Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
Once I re-entered the gritty world of Tom Waits´ music, it is almost impossible to leave it again.
His voice, the voice I had to grow up a bit to learn to love, was once described by a critic as something that was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car. How true! Listening to him feels like having your ears sanded with music.
Waits´ voice has not always been so rough. This craggy, emery-paper-like quality came with time and cigarettes – and I would venture a guess that nicotine played a bigger role than chronology here.
In the spring of 1972, at the time when I was not even born yet, he stood in the studio in Hollywood, California recording one of the most beautiful Waits-Songs ever.
When his first album, Closing Time, was released in March 1973, this song appeared as Number 6 Side One title. Being 9 months old, I was not actually in a position to appreciate it or not. I am glad, however, I made up for it later. And with every year I appreciate it more and more.
The song is called Martha.