79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you alone?
If so, get a jug of wine, sit on the floor and let this cd slip into your soul. A suffocating, stately meditation on missed connections. Why this isn't a staple on the jukebox of every crummy dive bar in America, I have no idea. Its about going out or away because thats what you know best-and feeling the emptiness that it invites. Piano, sax, crooning, the West Side...
Published on January 23, 2002 by Ronald Battista
2 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Essential, yet partially formed brilliance that is Tom Waits
While the album has some stand out classics (the heart of saturday night being the best by miles) Waits has been on better form, and from subsequent albums develop his style further. Comparing this to some of his other early phase albums, (blue valentine, small change, etc.) this is filled with some fairly average tunes. Stick to "the asylum years"...
Published on September 3, 1998 by email@example.com
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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you alone?,
This review is from: Heart of Saturday Night (Audio CD)If so, get a jug of wine, sit on the floor and let this cd slip into your soul. A suffocating, stately meditation on missed connections. Why this isn't a staple on the jukebox of every crummy dive bar in America, I have no idea. Its about going out or away because thats what you know best-and feeling the emptiness that it invites. Piano, sax, crooning, the West Side Highway,your beat up car, 4am at the bodega, its all here. Waits has got to be the most eloquent articulator of loss Ive ever heard.
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legendary !,
This review is from: Heart of Saturday Night (Audio CD)This is some of the saddest music I've ever heard. Tom's second disc still holds up magnificantly. Back in his early years he was the bourbon/blues piano playing sad sack who could put into words what few others could. Yeah, we all know how he's changed his style over the years, but for me, this lounge lizard's first few disc's are what I consider some of the best music ever written. A timeless classic!
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great For Lonley Nights Or With A Special Friend,
This review is from: Heart of Saturday Night (Audio CD)This album has see me through many sad lonely nights. But the real time this music works its magic is when you have a woman to share it with. I'm telling you guys, put this on in the background and they swoon. Any girl who doesn't simply isn't worth the trouble.
And if you just love Tom Waits, well that's enough of an excuse in my mind. It's jazzy, it's bluesy, it's Waits! And that alone can't be beat.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Waits to get this one!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Heart of Saturday Night (Audio CD)I see Tom Waits as having 3 "periods". His mellow bluesy, folky period, which this and Closing time are from. Then he went to his beatnik, Kerouac thing with some added blues and jazz which was Foreign Affair, Blue Valentine, Small Change, and Heart Attack and Vine. Then he went to his insane, original, way off the beaten path, anti-commercial period starting with SwordfishTrombones, Frank's Wild Years, and the rest of the later stuff, which got way too bizarre for me. If you like his later stuff you won't like this album if you are expecting the same thing. He hadn't even tried his Louie Armstrong 9 pack a day gravel voice yet on this album. I really like the songs on this album, which I think are his best, but many would probably disagree. I think he started out writing music that he thought people would like and gradually started caring less and less as his career spanned the decades. He really is one of the most talented artists ever to make a record and you have to admit he's a genius even if he might be "too far out there" to connect with, at least his later 90's stuff. This album is very tame compared to all the others, even his beatnik stuff. I don't think Tom ever had a Billboard top 100 song as far as I know, but a few songs on this album probably had the best chance of any of them. Well, as a conclusion, if you don't have a Tom Waits cd you really are missing one of the best writers out there!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars into the heart of the matter.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Heart of Saturday Night (Audio CD)On Wait's second release his "hobo drinking carousing poet image" starts to form. Later he will undergo more changes, each one brilliant. But "Heart of Saturday Night" is his most romantic album. Be it the love of a truck driving man (Semi Suite), a beautiful ballad of yearning (San Diego Serenade) to one of the best sea analogy love songs ever written (Shiver Me Timbers), Tom delivers. Great musicianship, personal and emotional singing... all make this a wonderful addition to any music fan's collection. And you get this line to boot: "if I excorcised my devils, I'm afraid my angels would leave too". How can you resist that?
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart of Saturday Night,
By A Customer
This review is from: Heart of Saturday Night (Audio CD)In 1978, with Disco at its peak, I played my copy of this album until I wore it out. At times, Tom Waits was singing about my life. "Please Call Me Baby" was about me and my frustrated love during a California Winter that wouldn't stop raining, living in Salinas, a California coastal cow town from hell. "Shiver Me Timbers..." was how I ended up there. It means so much more to me today, in 1999. My traveling took me around the world and eventually to San Francisco. Disco was the music of my generation, but the brilliance of Tom Waits is still with me today, and will be with me forever. His stories are simultaneously universal, personal, intimate and timeless...to me, he is a genius.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars listen to it,
This review is from: Heart of Saturday Night (Audio CD)This is a damn tough album to "review". You could say it's got this (draggin blues piano, hints of smok-y jazzz, blahblah), or that (Waits' trademark gravelly growl), but it's so much more. There's emotion behind every song, and the musicianship (albeit sloppy at times) that matches. You could never walk into a dive bar and catch this guy sitting at the piano, or speaking his narratives; it'd just be too perfect. I picture Tom walking thru the night, looking for his salvation, redemption, and only finding it occaisionally. Moments of clarity separated by reflection and despondency. The Heart of Saturday Night is ragged around the edges, but if you listen close, it's all gold. 5/5 stars, all the way.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking for the heart,
This review is from: Heart of Saturday Night (Audio CD)Still singing in the bluesy-jazzy serenade that he abandoned by his next album, this is Tom Waits the Barstool Philosopher at his best. The instrumentation is mostly his jazzy piano with occasional backing from strings, and a cabaret rhythm section. Some of his best early songs are on here, including New Coat of Paint, San Diego Serande, the incredible title track, and the winning semi-spoken-word piece, Diamonds On My Windshield (seemingly a blueprint for many of his later songs.) He never quite returned to songs of this particular type again (certainly not with this voice), and it is good to go back and see that he wrote great songs of this type. Moving away from the ballads and "midnight lullabies" on his first album, this collection houses a very poignant set of lyrics that set the scenes omnipresent on his first album (indeed, on all of them up to Swordfishtrombones) to poetry. There are quite a few good lines on this album, and his vocals are some of his most affecting. Although it's not as interesting or sprawling as some of his later, better albums, The Heart of Saturday Night is nonetheless a fine Tom Waits album, and is very good at what it does. Any fan will want to pick it up, and it truly is a soundtrack for when you are looking for the heart of Saturday night.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential,
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This review is from: Heart of Saturday Night (Audio CD)An absolute indesputable classic. Among the best of the songer/songwriter, Pop/Rock albums - ever. And in the midst of the flowering of the best of that genre - quite a feat. Tom Waits never topped this masterpiece - though Small Change was close. His voice is moving and genuinely emotional - long before he later became a parody of himself. This folks, is great songwriting.
My one caveat is that the recording could use a re-mastering to contemporary standards. Obviously the CD is a direct transfer from the original record master - dull and thuddy. But dispite this, Waits' early genius shines through.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars: Beautiful stuff!,
This review is from: Heart of Saturday Night (Audio CD)I bought this CD after hearing "Please Call Me Baby" in the movie "Keeping the Faith" (the one with Ed Norton and Ben Stiller). I didn't know it was a Tom Waits tune; but my friend with whom I was with did, and he told me: "You've got to get you some Tom Waits." He had just returned from a study-abroad sojourn to Italy, and I guess they're just crazy for Tom Waits over there.
Anyway, I picked this album up after another friend recommended it to me. That was about a month ago. Now I have five Tom Waits albums. As you've probably discerned from other reviews, Waits has (arguably) two or three different periods, ranging from accessible blues/jazz-based barroom tales and beatnik-like poetry to his heavily percussive, fragmented "avant-garde" phase. An interesting project would be to trace what has remained the same in his music throughout his career--because to be honest, if you put on a record like "Heart of Saturday Night" and then listen to something like "Bone Machine" or "Swordfishtrombones", you'll be hard-pressed to spot any ostensible likenesses (which is why I think it'd be interesting to dig into the music and see if there are any likenesses in such disparate music).
Anyway, I'm getting long-winded here. If you've yet to purchase a Tom Waits album, I think this'd be a good start; it encapsulates his world view--as expressed through his music, at least--quite succinctly. It's very sweet music, without being saccharine. Plus the level of musicianship is very high for a "pop" album--as it is on all of his albums. I also dig the inclusion of horns on some tracks--something I don't think he's really pursued on other albums. Anyway, buy this album and you won't be disappointed. Then go and get "Heartattack and Vine" or "Small Change"--that should prime you for his "Swordfishtrombones" and "Rain Dogs" phase. Happy listening!
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