Tom Waits: “Anywhere I Lay My Head”

Posted: January 21, 2014 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
Tags: , , , ,
Tune du Jour: “Anywhere I Lay My Head” – Tom Waits
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Bomb the Music Industry vs. Anna Ternheim
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
"Free markets will not prevail without unfettered competition among cover songs." - Milton Friedbyrd

“Free markets will not prevail without unfettered competition among cover songs.” – Milton Friedbyrd



The demented splendor that is Tom Waits! Anywhere I Lay My Head is from Waits’ 1985 release Rain Dogs, the middle album of his brilliant trilogy (i.e. Swordfishtrombone, Rain Dogs, Frank’s Wild Years) sketching the lives of society’s misfits, outcasts, odd romantics and exceedingly eccentric characters.


The Original


Tom Waits:


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Bomb the Music Industry vs. Anna Ternheim


Bomb the Music Industry:

Anna Ternheim:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?



Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. Arnie Plotnick says:

    It’s a nice song, and this woman sings it nicely. Nice.

  2. Cuspid says:

    Waits’ vocals often straddle the line between intriguing and annoying. Bomb the Music Industry clearly doesn’t know how to straddle that line. Their’s is just plain annoying. And why try to copy a vocal and style as unique as Waits’?? I found Ternheim’s version to be much more interesting and pleasant

  3. RDubbs says:

    Agree with Plotnick & Cuspid. I love Tom Waits. His voice is unique, or I should say became unique over time via copious amounts of booze and cigarettes. Personally I would have liked to hear Waits do a more stripped-down version of this song. The lyrics alone are strong enough to carry the song; the exaggerated vocals and instrumentation serve to distract a bit from the song’s poignancy. I would guess that Bomb the Industry! are big Waits’ fans. They enthusiastically attempt to replicate Tom’s voice and spirited instrumentation. And I applaud their effort. Sounds like they had a lot of fun with it and paid sincere tribute to a guy they admire. But, overall, it just does not work for me. Now if I saw them pull it off live I think I’d be much more impressed. But from where I’m sitting, why not just queue up Waits’ version? I like Anna’s version. Subtle but very well done!

  4. Lucky H says:

    I just love the idea of a female tribute album dedicated to the good Mr. Waits … didn’t think they could scurry up 10+ women willing to sign up for voyage … But Ms Anna does a lovely turn.

    • RDubbs says:

      It’s from a four volume 100+ song tribute with primarily Slovak women providing the tunes. I’d love to purchase these discs but even in our digital age smaller-world existence they are virtually impossible to get a hold of. From what I can gather they were produced by a small Turkish label. And try as I might to be open-minded and fair to all I still cannot allow myself to enter my credit card number on a Turkish site that is only semi-understandable even with their English translation setting activated. Alas. But cousin Fred has promised to stop in on said label and pick me up the discs next time he finds himself in Turkey.

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