The Black Rider
Label: Island Records
Like those on Frank's Wild Years, these songs were written specifically for a stage production by the same name -- but unlike that record, The Black Rider was a bust. Maybe there were too many creative cooks in the kitchen (the story was a German folktale that had already been made into an opera by Carl Maria von Weber, which inspired the English version by William S. Burroughs and director Robert Wilson), but the play, and Waits' score, met tepid reactions. As a standalone LP, it's manically scattered; if there's one record in his collection to skip, this is it.