Blue Valentine, 1978

Blue Valentine
Waits’ sixth album sees him expanding his songwriting horizons, notably on the laconic first-person sketch "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis." Backed by a harder, bluesier band than on previous albums (featuring rock legends Earl Palmer on drums and Harold Battiste on piano), Waits continues to expand both his vocal palette, and his ability to capture a mood with a haunting, disembodied couplet (a hood’s abandoned girlfriend becomes “one straw in a rootbeer/a compact with a cracked mirror/and a bottle of Evening in Paris perfume”).