The Black Rider (1993)
A collection of songs originally written to accompany an avant-garde play (penned by Junkie author and arch-weirdo William S Burroughs), based on a 19th century German opera; what could possibly go wrong? Not without precedent, Waits had previously written music to accompany his own stage play (1987’s Frank’s Wild Years), and would do so again for 2002’s more palatable Alice and Blood Money albums. Divorced from the source material, however, these songs are buried beneath gales of dissonant brass and woodwind, with the guitar and banjo of PJ Harvey/Eels sideman Joe Gore being all but lost amongst this rather unlovable racket.
Recommended track: Crossroads