The Story Of The Song: “Ol’ 55” (1974) By The Eagles

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This tune was written and first recorded in 1973 by Tom Waits, the American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Released on his debut record, Closing Time. The Eagles covered “Ol’ ’55” in 1974, with lead vocals by Glenn Frey and Don Henley, and pedal steel guitar by Al Perkins. 

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Waits himself stated that he didn’t mind for the Eagles cover of his tune, describing it “antiseptic.” But Tom Waits isn’t an obvious character to please. While he sustains more of a cult audience, he lingers for the most part in the background of the mainstream music scene. 

Tom Waits is a known strong anti-commercialism and despises the usage of popular songs in advertising. This has directed to several lawsuits he has taken against corporations for using his music without consent. He has won lawsuits against Frito Lay, Levi Strauss & Co., Audi, Adam Opel AG, and – in any event, irrelevant to his career – the Los Angeles Police Department. You just don’t mess with Tom Waits!

You can listen to the song below: