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on 20 June 2015
Tom never ever did better than this ; and how ! its so bloody good it even walks to the cd player and puts itself on !! truly their is a coming together of sheer genius on this cd ; ok its not heavy metal , like i usually review but it has such a heavy prescence on the listener that just cannot be denied . I can pick out some blues rock , but its the groove that's carried right through that does it and then the lyrics , the lyrics !!!! man they are truly inspired truly gritty ; poetic ; evocative of situations and characters that hit you in the soul . I will always love this album . Buy its a landmark all its own . Metallicus Maximus .
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on 26 February 2012
On the Nickel - worth it just for that. Great lyrics, great music...very emotional. Jersey Girl - great track too. And of course Heartattack & Vine. Best Tom Waits album.
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on 4 June 2013
Great Tom Waits album,well worh he money paid and will not disappoint the Waits fans,not in my opinion.Now we are just typing to fill in the minmum words
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on 7 July 2013
I would think Tom Waits is an acquired taste but he suits me just fine. I like the gravelly voice, his fine songs and the changes in the way he sings.
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on 22 April 2017
fast - good value, great!
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on 6 January 2018
Great artistem
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on 16 October 2017
Amazing Tom
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 6 September 2011
It`s interesting that this somewhat sloppy, slobby effort came, in 1980, a couple of years after the impeccable, dazzling Blue Valentine, and only months before he met his wife/muse/co-writer Kathleen on the set of One From The Heart - whose soundtrack is so romantic, exuberant and sumptuous - which in turn led to the revelatory and rejuvenating change of musical direction heralded by Swordfishtrombones.
From the (literally) sickly cover to the often slapdash numbers on this below-par album, the wittily titled Heartattack And Vine is one I rarely play, except to hear three gorgeous ballads: the lush Ruby`s Arms, the beautifully sung On The Nickel, and the Waits classic Jersey Girl, so ecstatically covered by Springsteen on an early live record.
These are as lovely as any of the slow songs Waits thankfully never deprives us of on his many releases, and they are welcome after such throwaway sweet-nothings as pointless blues instrumental In Shades, indifferent ballad Saving All My Love For You, the pat Downtown, and the forgettable `Til The Money Runs Out.
If I sound harsh, it`s because I love Tom Waits (as my other reviews testify) and rate him by the high standards he himself sets. I just don`t rate this a particularly compelling album overall. It ticks all the TW boxes, but somehow his heart is too seldom in it.
I can`t agree with fellow reviewers here - 5 stars! - who suggest this is a good place to start for a Waits virgin. Let it rather be Heart Of Saturday Night or Small Change, both far superior to this, or, if you`ve heard some of his later stuff & like it, well - any of them really. You`ll no doubt enjoy this one too, but it simply isn`t the man at his best, and his best is The Best! It`s a transitional record - a bit like Wavelength and, appropriately, Period Of Transition were for Van Morrison at around the same time.
Tom had made several stunning records before this one, and has made even more since. I`d say this is about 60% of a good album, no more.
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on 29 July 2017
This was the first Tom Waits album I bought, on vinyl, when it was first released back in 1980. For those new to Waits I would recommend they start here, as the material is more rock orientated than his six previous albums and (maybe) more accessible for some. The album was his last release on the Asylum label and his music following on from here would take new paths and be more experimental in terms of overall sound and production. This was the end of the old Waits' style of piano and string arrangements and the closing of the first act in his musical journey.

The first track is the albums title and is a great opener with it's attacking electric guitar riff matching Waits' growling vocals and lyrics. The following track is an instrumental titled 'In Shades', which seems out of place among the other material with it's drinks lounge/glass clinking background noise but is pleasant enough. Next up is 'Saving All My Love for You', a melancholy ballad with Waits on piano, followed by another rock number 'Downtown'. A change of tack again on 'Jersey Girl', which is a simple love song, perhaps over sentimental, but showing Waits' vocals to good effect – this song was also covered by Bruce Springsteen and is included in his 'Live/1975-1985' three CD set release. Track six is ''Til the Money Runs Out', another rock orientated number followed by a beautiful piano ballad 'On the Nickel', which was originally written for a made-for-television movie of the same name starring Ralph Waite, who played the father in 'The Waltons', who also wrote and produced it. 'Mr. Siegal' is next, with some raunchy guitar playing and the great recurring lyric: “How do the angels get to sleep, When the devil leaves the porch light on”. The closing track is 'Rudy's Arms', which is one of the most moving songs that Tom Waits has written, about the ending of a relationship – but much more than that. It's also about moving on and fresh starts.

A great album and, as stated above, a good starting point for Waits' newbies. If you like the album (and it may take a few plays) then you have to decide whether to listen to his later, more progressive, albums or go back to his earlier work. Whichever path you choose it will be a rewarding journey.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 March 2017
Following in the footsteps of 1978’s masterpiece (and my favourite Waits album) Blue Valentine, 1980’s Heartattack And Vine had a hard act to follow and, whilst it is far from being a poor (or even average) record, for me at least, it does not quite match up to Waits’ very best material. That said, we still get Waits’ full-on, authentically lived-in, persona and evocative low-life tales, exemplified by some typically brilliant moments of street poetry ('Don't you know there ain't no devil, there's just god when he's drunk’ and 'I sold a quart of blood and bought a half a pint of scotch’) and there is a noticeable more clearly defined split here between (unusually, hitherto, for Waits) heavier blues-rockers and tender ballads. Of the former songs, it is keyboardist Ronnie Barron’s superlative Hammond Organ work (Jimmy Smith to Thijs van Leer eat your heart out!) on Downtown and ‘Til The Money Runs Out that help to define my take on the album’s distinctive identity, plus Waits’ title tune is about as invigorating and scathing a dissection as you’ll find of the illusions of Tinseltown.

Ballad-wise, the album also has a good deal to offer, if nothing quite as beautifully impassioned and intricately poetic as Blue Valentine’s masterpiece Kentucky Avenue. That said, the wonderful, genuinely moving, orchestral closer, Ruby’s Arms, (which represents something of a return to the mood and sound of Waits’ debut album, Closing Time) would give any poignant melody a run for its money, whilst each of On The Nickel (with its marvellous, characteristic Waits vocal transition) and the more famous Jersey Girl are other fine examples. As you can see, I’m almost talking myself into a top rating, which would be a no-brainer if all the songs matched up to those aforementioned. Certainly, it’s another Waits album with (many) notable highpoints and a worthy entry in the man’s impressive body of work.
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