Monday, March 4, 2013

Tom Waits: Hold On

Last week on the AMC series “The Walking Dead,” the episode ended with Beth Greene (played by Emily Kinney) singing Tom Waits’ “Hold On.” Her a cappella version of the song segued into Waits’ original version from his 1999 CD “Mule Variations.”

Personnel included Tom Waits on vocals, guitar, and organ; Joe Gore and Marc Ribot on guitar; Stephen Hodges on percussion; and Larry Taylor on bass. Although released as a single, “Hold On” failed to chart in the US and did not fare well in Britain where it peaked at #117. While you wouldn’t expect a Waits’ tune to chart, it was nominated for the Best Male Rock Performance Grammy. While the single did not win a Grammy, the album did capture the Best Contemporary Folk Album award.

Released in 1999, “Mule Variations” and “Hold On” were produced by Waits and his wife Kathleen Brennan. The CD peaked at the #30 slot on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart. It also made it to Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list where it placed at #416.

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