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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Heartattack And Vine

Tom Waits

1980

Heartattack And Vine

Album Summary

Heartattack and Vine is the seventh studio album by Tom Waits, released on September 9, 1980, and his final album to be released on the Asylum label. "On the Nickel" was recorded for the Ralph Waite film of the same name. It was later used as the theme song for the 1985 "The Atlanta Child Murders" miniseries. "Heartattack and Vine" was covered by Screamin' Jay Hawkins. In 1993 this version was used without Waits' permission in a Levi's commercial, for which Waits took legal action and won a settlement. Jean-Luc Godard used "Ruby's Arms" in his 1983 film First Name: Carmen. Bruce Springsteen performed "Jersey Girl" live (and was joined onstage by Waits to sing it on August 24, 1981), including it in his retrospective "Live/1975–85".

Wikipedia

Rating

3.11

Votes

5027

Genres

  • Folk
  • Rock
  • Singer Songwriter
Reviews
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Tue May 11 2021
2

Dude sounds like that blue CGI alien in Star Wars episode 6 after George tinkered with them. Just goofy

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Wed Feb 10 2021
5

Awesome album. Sent me down a very long and enjoyable Tom Waits hole

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Fri Apr 01 2022
5

Boy, do I love Tom Waits's ability to paint a scene. This album sounds like a lovesick drunk at an all-night diner in a cold, windy city full of shady characters.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
5

Love this. It’s about as Tom Waits as you can get. I’m partial to “Small Change”, which is far and away my favorite Waits album it sits right in the middle of my favorite Waits years (73-85), the very beginning of his discography. It’s raw, bluesy, gritty, powerful, and has that Waits twist so common of that era. He takes some getting use to, but all in all, a fantastic listen.

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Thu Apr 22 2021
4

Love this. Get that his style of Bluesy jazz won't be for everyone but its the sort of album you can get lost in. The story telling, the song writing and the delivery is pretty much perfect. Waits brings the dive bars and the gutters to life, even makes them appealing at times. My only gripe is the fading out of songs and the instrumental track which wasn't needed. Great stuff from a genuine artist. 4/5

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Mon Jun 20 2022
4

I think it was a reviewer from the Rolling Stone who said that Tom Waits can find more beauty in the gutter than most people would find in the Garden of Eden. That is a perfect description of his sound. He is definitely one of the greatest lyricists of the past 50 years. There’s so many clever lines on this album alone. ' Don’t you know there ain’t no devil, there’s just god when he’s drunk' from the title track is the first one that comes to mind. ' you got to tell me brave captain, why are the wicked so strong, how do the angels get to sleep, when the devil leaves the porchlight on' from “Mr. Seigal” is just another. I always see a good deal of criticism about Tom Wait’s voice but it’s perfect for the subject matter that he writes about. Can you imagine these lyrics having the same kind of impact being sung by someone like Robert Plant or Roger Daltrey. His arrangements on here are spot on too. There’s a unique sound to them as well which fits in perfectly with the subject matter and his voice. I knew a few of his albums on this list but this one was new to me. I can totally see why it's included.

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Tue Apr 27 2021
3

Ok this one's really hard. I enjoyed the contrast of the jazzy and sometimes even whimsical music with the gritty skid row stories in a gravelly delivery. But while sometimes detailed, other times the lyrics were lazy and redundant and when the vocals went from gravelly to gutteral it became too much. Interesting listen though and I was intrigued throughout the album to continue listening for what was next.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
2

Tom Waits makes Bruce "King Mumbles" Springsteen sound like a paragon of enunciation. Holy crap. People pay this guy to sing?! I mean, it has a certain kitsch but geeze. I found myself struggling to understand what the hell he was saying and I listen to hardcore metal where the vocalists are often screaming sentence fragments instead of singing. From a musicality standpoint, the songs are great and the recording quality is on point. It's just Ol' Tom's singing ... it's hard to get through sometimes. There are a few killer tracks on here where Tom's voice isn't ... as bad. "Downtown" is a great song. So is the title track, "Heartattack And Vine" (though I prefer the Screamin' Jay Hawkins cover). But "Saving All My Love For You" is almost unlistenable. And it's not the only track dragging this album's score down.

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Tue May 17 2022
1

His voice would be better suited to Mongolian Throat Singing.

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Sun Jul 10 2022
5

Poetry. Some Dylan inspired lyrics, much darker and much more urban. Often visceral, often decadent working class drunk storytelling. Scorching vocals. Unique, creative metaphores. One of a kind.

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Wed Aug 10 2022
5

Excited to give this a second listen. I really enjoyed this album. It is like you get to get a look into the mind of the gutter of society, and it doesn't feel inauthentic, or judgmental - just raw. I love the bare bones music, and there is a lot of emotion in his voice, even if some can't get past it. He swings from a song about a wasted guy who got 27 stiches in his head, potentially committing suicide, or spending all of his money on a hooker - or both - running from something - or everything - to a lullaby that might be a songs that is critiquing lullabies, by also showing someone who didn't take to heart that he should have "combed his hair" - and is now in the gutter as a hobo (?) - to a heartbreaker about a breakup or a visit from a ghost. This is only the second album of his that I have engaged with, and I get the same feeling that I did after the first one I engage with - this guy is a genius songwriter. Again, I can't wait to revisit it and dig a little deeper, or have the meaning shift based on where my head is at. Heartattack and Vine: "Don't you know there ain't no devil, there's just God when he's drunk. This stuff will probably kill you, let's do another line." "Saving all my love for you" - I imagine a drunk, fuck-up wandering around town in the hours before dawn. Love it. Downtown - 9/10 - "It's the cool of the evening the sun's goin' down, I want to hold you in my Arms I want to push you around, I want to break your bottle and spill out all Your charms, come on baby we'll set off all the burglar alarms, goin' downtown Down downtown." - Did it before Matchbox 20 "Jersey Girl" - Didn't realize he wrote it. Better, more authentic than Springsteen's version. "Til the money runs out" - hell yes. Incredible lyrics. Wasted confusion, can dig into the meaning. Did the pointed man commit suicide? Or with a prostitute? Both? "On the nickel" - a lullaby? A critique of lullabyes? By a homeless guy who maybe should have taken the little things like combing his hair more seriously? Not run away from home? Dunno - it's all of those things -and it's great. Even Thomas Jefferson is down here with him - on the nickel. Mr. Siegal - " you got to tell me brave captain why are the wicked so strong how do the angels get to sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on" Ruby's Arms - Is he dead? A soldier? Is he greeting her as the wind, and taking her scarf off the clothesline? Leaving through her blinds, past the windchimes. A soldier? Or a rambling hobo leaving someone he loves, and it breaks his heart? Awesome.

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Tue Oct 04 2022
5

Tom Waits' voice is not for the fainthearted but, when one comes to terms with it, it can lead to some pretty drastic reconsideration. On Heartattack and Vine, there are several moments of upturned expectations when it comes to the songs that seem to not bring about greatness; yet when Tom belts with the passion and conviction, it's those two things that sends the songs into a place the listener doesn't expect them to be, like with Downtown, Jersey Girl and On the Nickel. Tom Waits is an acquired taste and may not be for everyone but, when he gets his hooks onto you, it's a enthralling ride.

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Fri Mar 19 2021
4

Really good music from a man with a voice like gargled glass.

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Tue Jul 13 2021
4

Sounds like Bruce Springsteen emerging from a vat of chemicals. I dig X-rated Bruce. Best enjoyed while walking through the wrong part of town with your red wings on. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

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Mon Jun 20 2022
4

Oh, Tom Waits. Every time I've listened to one of his albums, I need to get past the shock of his voice before I can appreciate the album. That first listen is always rough. But then I listen again and his voice starts to fit his music and his lyrics. With respect to his lyrics - always pay attention to his lyrics. That's where the power is - and then his voice fits. The first time I heard "On the Nickel" I noted "pretty song, weird voice." Then I listened again paying attention to the lyrics, learning that he's talking about being homeless on Skid Row ("on the nickel"). Then you hear his voice singing, "What becomes of all the little boys, who never comb their hair? They're lined up all around the block on the nickel over there." As someone with a teenage son who often seems aimless and sometimes leaves me worried about his future, that line is devastating. And Waits' voice just FITS with these portraits of the downtrodden and the seedy underbelly of life. Other great lines: "Don't you know there ain't no devil? There's just God when he's drunk" and "I'll probably get arrested when I'm in my grave." Also, I personally appreciate the line, "Nothin' else matters in this whole wide world, when you're in love with a Jersey girl." Can confirm.🙂 Overall, my advice is get past the shock of his voice (it's better than you think), pay attention to the lyrics, and enjoy the musical ride. Oh, crap. Am I becoming a Tom Waits fan??

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Thu Jul 28 2022
4

Never listened to Tom Waits before. He's got a very characteristic deep, dirty voice. Sounds like Captain Beefheart or white Louis Armstrong. He does actually hit some higher notes and sounds "normal". There are two types of songs on this album: the slow, emotional ones with strings, piano, etc, and the swingy jazzy greaser songs with Hammond organ, double bass and such. I dislike the slow songs because they just seem cheezy to me and his voice doesn't really fit them, but I do dig the greaser songs. They do follow a noticeable pattern of repeating every four bars but adding a new instrument/altering a melody line. The album is nice and varied, the vocals are original. It's for a specific audience.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
3

Tom waits for his Cornflakes, his Cheerios, his Weetos. He launches it all down his throat like your mum gobbling down uncle Mike's cock. He walks out into the on-coming traffic still in his dressing gown, his todger flapping in the cold morning mist. What's that you say, Jim? How's your nan doing? Still like a fist up her growler? Yeah, yeah mate, I'll be round later. Lend us a fiver? I'll have it back to you by next Wednesday when Rita pays me for the violin lessons she so desperately needs. She can't play a fuckin' note the poor cunt. Where's my butt plug gone? I had it an hour ago. Tom waits for Rita to come round. She loves to tickle her toes in the hours leading up to the event in the hope of getting a sausage sandwich out of Trevor. She never does. Tom cradles his young son in his arms and smokes a cigar. You like that don't you, Toby. Me and ya muvva don't like eachother anymore, but you'll keep us glued together until your infant death, which is due next week. Rita turns up, fanny hanging down round her ankles, channeling her inner Princess Anne. Tom is annoyed because he's already eaten half of his advent calendar in the time spent waiting. Rita slaps him and then beautifully plays the violin. She's been practicing. Tom realises she doesn't need him anymore and can't help but feel like he's been betrayed by his soon to be dead infant son, Toby. He snatches the fiver from Rita and stuffs it down Toby's neck. It snaps. Rita cries out in horror and runs away to Belgium's capital, Brussels. Just another day in paradise, ain't that right, Phil? Ain't that right? Toby you poor dead cunt.

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Fri Jun 11 2021
2

Great music and lyrics, but I just can't get over his singing style. It's very distracting and oftentimes incoherent. I get why people like him, it's just not for me.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
2

After hearing the soundman of Answer me This banging on about Tom Waits for what feels like forever, this is the first time I'm listening to an album by this man consciously. A lot of lyrics about girls and prostitutes so far. And that trademark smoker's gravel. A bit too melodramatic for my tastes? His "rough and rumble" songs are better than his cheesy love ditties. 1. "Heartattack and Vine" 4:50 - Good 2. "In Shades" (Instrumental) 4:25 - Great instrumental 3. "Saving All My Love for You" 3:41 - MEH too cheesy 4. "Downtown" 4:45 - Back to some of the gravel of the first track, good. Weird golem like screech lol. 5. "Jersey Girl" 5:11 - Back to meh cheese Side Two No. Title Length 1. "'Til the Money Runs Out" 4:25 - Back to gravel, nice hammond organ bits 2. "On the Nickel" 6:19 - BACK TO CHEESE 3. "Mr. Siegal" 5:14- Ok, too many refs to whores imho 4. "Ruby's Arms" - A christmas song. No. Basically this album is a whiplash... Can only appreciate the more gravelly stuff.

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Mon Jun 20 2022
2

Came dreading this because I hated the last Waits album I got, but believe I intended to be the most open minded about it… so it started good, the old exaggerated voice but nothing to bad, then a nice instrumental piece, I was kinda enjoying it and then it came the third track on which he sings as if he was about to puke, fucking awful and stupid, a couple of not so horrible songs and then again that ridiculous Jersey song and then again and so the damage is done. I’ll finish with the same sentence as the last time, I hope he damaged his vocal cords while recording this shit.

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Tue Jun 29 2021
1

This is the second Tom Waits album I've had the misfortune of listening to. 0 stars if I could. 1/10.

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Mon Apr 19 2021
5

Un album tres bon qui est hors de l’ordinaire. Beaucoup de cariete. J’ai l’8mpression que ca a donne un gros coup en sortant. Du moins, ca aurait du. 5

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Sun Feb 28 2021
5

Great

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Fri Apr 09 2021
5

Si fuera más joven a lo mejor hablaría de apropiación cultural y así. Pero ya estoy más allá del bien y del mal y ese tipo de discusiones me dan toda la hueva del mundo. Tom Waits suena como Howlin' Wolf acompañado de un puñado de músicos punk. Listo. Al final, lo que (me) importa es lo que haces con tus fuentes, tus ídolos y tus referencias. Y Tom Waits es una isla que alguna vez estuvo unida a tierra pero hace mucho que el estrecho fue invadido por el agua. Ya no quedan rastros. Flota y es. Es maravilloso este disco. Es oscuro, tiene groove, es romántico, en algunos momentos me recuerda a Spinetta. Me dieron ganas de ponerme un peda asquerosa escuchando esto en una noche calurosa en Chihuahua. Le pongo las 5 estrellas, le pondría más. Una constelación.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
5

Amé la voz y la vibra alcoholizada de este álbum

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Fri Mar 26 2021
5

Helped me relax after a crazy day at work.

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Wed Aug 11 2021
5

August 10, 2021 (Aug 19) I have to admit the singing is not quite what I'd want it to be (mostly from an enunciation perspective, I like the tone), but I just learned Tom Waits actually wrote two of my favourite songs and this album shows why. Definitely a certain mood but I'm into it!

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Wed Dec 15 2021
5

Niiiceee!

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Fri Feb 18 2022
5

Pretty much what I said about Swordfishtrombones applies here: Not everyone is going to like Tom, but if you do you are probably going to love him. I don't know that it's my favorite album by him but I don't know that I do have a favorite. It's a great time. What a one of a kind talent.

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Fri Apr 22 2022
5

Great example of his work

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Sat May 07 2022
5

Ó Tom. Það tók mig langan tíma að fatta þessa snilld sem hann skapar. En gademit, hann á hjarta mitt í dag. Frábær plata.

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Wed Jul 13 2022
5

The studio album before Tom Waits started to really go... "Tom Waits"... great blues record. If it doesn't hit, listen to another and Wait(s) for it. :)

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Thu Jul 28 2022
5

I love the Tom Waits slow vibe on this album. The tracks are musically different and Tom just can't help be a story teller. Ace stuff!

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Tue Aug 30 2022
5

Brilliant.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

Dirty, bluesy, soulful, emotional. Fucking awesome and super chill

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Tue Sep 20 2022
5

It's a stunning and beautiful album. Many of the songs I know very well, but others are new to me. If Tom Waits is new to you, I am so sorry you didn't grow up with it on the record player as I was so lucky to do then and now too. His voice and his sound are embedded into the soul fabric of my music heart. I love to hear it. If you've never seen it, please watch this Tom Waits video as it will make you laugh and just shows his range, his depth, and his humor! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9NWUqR5w_A

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Fri Sep 23 2022
5

Everything about the composition and flow just compliments the voice.

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

Very good, melancholic and rock and roll mixed in one album.

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Tue Oct 18 2022
5

Oh Tom, keep up the seedy work.

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Thu Nov 03 2022
5

Lovely album - got confused because of the Screaming Jay Hawkins and Bruce Springsteen covers (that they did of Tom Waits) so I thought I had already heard it before - but first time listen, first time love - Tom Waits always soothes my soul.

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Mon Nov 28 2022
5

Ruby's Arms and Jersey Girl are gorgeous.

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Fri Jul 16 2021
4

No one has a voice like Tom waits. Solid album not as rough around the edges as bone machine. Favorite tracks: Downtown, Til the Money runs out

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Sun Jun 06 2021
4

Very Raspy Voice. A artist singing blues like tunes with raunchy overtones. I really like it.

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Tue Apr 27 2021
4

Once you get past his muppet voice, the songs are pretty good

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Thu Jan 28 2021
4

Hard work but lovely under the crust

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Fri Feb 26 2021
4

Maybe the most "album" Tom Waits album I've listened to so far, and there's some really great tunes on here too.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
4

Makes me want to stay up drinking

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Mon May 17 2021
4

Glad to be exposed finally to one of this legend’s works! Up and down album. Very unique.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

Me ha parecido buen album, con toque muy personal entre blues y rock. Como a Mari, me han gustado más las canciones lentas, de hecho Ruby's Arms es mi preferida. Es curioso como en algunas canciones me recuerda a L. Cohen y en otras parece que estoy escuchando al Boss. En algunos temas abusa demasiado del efecto "caverna" en la voz.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

Primer disco completo que escucho de Tom Waits. Su voz aguardientosa siempre me ha gustado y aquí todo suena bastante bien. Como que sí me motivó a escuchar más del buen Tom. Creo que mi top fue justo "Heartattack and Vine", pero "Downtown" y ese himno desgarrador que es "Ruby's Arms". 9/10

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

Me ha parecido un descubrimiento de disco. Con esa voz rasgada a lo Joe Cocker, muy característica, Tom Waist nos regala un disco con temas Blues y unas baladas increíbles. Jersey Girl y Ruby's Arms se vienen conmigo para siempre por ser de esas canciones que son el hipno de un cantante.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
4

Netz

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

Voz heavy, buenos ritmos en varias canciones, letras chidas, pero la extendida presencia de baladas (?) sí me llevó a adelantarle a varias o incluso darle skip. Creo que la que más me gustó fue Heartattack and Vine. Mood: el come galletas meets poetas beat y blues

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Sat Apr 10 2021
4

I actually really enjoyed it, but it would have been way better if the singing didn't sound the way it did. 7 I guess, wish I could justify rating it higher, but I just can't see myself wanting to relisten to it

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Wed Feb 17 2021
4

A tough one to rate. Not my favourite Tom Waits album but good enough for a low 4 I think.

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Wed Jul 07 2021
4

I don’t get why this is considered lesser Waits, he seems so comfortable here and the atmosphere is so thick and palpable

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Thu Mar 25 2021
4

Great album. Waits writes some beautiful song. Listening to this got me on a Waits kick for the day.

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Sun Apr 04 2021
4

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Wed Mar 31 2021
4

Where the late night blues of his earlier albums ends and the experimental camp of his later albums begin.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
4

Por la portada yo esperaba una clase de sonido punk, pero fue totalmente diferente, ese sonido blues y esa voz aguardientosa sumado a los arreglos de cuerdas fue muy bueno, me ha gustado mucho este trabajo.

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Wed Jun 23 2021
4

22nd June 2021 Listened on the living room speaker in the morning with jen while working. I haven't listened to enough Tom Waites, love his voice. Can be a bit melancholy but some amazing lyrics and soulful ballads.

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Mon Mar 29 2021
4

9/10

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Sat Apr 03 2021
4

4/5

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

I love this album, and have so much more respect and understanding for Waits as an artist than before. Incredible.

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Sat Apr 10 2021
4

this tommy waits fella sure can write a song

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Wed May 12 2021
4

Pretty good variety in sound. Vocals are ok.

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Tue May 18 2021
4

Good Rock

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Tue Jun 01 2021
4

i like this

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Tue Jul 13 2021
4

This album is stellar, although it isn’t my favourite Tom Waits album it has one of his most known songs on it. I love his greasy blues rock dive bar songs on this album. It’s a nice pace between those and the softer tunes Highlights: heartattack and vine, jersey girl, mr.Siegal

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Tue Jul 13 2021
4

Tom Waits doing what he does best; crooning about love and the dirty parts of culture, letting his voice carry the songs with minimalistic music at times. I’ve always loved that he will craft a song and bring uncommon instruments to the forefront while pushing traditional instruments to the back. Lots of organ on this one. Will always have a huge soft spot for Jersey Girl, but everything else on this album is so solid. Heartattack and Vine and Downtown stand out for me.

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Thu Aug 12 2021
4

I like the minimal arrangements, funereal cadences, with a muted Hammond organ. A poetric barbarian. (7/10) Favourite Tracks: Jersey Girl, Ruby's Arms

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Thu Aug 19 2021
4

Solid as hell, dare I go later?? Mule variations?

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Mon Aug 30 2021
4

Not my fav is Wait’s work. Only the title track, Downtown, and Jersey Girl interest me, the rest feel like worse versions of other songs. It’s still all great but is also a bit short.

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Mon Aug 30 2021
4

This is a good album, and I frequently come back to many of these songs, especially "Heartattack and Vine" "Downtown" "Mr Siegal" and "Ruby's Arms." As an album it's a little too divided between rippers and sweetness, and perhaps not his peak in terms of songwriting. "Jersey Girl" and "On the Nickel" are wonderful songs too but I don't crave listening to them like I do some of the other songs on this album, or some of the other albums in his discography.

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Mon Sep 27 2021
4

By now it’s obvious this endeavour has listed pretty much anything Tom Waits had ever published. However, this one is a actually good!

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Wed Sep 29 2021
4

this was a great one. i knew his music a bit from back in the day (i used to close every edition of my radio show with I Don't Want To Grow Up - fun!), but this was an album i'd completely missed until today. jersey girl was an obvious standout, but i also really liked a few of the other less-played tracks. it's nice having an album that has a cohesive sound, but that doesn't all sound like the same song 14 times in a row. plus, you know, that raw, desperate sound he's got - and which, as near as i can make out, has never changed. he's somehow never found his salvation over all these years, but he's also never slipped from the edge.

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Fri Oct 15 2021
4

Waits' performative lyrics are classy, ​​but the performance isn't always perceived. But compared to Bone Machine, it is much more listenable. Also the bass line is perfect:)

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Mon Oct 25 2021
4

Muy bueno

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Mon Nov 15 2021
4

Good mix of up-tempo and slow. Especially liked the slow songs.

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Fri Nov 26 2021
4

'Rubys Arms' is more beautiful and heartbreaking than all of Adele's sad songs put together. I'm not a fan of his voice, but it didn't stop me from enjoying this album.

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Wed Dec 08 2021
4

Very entertaining. Such a unique sound. It is hard to take the album seriously, yet I found it endearing.

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Wed Jan 05 2022
4

I like boozy crooner TW more than weird jazzy TW, but this is just in the right spot before it gets TOO weird

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Wed Jan 12 2022
4

Tom Waits back catalogue has been one of the discoveries of this whole exercise for me.... I think this is now the third album, and whilst it hasn't got the weird grandeur of bone machine, it's once again a gravelly voiced work of art. 3 is enough though....let other artists in on the list!

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Fri Jan 21 2022
4

Heartattack and Vine by Tom Waits (1980) Tom Waits is a national treasure. He has the capability of finding sublime beauty in the feed bin of a sausage grinder. His poetry is not on a level of a Leonard Cohen or a Bob Dylan, but his conceptual freedom is superlative. Don’t try to put this album into a genre. The genre is Tom Waits. Heartattack and Vine is not quite as good as Bone Machine (1992) or Rain Dogs (1985), but it stands on its own as a fine representative piece of the Waits oeuvre. The cover art alone is worth buying the original LP, and you don’t even have to worry about getting it grimy, because it already is. Tube amp fuzz, nasty gravel vocals (with vibrato, no less), and a thespian engagement with his word pictures are completely convincing. His slower than slow pacing allows the blues to shine, highlighting every long, languid electric guitar riff bend. And there’s nothing sloppy in the production, from stylish Hammond organ and jazz piano, to tasteful orchestral tapestries (especially “Saving All My Love for You”, “Jersey Girl”, and “On the Nickel”). Theologians would be hard pressed to to refute his argument in “Heartattack and Vine” that “there ain’t no Devil, there’s just . . .” (I won’t spoil it for you). And while I have the attention of the preachers, let me ask (“Mr. Siegel”): “You got to tell me, brave captain Why are the wicked so strong? How do the angels get to sleep When the devil leaves his porch light on?” His slow-walking “Jersey Girl” (later covered [not as well] by Bruce Springsteen) is the ugliest beautiful Sha-la-la-love song ever. And “Ruby’s Arms” is likewise the sourest sweet farewell love song in the Great American Songbook (well, at least it oughta be). Give this a listen and tell me if I’m crazy. 4/5

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Mon Jan 24 2022
4

Best Song: Heartattack and Vine. Gritty and caustic blues-soaked track that kicks the album off well. Worst Song: In Shades. I don't listen to Tom Wats albums for instrumental tracks. Overall: For a big fan of Tom Waits, this feels like a transitional album, bridging between his earlier melodic stuff and his later grit-and-gravel delivery. For that reason, when he dips into softer tones (like on "Saving All My Love For You" and "On the Nickel") it feels a bit off. Like watching someone use the gnarliest motorcycle to go grocery shopping. Sure it'll get you there, but that's not what it was made for. In all, a good album, but not the Tom Waits album I'd have chosen to appear on the list.

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Thu Jan 27 2022
4

Fan van Tom Waits, op een of andere manier heb ik dit album altijd een beetje links laten liggen. Maar een onvervalste Waits-plaat is het!

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Mon Feb 07 2022
4

Tom transitioning from Boho jazz balladeer to skronky blues hobo.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

Excellent album - poignant & authentic.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
4

Underrated album

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Mon Mar 14 2022
4

What a unique musician. Loved Jersey Girl.

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Fri Mar 25 2022
4

It's a little heavy on the ballads, but it's still a great album. It's Tom Waits, the man is a national treasure.

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Fri Apr 01 2022
4

"Don’t you know there ain’t no devil? There’s just God when he’s drunk" Alternating Dive-Bar Shenanigans & Seedy Streets with Bizarre ballads. Although I'm not a fan of the sequencing, this album is ridiculously cool AF.

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Tue Apr 19 2022
4

Hell yeah.

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Fri Apr 22 2022
4

Most of Tom’s singing sounds like someone’s drunk uncle singing at a wedding, but the music itself is surprisingly good.

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Tue May 03 2022
4

Cool. Voice! I liked this album a bit more than some of his other live ones. Good sound, Def more blues focused

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Thu May 05 2022
4

Love his voice, wouldn't go winning any singing competitions but has found a sound and style that really compliments it

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Thu May 05 2022
4

The gifts! I love Tom Waits. This isn't even in my top 5 Tom Waits albums, but it's still great.

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Sun Jun 05 2022
4

4.25

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Fri Jun 10 2022
4

Not his best, but still worth a listen

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Fri Jun 10 2022
4

I’m conflicted about toms voice but I love the album 😂

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Wed Jun 15 2022
4

You either get Tom, or you don't.

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Mon Jun 20 2022
4

Yeah his voice still grates but he's almost a blend of Joe Cocker and Randy Newman on this album and that's not bad. Case in point Mr. Siegal. And his instrumental arrangements & playing are at least as good as those other guys. On the Nickel is beautiful. Ditto Ruby's Arms and Jersey Girl. Reminds you his greatest quality is songwriting and not many can match it. Heartattack and Vine and Downtown are more gritty but still really well-written. Saving all My Love for You is a cross between these two - gritty lyrics but heartbreaking arrangement. Did it just happen? Did I just become a Waits convert? I don't know but this is a good album.

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Mon Jun 20 2022
4

Me: I didn't care too much for this Tom Waits album. Randomizer: How about... ANOTHER Tom Waits album? Me: ... Hmmm...Umm... OK. Well, it's better I guess, but maybe I can listen to something else...? Randomizer: How about... ANOTHER Tom Waits album? Me: <throws arms into the air> what the hell? So here we are with ANOTHER Tom Waits album. First off, I did not realize "Jersey Girl" was written by Waits. And yeah, this is another step up from the last two. I probably would rank this even higher than the last two. But so close to the last two. I mean... I'm trying to separate it. They're trying to make me rank it higher, or what? OK, but seriously, folks. What about the songs and the performances? I felt that Waits was more "on" here than "Nighthawks At The Diner," and I liked his performance there. The songs were pretty well-written, and Waits himself did a pretty good job. So yeah, I'm going to say comparatively, of the three, this would be the best. So this would get a 4 because of that. I just wish it wasn't so close to the last one.

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Wed Jun 22 2022
4

I like Tom Wait pretty well. Music, voice, lyrics. Though if my husband ever writes me a love song I hope it will feature fewer (possibly no?) prostitutes.

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Wed Aug 10 2022
4

Never heard Tom Waits before. Time to dive in. Puts on Tom Waits. Is this voice an actual joke? He sounds like a drunk person trying to sing while stifling the urge to puke, specifically on Saving All My Love For You. Fucking TERRIBLE. Remarkably the rest of the album somehow works/and is kinda great? Nothing about this makes sense to me. Why do I like this? On the Nickel is also bad lmao.

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Wed Aug 10 2022
4

Great songwriting, didn't mind the voice. Too many blues progressions - but it's consistent and meets or exceeds expectations...

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Tue Aug 16 2022
4

Not a fan of Waits, but this album turned me around. I really enjoyed this album.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
4

Tom Waits on uusi tuttavuus tämän listan kautta, mutta levy levyltä diggaan enemmän!

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Sat Aug 27 2022
4

It might not be my Tom Waits' best album, but it's one of my favourite listens. It has everything Waits had up till this point. The pumping bluesrock Waits like "Heartattack and Vine" and "Downtown". The Jazzy Waits on a song like "In Shades." Then it has the orchestrated balled Waits on songs like "Saving All My Love For You" and "On The Nickel." Songs so bordering on kitsch that you'll only allow Waits to make them. And then there's the Waits best listened at night like "Ruby's Arms" Is it his best? No. But it's an underrated uncut gem.

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Mon Aug 29 2022
4

Tom Waits style is certainly niche. Overall though I enjoyed this album. The bluesy jazz instrumentals worked well with his vocals.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
4

I thought I loved this album, but there are more syrupy ballads than I remember! The gruff bluesy stuff is all great though.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
4

Really enjoyed this. Very soulful, and would definitely listen again

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Tue Sep 06 2022
4

Definitely a couple great songs

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Wed Sep 07 2022
4

Not fully appreciated TW’s output before. Musically really interesting and his voice is just incredible. To do that album in 1980 feels bold!

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Thu Sep 08 2022
4

Starting to love his music more every time I put on one of his albums. Such a extraordinary voice and musically solid. Again a great album ! Favourite songs: - Saving all my love for you - Downtown - On the nickel

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Sat Oct 01 2022
4

It's guttural but also somehow ethereal old timey punk. Tom Waits could sing about dirty socks and it would be fascinating.

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Mon Oct 03 2022
4

This will definitely grow on me with more listens. The back and forth of emotions are a lot to take in which I liked a lot. His voice is wild. I bet Ol Dirty Bastard liked him maybe.

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Tue Oct 18 2022
4

Probably not the best Tom Waits album, but a pretty good one. Solid 4/5. "Heartattack & Vine", "On The Nickel" and "Jersey Girl" were the ones that stood out to me. Classic Waits crooning on most of the tracks, a nice instrumental, and one or two where I think he starts to get a little whiney and I start searching for the "next button" on the remote.

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Tue Oct 18 2022
4

Always a delight to hear Tom's gravely voice, but this one is just a bit behind all the others on this list. Still great, just not quite a masterpiece.

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Thu Nov 03 2022
4

Tom Waits is hit or miss with me. Almost all of these songs are a hit.

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Fri Nov 04 2022
4

Særegent

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Mon Nov 07 2022
4

Thought this album was dope and better than listening to top songs cuz it had some real range and an excellent autoplay.

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Mon Nov 07 2022
4

I really liked this. It was a treat!

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Wed Nov 09 2022
4

as i listen to more of tom waits' music, this much is clear: either you enjoy his vocals, or you don't. there is no in between. for myself, i absolutely love it. sometimes it's distorted and nearly unintelligible ("downtown"), but at other times, it's soft and tender (see "ruby's arms"). his voice choices are intentional and depends on the song. what a shame that tom waits' style doesn't allow his lyrics to be easily understood! the more you get used to his voice, the easier it is to understand. the lyrics within "mr. siegal" are so full and paint such a picture. "drivin' dangerous curves across the dirty sheets." but possibly the best lyrics on the album are in the ballad "ruby's arms." while simple, this song describes a heartbreaking departure between lovers. i feel like i'm there in the room with waits as he leaves. there was a fair amount of blues on this album. as someone who claims to not enjoy blues too often, i sure loved it here. like with anything, waits puts his spin on it. "heartattack and vine" is pure blues but the guitar drives the tempo hard. the "in shades" instrumental immediately follows and acts as a continuation but is more classic blues. as for the topics covered in the songs, there's that pure down-on-your-luck blues, "on the nickel". "'til the money runs out" and "mr. siegal" tell such stories, pure blues.

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Mon Nov 21 2022
4

Enjoyed this album. I will be diving into some more Tom Waits going forward. I don’t know what it is and I don’t know much about him but I like him

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Tue Nov 22 2022
4

A modern-day sleazy classic.

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Tue Nov 22 2022
4

An artist that of course I am aware of but have never really engaged. This is a lovely album, I enjoyed it greatly.

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Sat Nov 26 2022
4

An enjoyable album, interesting lyrics and comps. Waits singing was also good

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Sat Nov 26 2022
4

"There ain't no devil it's just god when he's drunk." "The girls around here all look like Cadillacs" "Swinging from the rafters in a brand new tie" "I shot the morning in the back..." Swordfish era Tom Waits gets all the plaudits usually but I'm a massive fan of drunk guy at the diner Tom Waits, equally if not more so. Man, can this guy write a song. I still just prefer Small Change, but this is a great album, Tom can do no wrong.

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Tue Jun 22 2021
3

I love Tom Waits, he might just be my favorite singer-songwriter of all time. I consider this a transitional album, last album of his asylum years and that is why some of the songs do not hit as hard and the album feels a little disjointed. He would go ahead to make swordfishtrombones and if this album was his launching point to that I respect the hell out of it. 3.5/5

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Wed Jun 23 2021
3

I don't think I'll adjust to Tom Waits' voice anytime soon, but it's growing on me. Musically, it was pretty great. The vocals did throw me off, though.

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Thu Feb 04 2021
3

Lidt irriterende med den stemme på nogle fede numre

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Mon May 17 2021
3

Quite interesting and unique, very deep voice but somewhat soothing piano play

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Thu Mar 11 2021
3

Er hat eine bemerkenswerte Stimme und die Musik ist gut. Etwas zu abwechslungsreich. Der Rock gefiel mir meistens ganz gut, aber die Balladen waren mir zu unspektakulär und das warme Gefühl im Herzen blieb bei mir vermutlich schon auf Grund seiner Stimme aus. Bin ich wohl nicht die Zielgruppe.

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Tue Jun 29 2021
3

I guess now is the time to confess that I don't really get Bob Dylan. I like several of his songs, I've seen him live, I've listened to multiple albums multiple times; it's not as if I hate Bob Dylan. I just don't really get him. Like, why do people revere him so much? He's good, but I've never understood why he's great. That being said, this was probably the most I've ever liked a Bob Dylan album. It's got a nice feel to it, and it's consistent without being too samey. Starts out very strong with Tangled Up in Blue, and finishes strong as well. His poetry is great throughout and is highly accessible as well. Maybe I just hate harmonicas? 4/5

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Mon May 10 2021
3

Two Tom Waits album in one week. Oh, the nostalgia. Sends me back to being a kid in the 90s just chilling with my dad while he works when I wasn’t at school. Some of these songs are melodies to me as sacred as the Beatles or Rolling Stones are to the general public.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
3

What a voice

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Mon Jun 21 2021
3

Interesting sound

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Fri Apr 30 2021
3

Good blues and other beautiful arrangements. Vocals are guttural almost to the point of comical. Got me interested in other Tom Waits' music, which brought up some good tunes. Highlights: -On The Nickel

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Thu Feb 11 2021
3

The voice always throws me off, its so gravel. Couple nice songs, don't like ballads

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Tue Mar 30 2021
3

There are a lot of things I like about Tom Waits but his voice is too gritty for my musical taste. There is one song on this album where he doesn't use his gritty voice- I wish he would do that more.

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Sat Apr 10 2021
3

Music ended up pretty good but his voice was quite bad. Overall 6ish

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Tue Mar 30 2021
3

Some are good, others are like he's taking a difficult shit

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Thu Mar 25 2021
3

3/5

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Sat Apr 10 2021
3

What a weird album. Idk how I feel, pretty groovy but also kinda boring. 6?

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Sat Apr 10 2021
3

damn i do not like his voice, its so gravelly without being warm or rich at all. the slow burners are pretty unbearable but the songwriting isn't too bad overall, i guess i see why people like it. 5

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Wed Feb 17 2021
3

Excellent, bluesy,gravelly voice. Better than I anticipated although he has a stellar reputation. ***

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Wed Mar 17 2021
3

Very deep sound

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Sun Mar 14 2021
3

Deep husky vocals. Good lyrics and a good listen. Could have been tempted to go 4 star.

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Tue Jul 13 2021
3

This one sits in an awkward spot between Waits' early beat-crooner phase and his later tinpan-circus-in-a-gutter phase. Small Change or Blue Valentine do this same thing way, way better imo.

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Tue May 18 2021
3

Some wonderful lyrics and music and whilst his voice can be challenging to listen to, it was worth the effort and some tracks were really good

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Tue Mar 16 2021
3

Como que o sujeito canta assim sem estragar a garganta toda gente.

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Tue Apr 27 2021
3

I dig the music and instrumentals. Perhaps it's heresy but his iconic voice gets to be a bit much when listening to a whole album.

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Mon Apr 26 2021
3

Sometimes I think that I want to like Tom Waits more. I've heard a few individual tracks from Waits, but never a close listen and never a full album. I'm still not sure if I do or should like Waits. The interesting bassline in "'Til the Money Runs Out" might be the track that keeps this album well into the 3-star range. "Downtown" and "Jersey Girl" weren't bad for my first listen either.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
3

I didn't hate this as much as I thought I would. Musically on point and Waits is a great story teller, albeit a lot of the stories are sad, worn and bleak and seem to involve an abundance of drug dealers and prostitutes. Meanwhile Waits sounds like he smoked 100 cigarettes, swallowed a cup of gravel and then drank several bottles of really cheap whiskey before deciding he'd sing some songs. Your appreciation of this album may well depend on whether or not you can handle his 'singing' voice for forty five minutes.

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Tue Jun 01 2021
3

Not sure on this. Not listened to Tom Waits before.

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Thu May 06 2021
3

Meh

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Thu May 06 2021
3

Bit too slow for me. Love his gravelly voice and will check out the rest of the discography

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Thu May 13 2021
3

Nice Blues album, Enjoyable listen but not something I personally would go to.

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Tue Jun 15 2021
3

I get the point and the musicality of the album, but Tom Waits is just not the singer for me, unfortunately.

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Mon May 24 2021
3

Drunk voice.

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Wed Jul 28 2021
3

Impressive voice, but got a bit repetitive for me. Aware of the impact he's had on modern music though

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Wed Jul 28 2021
3

Hmmmmm. He's got a great voice no doubt, but it's used too much as the USP. The songs could be good without such an overbearing voice and in some places it detracts from a good song. None the less he is a very prominent musical figure and has influenced a lot of great stuff.

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Wed Jul 28 2021
3

Average

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Thu Aug 05 2021
3

3.5, glad I listened, but not gonna put it on again

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Thu Aug 12 2021
3

I don‘t like the way he sings on that album

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Mon Aug 30 2021
3

I like about half of this album. Songs like "Heart attack and Vine" and "Downtown" are great but I really don't like the songs with the string arrangements.

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Wed Sep 01 2021
3

something about this I sorta loved but at the same time sorta hated. 3.5

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Wed Sep 08 2021
3

Pretty good album. A couple of excellent songs but a little slow. 3 stars

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Wed Sep 08 2021
3

3.5 / 5

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Fri Sep 24 2021
3

Хороший классический блюз

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Thu Sep 30 2021
3

okay sound to me...deep voice.

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Thu Sep 30 2021
3

This album features a meth’d out Tom Waits doing Bruce Springsteen impression singing b-sides from Greetings From Asbury Park

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Fri Oct 08 2021
3

I've been looking forward to a Waits album showing up and was excited to listen to one I hadn't heard before, but this didn't quite hit as much as I hoped. The Waits I know and love is later than this, where the instrumentation is more eclectic, the mood and style more varied, the songwriting darker and more abstract. This was fun to listen to, but for me it didn't scale the heights of his later work collaborating with Kathleen Brennan. After the first couple of tracks (an ominous, moody opener setting the tone with the repeated proclamation "there ain't no devil, there's just God when he's drunk"), the album settles into alternating lush chamber ballads with menacing, prowling blues. Something that's remained consistent throughout his career, and stood out here, are the strength of the ballads. "On the Nickel" is almost heartachingly beautiful, and "Jersey Girl" - the one I'd heard before- has a strong, daringly sing-along refrain for Waits. In other places, this felt like lounge music from the end of the world, presented by Wait's fried grizzled howl. A lot of the songs felt a shade too long and didn't expand much beyond the first minute or two, and the instrumental "In Shades" was fine but completely inconsequential. Honourable mention to "'Til the Money Runs Out" for making me want to strut through a burning building.

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Thu Oct 14 2021
3

Low key and generally inoffensive, but not going to revisit ever. 3.5

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Thu Oct 14 2021
3

Eh. I appreciate the idea of Tom Waits, but a full album of his is a bit much.

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Fri Oct 15 2021
3

Always a pleasure hearing a new Tom Waits album. I liked it as always, it doesn't stand out especially against his other bluesy ones though

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Mon Oct 18 2021
3

Un poco voceón y con voz chamuscada

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Thu Oct 28 2021
3

Heerlijke zware blues stem met een stevige folk sound

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Wed Nov 10 2021
3

not bad

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Thu Nov 18 2021
3

62 Heartattack & Vine - Tom Waits 9 tracks What a punchy start to this album.Clapping hands sign The title track grabs you by the nads & demands your attention but is unable to hold those heights throughout. It's still brilliant in places & a real roller-coaster with such variety. 3/5

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Fri Nov 19 2021
3

6/10

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Wed Nov 24 2021
3

Visar på vad som komma ska

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Fri Nov 26 2021
3

A vine effort

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Fri Nov 26 2021
3

Some wonderful lyrics and music and whilst his voice can be challenging to listen to, it was worth the effort and some tracks were really good

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Fri Nov 26 2021
3

Pretty dark - enjoyable all the same.

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Sun Dec 19 2021
3

Pretty okay-- this album transports me to a dark and smoky lounge, where I'm listening to the man at the piano sing and reminisce while I'm sipping on a Manhattan or martini.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
3

3.5/5

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Wed Jan 12 2022
3

This is the third Tom Waits album that has been generated for me. The first one felt striking, different, and interesting, but is having 5 on this list really necessary? This may be the best of the three so far, but the law of diminishing returns means it struggles to hold the interest as well as the first one did. 3/5.

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Mon Jan 17 2022
3

Waits' voice is certainly unique, and it works better on some songs than others. On the whole it's a pleasant accompaniment to his tales of losers and woe, but it's sometimes a bit grating and I don't think I could listen to it all day long. That's also pretty much how I felt about the album overall: it has a couple of great songs ("Mr. Siegal" might be my favorite) and enough filler to keep me from putting the whole album on repeat. P.S. I didn't realize that "Jersey Girl" wasn't a Springsteen original!

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Mon Jan 17 2022
3

<3

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Mon Jan 17 2022
3

3.5

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Thu Jan 27 2022
3

Ik zag er een beetje tegenop maar werd aangenaam verrast want Tom zingt daadwerkelijk op dit album!

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Thu Jan 27 2022
3

Ik hou niet van dat zware brommende Tom Waits geluid, maar op deze plaat staan heel wat nummers waar hij veel meer zingt en niet klinkt als die beer uit de Muppets Show. Positief verrast door dit album!

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Thu Jan 27 2022
3

Geen groot fan, maar dit vond ik goed te pruimen

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Fri Jan 28 2022
3

The unwritten story behind the album: A heartattack induced by a sighting of SHACK, Clinging to a vine as he rips out your spine. Damn, this poetry malarkey isn't as easy as Nigel made it look.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
3

Apparently we need to put more effort into this. Nice one Nigel. Can't be arsed today though.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
3

i started off thinking this was the best tom waits album we've had, but i couldn't work it out after about 6 songs in because i got bored of the shtick. nice to listen to one or two songs, but an album is a slog.

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Mon Feb 07 2022
3

that's absolutely crazy but I'm not into the whole raspy voice thing

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Sun Feb 13 2022
3

Pretty decent but the title track is the best one by far, which ends up underselling the rest of the album.

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