Album #472 – Heartattack & Vine

Album #472

Heartattack and Vine was for many years Tom Waits’ biggest selling album in the US. It is a mixture of acoustic blues, raunchy jazz and lush, string ballads. At the heart of it all is Waits’ voice, which makes his lyrics indecipherable at this point in his career. It’s probably because of the amount of cigarettes he was smoking. But, the emotion in these songs is not lost. Waits, through his voice, can set the tone of the song better than anyone. Obviously because Waits was writing these tunes, it’s easy for him to relate to these songs. The most well known song Waits wrote from this album is Jersey Girl, which has become a live favorite for Bruce Springsteen. Heartattack and Vine would make Waits a songwriting force into the 1980’s. While his contemporaries were playing with synthesizers, Waits stayed true to the roots of rock and roll. He would continue to experiment with other sounds but the sounds you hear on Heartattack and Vine, have always been a huge part of his music. Other highlights include: Heartattack and Vine, In Shades, Downtown, Til The Money Runs Out, Mr. Siegal and Ruby’s Arms. Overall, I give Heartattack and Vine, 5 out of 5.

Next: Signing Off by UB40

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