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Heart Attack & Vine

Tom WaitsAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

Price: $18.56 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 2008 $8.99  
Audio CD, 1990 $18.56  
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Tom Waits and Keith Richards from SON OF ROGUES GALLERY


Tom Waits, according to the esteemed American critic Robert Hilburn, is “clearly one of the most important figures of the modern pop era.” Such sentiments are not mere hyperbole; in a career that now spans four decades and over 20 albums, Tom Waits has emerged as an extraordinary innovative force, a singular voice whose music remains determinedly—and even ... Read more in Amazon's Tom Waits Store

Visit Amazon's Tom Waits Store
for 106 albums, 7 photos, videos, and 1 full streaming song.

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Frequently Bought Together

Heart Attack & Vine + Closing Time + Small Change
Price for all three: $36.98

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  • Closing Time $8.44
  • Small Change $9.98

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002GWR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,753 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Heartattack And Vine
2. In Shades
3. Saving All My Love For You
4. Downtown
5. Jersey Girl
6. 'Til The Money Runs Out
7. On The Nickel
8. Mr. Siegal
9. Ruby's Arms

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

1 x CD Album, Reissue

1Heartattack And Vine4:42
2In Shades4:04
3Saving All My Love For You3:39
5Jersey Girl5:09
6'Til The Money Runs Out4:20
7On The Nickel6:17
8Mr. Siegal5:13
9Ruby's Arms5:35

Tom Waits's hipster persona began to evaporate at the beginning of the '80s, but not before he released the transitional but eminently worthwhile Heartattack and Vine, which contained "On the Nickel," a Dickensian tale of street life, and "Jersey Girl," a song Bruce Springsteen gave a far wider airing to on his Live 1975-1985 box set. You can hear hints of Waits's style growing more trenchant on songs like "Downtown" and the stark, bluesy title track, which contains the immortal line "Don't you know there ain't no devil / That's just God when he's drunk." Indeed. --Daniel Durchholz

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Of His Most Breathtaking Lyrics July 4, 2004
Format:Audio CD
No matter what style of music Tom Waits' experiments with, his strongest card is always his lyrics. Before this album, I always found "Closing Time" to be the album that best captures whimsical lyrics of romance, heartbreak, and past loves (no matter how coarse and cynical you may be, try getting through "Martha" or "Grapefruit Moon" without feeling a tug-of-a-heartstring).
Where "Closing Time" had a unique mix of jazz, country, and a smattering of blues, "Heartattack & Vine" plays a harder blues style throughout most of the CD. The songs that steal the show, however, steer away from that raw-blues style.
"Jersey Girl" is an acoustic piece that is an atypical Tom Waits love song. The surprise is that it is a love song by Tom Waits without sarcasm, pining or regret, yet it sounds very much like Tom Waits. And while not a sad song, it is still quite the tearjerker. Perhaps this is because of Waits' gutteral character singing all-out vulnerable worship for the blue-collar Jersey Girl he has fallen in love with. One of the greatest love songs ever written.
"On The Nickel" contains probably the most devastating and beautiful lyrics I have ever heard. "The Nickel" refers to a section of Fifth Street in Downtown Los Angeles that was gathering place for the homeless and down-&-out folks during the depression era. The song is the title score for the 1980 film by Ralph Waite. The music rings like a childrens' lullaby, with the words harking to the days when these now hapless "Nickel" characters were just little boys running amok and making mischief.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, gritty, and ironic January 1, 2007
Format:Audio CD
HEARTATTACK AND VINE offers a preview of the Waits to come: the CLOSING TIME and BLUE VALENTINE Waits evolving into the SWORDFISHTROMBONES and RAIN DOGS Waits. It features the gritty, life on the street characters of his previous work (especially the elloquent "On the Nickel"), but starts to do so in a different fashion. The title track and "Mr. Siegal" are bluesy romps (the former declaring that "There ain't no Devil, there's just God when He's drunk"). "Jersey Girl" borders on pop balladry, while "Ruby's Arms" is simply a melodic stunner.

The Devil's in the details, though, and that's where HEARTATTACK truly shines. Listen, why don't you, to the "sha la la" chorus of "Jersey Girl." The passionate urgency Waits puts into his vocals borders on parody, yet rings with the angst of a man yearning for the woman he loves, the one bright point in an otherwise bleary day. The way he growls out the title track, and the tender way he croons the line "I'll prolly be arrested when I'm in my grave, but I'll be saving all my love for you", showcase his emerging talent for delivering lines with ironical perfection. HEARTATTACK is a transitional record, but it is definitely one worth owning. One of his best, actually.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic in every sense of the word-one of THE best. December 17, 2004
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Do it. Buy it! The only thing you'll regret is that you didn't do it before. This is not just one of HIS bests, it's one of THE bests-ever-in whatever genre you want to put Waits' music into. He goes from pulling tears out of you to making you tap your feet and snap your fingers to the most outrageous Waitsonian visions you have ever heard: "...When the b____ is wound up, And her parents are gone, Man you ought to hear her with the siren on." And the details!!! In Saving All My Love For You, he writes, "I spent $15.00 on a prostitute, With too much make-up and a broken shoe..." Even at his most tender, writing the sweetest lullabye, "On The Nickle," he throws in bits about being in jail and poker games. This is a MUST HAVE. Do it. I have to admit, I'm pretty new to Wait's music, I loved Closing Time and Nighthawks, but this one...this is beyond description! I have to agree with another reviewer, this is maybe the best album ever made.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A high point in a great career December 31, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Waits is the greatest writer of ballads in America, maybe the world, and this album showcases four of his best. "On The Nickel" and "Jersey Girl" are both stunning and alone they are worth the price of purchase. But there is not a weak song in the lot. Really gritty blues and r&b on tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 interchanged with his ballads on 3, 5, 7, and 9. It's the culmination of his work of the seventies, before he started getting truly weird and experimental.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five beautiful ballads December 3, 2002
Format:Audio CD
This was the place I discovered the magic of Tom Waits. I appreciate his flowing ballads more than his talking blues style, and this album has plenty of both. Saving All My Love For You is a magnificent example of the former, and so is Jersey Girl, later covered by Bruce Springsteen. The words are sheer poetry. On The Nickel is another gem, with intricate arrangement and beautiful instrumentation, while Mr Siegel is a raucous mixture of both styles, and a brilliant achievement at that. This excellent album concludes with Ruby's Arms, a tender, moving ballad.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tell me brave captain, why are the Wicked so Strong? November 17, 2003
Format:Audio CD
This album bleeds with lyrical genius...or maybe it's just the Satanist in me...Truly though, the lines are beautiful: "How do the angels get to sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on", and "Don't you know there ain't no devil, there's just god when he's drunk". I never thought I'd have a favorite album in my life, or a favorite song. There's just too much good stuff out there. But after swimmin' around in this one for awhile there wasn't any chance of escaping. I'll always find myself on Heartattack and Vine, with Mr. Siegal my best and only friend. It's passion, it's love, it's blues, it's vegas, it's being drunk, it's the ups and downs of life's great roller coaster all summed up in one album. When you find yourself at the bottom of bargain scotch you can crank these tunes out, and
trust me, you'll feel like Tom is right there with you. I used to play this album daily at a bar I worked at in Edinburgh Scotland. Those crazy drunkards really loved it to death, which says alot more than any review here can.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars delivered in perfect condition. For those who enjoy Waits' work
Exactly the product I wanted, delivered in perfect condition.
For those who enjoy Waits' work, this album is a treat. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Wallace Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite phrase is "I stole my neighbors truck and drove ...
My favorite phrase is "I stole my neighbors truck and drove it through the mud".
A great performer. Read more
Published 20 days ago by jtmc
5.0 out of 5 stars No good; huh good enough for me ...
Unique musical talent, the instrumentation sooo garage-ish. And the lyrics / vocals... only Tom Waits could write songs like these.
Published 4 months ago by Gerry Mullen
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Waits Heart Attack & Vine
This is such a great seedy urban album full of city songs about whores, broken hearts and drinking, this whole album is great. Rather than his typical setting of underbelly L.A. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Timothy A. Van Huss
5.0 out of 5 stars I am an avid Tom Waits fan!!!!
This is one of his best in my opinion. I also have the LP. Any true Tom Waits fan can't go wrong!!
Published 19 months ago by C. A. Bergman
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe Tom at his best
If you are a Tom Waits fan, you should own this. If you are not a fan, you should be. Why doesn't he do "Downtown" live? Best lyrics he ever did.
Published 21 months ago by DougB
4.0 out of 5 stars Still great regardless of retrospective distortion...
If someone wanted to cleave Tom Waits' career in two like a big yuletide log or a big steamy potato, somewhere between 1980's "Heartattack and Vine" and 1983's "Swordfishtrombones"... Read more
Published on January 10, 2012 by ewomack
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe Not His Best . . .
. . . but still pretty good. More like an overview of Waits' career to this point (1980), there are gravelly rockers, weepy ballads & creepy characters galore. Read more
Published on October 26, 2011 by Edwin W. Skinner, Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart Attack is fine
The bridge between the jazz of the seventies and Tom's magic Eighties period H&V has an undercurrent of bluesy slow rock that backs his demented beat-poet accounts of back-street... Read more
Published on August 6, 2011 by Eddie Grace
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Tom Waits' Best
I am not a fan of everything Tom Waits does, but this album is packed with great songs. If you're looking for a first Tom Waits album to buy, this one and "Closing Time" are... Read more
Published on January 22, 2011 by Terry Newcomb
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