Heartattack and Vine AUS-Import
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1980 album includes "Ruby's Arms" and "On The Nickel".
Tom Waits's hipster persona began to evaporate at the beginning of the 1980s, 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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Waits sequenced this album like a gourmet chef who knows the delicacy of the musical pallate. The songs will fluctuate effortlessly from swamps of electric guitar and funky drum beats, as on the unforgettable title track, to some of his most memorable piano ballads ever. If you like his more agressive music, get this album, if you like the softer side of Tom Waits, get this album too. Something for everyone.
The album's clear dividing line between rock and jazz foreshadows the more theatrical output to come, such as the baffling Swordfishtrombones of 1983 or the downright cryptic Bone Machine of 1992. Heartattack and Vine is the gem in between periods of Wait's career, and it is an absolute obligation for anyone who wants to know why this musical madman has one of the most loyal cult followings in the world.
The ballady tunes, with the exception of Waits' best song ever "Jersey Girl", feel like throwbacks to Small Change musically as well as lyrically, with weepy strings and hammy first-person accounts of misery. The blues ones are about strange characters and places, rather than strange doings.
Most of his harder songs sound the same, and most of his ballads feel out of place... but still, there are some good songs on here. "Jersey Girl" is absolutely incredible. "Heartattack and Vine" is the best heavy tune on here, with "Mr. Siegal" a close second. And, I'll admit it, I really like "Ruby's Arms" -- another song in which makes an anthem from the inglorious (sneaking out of your sleeping girlfriend's house).
All in all, still worth a listen.
Once I started listening to this CD I was pretty much blown away. It was like I had found buried treasure, or I had been suddenly made well after a long illness. It was Glorious! I felt like falling on my knees and thanking God or whoever had made this possible. I felt like music wasn't dead after all, there are still true artists out there, making beautiful music, I think I'll be buying a lot of Tom Wait's CD's in the future. I don't think they'll all be as good as this one, but I can hope.
Most recent customer reviews
If you don't have ``Small Change'' and for some unknown reason refuse to get it, then HeartAttack & Vine is the quintessential Tom Waits. Read morePublished on Aug. 17 2008 by John R. Vokey
There is no other album, except perhaps Thunder Road which moves me as much. Tom Waits has a talent for making even the most mundane, simple, cliched words become poetic. Read morePublished on July 15 2004
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... Read morePublished on July 4 2004 by K. Brown
For those of you who haven't experienced Mr. Waits before, please allow yourself to get past the wickedly raspy vocals before judging this genius (much as you would Bob Dylan). Read morePublished on Dec 23 2003 by Rollie Anderson
If push had to come to shove and I was forced to choose just one definitive album above all others to keep forever - this would be it. Read morePublished on Dec 29 2002 by Russell Harris
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. Read morePublished on Dec 3 2002 by Peter Uys
Funny, I've got tons of CD's and tapes, but this is the one
I listen to every day. Just gotta have my "Jersey Girl," "On The Nickel," "Saving All My... Read more
With the release of this very strong album in 1980, it became clear that Tom Waits was trying to sneak out of the artistic corner that he had put himself in. Read morePublished on May 23 2002 by Bill R. Moore
Heartattack and Wine foresees the radical changes that Waits were gonna make in his music in the 80's. You can feel traces of more experimenting lineup and vocal. Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2001 by Christian Jorgensen