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Known for his growling vocals and for the distinct poetry of his lyrics, Tom Waits has amassed over the course of three decades a devoted cult following. The Early Years collects the lyrics—formative and classic—from the first ten albums of this true bard of hard living. A celebration of both his words and of the artist himself, this lyrical biography charts the course from Wait’s emotional debut album, Closing Time (1977), to the experimental stirrings in Heartattack and Vine (1991) and One from the Heart (1992). Here the words achieve a new potency, adding further dimension to this singularly gifted artist.