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
Released September 27, 2011 (2011-09-27)
Format Digital download
Genre Rock, Latin
Length 2:49
Label ANTI-, 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"
"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]