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.