30 days : day 5

tom waits swordfishtrombones


Day five. An album I love the cover art of…

So many options, so many ideas, so many albums. There’s a difference between an iconic album cover and an album cover I love, but I do love some of those iconic LP arts… there are albums I love the cover of because of the music on the record, there are album covers I love in spite of the music. There are album covers I love for purely nostalgic reasons, emotional reasons, romantic reasons, heartbroken reasons.

But one album that holds cover art that I’ve loved since I first saw it, before I heard the music, during the listening of the record, and long after the album stopped spinning, has been in my collection for around 30 years. Ever since I sneaked it from my parents’ record collection.

#30daysofalbums #tomwaits #swordfishtrombones

Close to being my favorite Tom Waits album, and definitely my favorite Tom Waits cover, Swordfishtrombones is the seventh Tom Waits album, released in 1983. I didn’t know much about the man, or the music, at that time – being only like thirteen. Probably fourteen before I even noticed the music, 16 before I actually liked the music…

But there was something about that cover.

I didn’t know the people on it, I didn’t get the filmography or literary references, but the style, the colors, the darkness and the life and the light it held, attracted me.

It still does. It’s a photograph by Michael A. Russ, holding Lee Kolima, Tom Waits, and Angelo Rossitto. It’s a little Cabaret, a little Warhol, a little Fellini, and all Waits.