Autumn has come and gone, and I want to tell my last goodbyes with an ode to melancholy and one of my favorite albums – Closing Time by Tom Waits.

Tom Waits wrote Closing Time, his debut album, when he was just 24. He was working at a coffee house/club and performing there every Monday night. He lucked out in Troubadour, a legendary nightclub located in West Hollywood, California, where rock manager Herb Cohen discovered Waits during an amateur night. The album was recorded in spring 1973.

Jazz and a bit of folk. Tired fingers slowly dancing on piano keys at the end of a long night, coffee and cigarettes; a beautiful love story with a stranger at a crowded bar, that did not happen, a slice of a grapefruit moon in a tall glass and stolen glances; painful long-distance telephone calls, anxiety of waiting and a voice of the girl whom you once loved forever; late hour, the last bar just closed and there is nowhere to go, no one to talk to and nothing to do but reeling down Virginia Avenue; little trip to heaven, morning highway, fading stars and a weightless heart.

Closing Time’s cover (design: Cal Schenkel) represents Wait’s idea how the album should sound. It pictures Tom Waits thoughtfully leaning against a bar-room piano under a blue pool table lamp; it’s almost dark; cigarettes, candle and a bottle of beer are placed on the instrument.


  1. Ol’ ’55
    2. I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love with You
    3. Virginia Avenue
    4. Old Shoes (& Picture Postcards)
    5. Midnight Lullaby
    6. Martha
    7. Rosie
    8. Lonely
    9. Ice Cream Man
    10. Little Trip to Heaven (On the Wings of Your Love)
    11. Grapefruit Moon
    12. Closing Time (Instrumental)

All songs written and composed by Tom Waits.


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