which is “left field”, then the bond between yourself and and artists can be stronger.
In the light of listening to Swordfishtrombones for the first time, I saw elements of orchestration from both Zappa, and Beefheart. Maybe thats why Sion played it. It gave me a enthusiasm for listening to more, and the next album was Heartattack and Vine, then Big Time, Then Blue Valentine.
Within 3 months, I had them all on CD, and they were some of my first CDs too.
Thank you Sion, and Tom.