What do Tom Waits fans have in common with Daddy Warbucks? Both love to bring home orphans! Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards, a three-CD set of new and rare Waits material is due out November 21 on Anti.
The 54-track release includes a 94-page booklet and over three hours of music, ranging from waltzes to blues and Celtic ballads to lullabies. According to Waits, "Orphans [contains] rough and tender tunes. Rumbas about mermaids, shuffles about train wrecks, tarantellas about insects, madrigals about drowning. Scared, mean, orphaned songs of rapture and melancholy. Songs that grew up hard. Songs of dubious origin rescued from cruel fate and now left wanting only to be cared for. Show that you are not afraid and take them home. They don't bite, they just need attention."
(Hmm, perhaps Waits thought similar things about the fish he stuck down his pants in that memorable episode of Fishing With John?)
A number of tracks on Orphans were originally recorded for film and theatre, and some are reworkings of songs by other artists, including the Ramones, Daniel Johnston, Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, Leadbelly, Jack Kerouac, and Charles Bukowski. Waits produced the epic album along with his wife and long-time collaborator Kathleen Brennan.