The 70s were an interesting time for the world. Wars were being fought in Asia, while in America, we were going through a pretty turbulent time politically. A lot of that struggle was told through the art for the generations to come. Documents and lessons can say one thing about the major events, but its the songs and art that come from this time that really show the character and personality of the people.
One of the more influential figures of the 70s was rock legend Tom Waits. Already riding off of four fairly successful records, he deemed it time to change. His fifth album, 1978's Blue Valentine is a big stylistic change for him, but also a sign of the times. Tom Waits told the tale of the ordinary man in Blue Valentine through bluesy tones and a sobering look into his songs.
Blue Valentine is considered a turning point for Waits' music. It's starkly different from his previous records with its more stripped down and raw approach. The song that opens the record is 'Somewhere,' from the famous film West Side Story, brings the record in with beautiful symphonies backing Waits' deep and raspy voice in a brilliant contrast. The roughness of his vocals and the crystalline nature of the strings really creates a special magic.