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This song was originally written and recorded in 1973 by Tom Waits, the American singer-songwriter, composer and actor. It was released on his debut album, Closing Time. The Eagles covered "Ol' '55" in 1974, with lead vocals by Glenn Frey and Don Henley, and pedal steel guitar by Al Perkins. Waits himself said that he didn't care for the Eagles cover of his song, calling it "antiseptic." But Tom Waits isn't an easy person to please. While he maintains more of a cult following, he stays for the most part in the background of the mainstream music scene. He is aggressively anti-commercialism, and detests the practice of using popular songs in advertising. This has led to a number of lawsuits he has brought against corporations for using his work without permission. He has won cases against Frito Lay, Levi Strauss & Co., Audi, Adam Opel AG, and - in an incident unrelated to his career - the Los Angeles Police Department. Don't mess with Tom Waits!
Other famous covers of "Ol' '55" include singer-songwriter Eric Andersen in the 1970s, and Sarah McLachlan on her 1994 album The Freedom Sessions. It is McLachlan's version that is used on the soundtrack of the 1995 film Boys on the Side.
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Susanna Hoffs - "Eternal Flame"
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