33 1/3 – Swordfishtrombones

Awaiting the new Tom Waits album I put his Swordfishtrombones on the recordplayer and took David Smay’s booklet by the same name from the ever growing Booktunes pile. The book is part of the 33 1/3 series, a collection of books each focusing on one more or less legendary album. 

The book is divided by chapters titled the same as the songs on the Sworfishtrombones album. David Smay uses the titles of these songs as a starting point to discuss this pivotal album in Tom’s career, drop facts about Waits and his other works, and explore his own ambitions as a writer and music lover.

Personally, I would have preferred reading a list of facts over the writings by Smay. It might be a good idea for me to try one of the many biographies displayed on the extensive Tom Waits Library (yep, by a Dutch guy). I do like the concept of the 33 1/3 series very much though, and plan to list them al on dedicated Booktunes page soonish. Of course I did enjoy reading Smay’s book, and would like to thank him for the facts & insights!

What is your favourite 33 1/3?

What are your thoughts on the Waits’ latest?


  1. 33 1/3 – Swordfishtrombones (via erik at booktunes) | Mina Witteman – writer

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