Driving up the tempo and pulling back on the production, this second track from Small Change both imitates and satirises the tone of salesman patter. Alongside discussion of advertising and art in general, Song by Song delves into Waits's relationship with commercialism, both in terms of his music as well as his vocal identity, and features the most sympathetic description of a dog this side of Frank's Wild Years.
Further reading on Waits's attitude to commercials and advertising can be found here.
Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Step Right Up, Small Change, Tom Waits (1976)
Butcher’s Blend Purina Advert, Tom Waits (1981)
All Things Considered, Joel Rose, NPR, May 6 2005
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