Back in the Crowd

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"Back in the Crowd"
Tom Waits - Back in the Crowd single.jpg
Single by Tom Waits
from the album Bad as Me
ReleasedSeptember 27, 2011 (2011-09-27)
FormatDigital download
GenreRock, Latin
LabelANTI-, Epitaph[1]
Songwriter(s)Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan
Producer(s)Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan
Tom Waits singles chronology
"Bad as Me"
"Back in the Crowd"

"Back in the Crowd" is a song by American rock musician Tom Waits. It is the second single and seventh track from Waits' seventeenth studio album, Bad as Me.[2][3] Written and produced by Waits and his wife Kathleen Brennan, the song was released on September 27, 2011 as a digital download via iTunes and Spotify.[4]


"Back in the Crowd" is a guitar-driven Latin-influenced midtempo ballad.[5] It features guitar work from Los Lobos guitarist and vocalist David Hidalgo and longtime collaborator Marc Ribot.[4]

Tom Waits described the song as "an old fashioned jukebox tune for a slow dance with your girl (or guy)."[3][6]

Critical reception[edit]

Upon its release, the song received mainly positive reviews. Thom Jurek of Allmusic described the song as "the wasted lover's plea in the West Texas mariachi."[7] Filter magazine wrote: "the song is obviously short and oftentimes tinged with bittersweetness", also adding that "Waits' deep croon evokes the sadness found in the song's mellow melody and lyrics."[8] Luke Larsen of Paste magazine praised the song, reporting that "the song sort of just casually shows up and then disappears, but its mood is infectious."[9] Katie Hasty of Hitfix described the song as a "The Southwestern, nylon-string-enhanced loner ballad" and "a trending bawler," also further explaining that "she just slow-danced by herself and had a good cry."[10] Michael Roffman of Consequence of Sound indicated that "the song doesn’t sound like a track that’s on an album titled Bad as Me", while commenting that it is "most likely something your grandparents danced to after the war."[11]


Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop Flanders)[12] 73


  1. ^ ""Back in the Crowd" in Anti Records". Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  2. ^ "Tom Waits - "Back in the Crowd"". Exclaim!. September 27, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "New Tom Waits Single Available". The Quietus. September 27, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Breihan, Tom (Sep 27, 2011). "Tom Waits – "Back In The Crowd"". Stereogum. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  5. ^ Mallika, Rao (September 28, 2011). "Tom Waits' 'Back In The Crowd,' Second Track Off 'Bad As Me'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  6. ^ Murray, Robin (September 27, 2011). "Tom Waits Releases New Single". Clash. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  7. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Tom Waits - Back in the Crowd". Allmusic. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  8. ^ "LOOK: Tom Waits Is "Back In The Crowd"". Filter. September 27, 2011. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  9. ^ Larsen, Luke (September 28, 2011). "Hear new Tom Waits song, "Back in the Crowd"". Paste. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  10. ^ Hasty, Katie (September 27, 2013). "Listen: Tom Waits' 'Back in the Crowd' is a bawler". Hitfix. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  11. ^ Roffman, Michael (September 27, 2011). "Check Out: Tom Waits – "Back in the Crowd"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  12. ^ " - Tom Waits - Back In The Crowd". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on December 16, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2012.

External links[edit]