The Heart of Saturday Night

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Heart of Saturday Night
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 15, 1974 (1974-10-15)
StudioWally Heider Recording Studio, Hollywood, California
GenreFolk, blues, jazz[1]
ProducerBones Howe
Tom Waits chronology
Closing Time
The Heart of Saturday Night
Nighthawks at the Diner
Singles from The Heart of Saturday Night
  1. "Blue Skies (non-album single)"
    Released: October 1974
  2. "San Diego Serenade"
    Released: 1975

The Heart of Saturday Night is the second studio album by singer and songwriter Tom Waits, released on October 15, 1974 on Asylum Records.[2] The title song was written as a tribute to Jack Kerouac.[3] The album marks the start of a decade-long collaboration between Waits and Bones Howe, who produced and engineered all Waits' recordings until the artist left Asylum.


The album cover is based on In the Wee Small Hours by Frank Sinatra.[4] It is an illustration featuring a tired Tom Waits being observed by a blonde woman as he exits a neon-lit cocktail lounge late at night.[5] Cal Schenkel was the art director and the cover art was created by Lynn Lascaro.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Record GuideC+[6]
Classic Rock7/10[7]
Mojo4/5 stars[8]
Q4/5 stars[11]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[12]
Uncut4/5 stars[13]
The Village VoiceB−[14]

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, Janet Maslin regarded the songs as tawdry affectations of "a boozy vertigo" marred by Waits' vague lyrics and ill-advised puns on an album that is "too self-consciously limited" in mood. "It demands to be listened to after hours", Maslin wrote, "when that cloud of self-pitying gloom has descended and the vino is close at hand".[15] Fellow Village Voice critic Robert Christgau was also critical of Waits' compositions, writing that "there might be as many coverable songs here as there were on his first album if mournful melodies didn't merge into neo imagery in the spindrift dirge of the honky-tonk beatnik night. Dig?"[14]

In a retrospective review for the Los Angeles Times, Buddy Seigal was more impressed by Waits' "touchingly, unashamedly sentimental" songs, calling The Heart of Saturday Night perhaps the singer's most "mature, ingenuous and fully realized" album.[16] It was ranked number 339 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[17][18]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Tom Waits.

Side one

1."New Coat of Paint"3:23
2."San Diego Serenade"3:30
3."Semi Suite"3:29
4."Shiver Me Timbers"4:26
5."Diamonds on My Windshield"3:12
6."(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night"3:53

Side two

1."Fumblin' with the Blues"3:02
2."Please Call Me, Baby"4:25
3."Depot, Depot"3:46
4."Drunk on the Moon"5:06
5."The Ghosts of Saturday Night (After Hours at Napoleone's Pizza House)"3:16
Total length:41:28


All personnel credits are as listed in the album's liner notes.[4]

  • Tom Waits – vocals, piano, guitar
Technical personnel
Design personnel


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[19] Gold 100,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "The Heart of Saturday Night – Tom Waits". AllMusic. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  2. ^ "The Heart of Saturday Night (Remastered) by Tom Waits". Apple Music. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  3. ^ Chilton, Martin (May 10, 2017). "Tom Waits: his 25 best songs – No 10: (Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night (The Heart of Saturday Night, 1974)". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c The Heart of Saturday Night (liner notes). Tom Waits. Asylum Records. 1974. 7E-1015.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  5. ^ Jacobs 2010.
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Tom Waits: The Heart of a Saturday Night". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor and Fields. ISBN 0-89919-026-X. Retrieved May 14, 2017 – via
  7. ^ Johnston, Emma (May 2018). "Tom Waits: Reissues". Classic Rock. No. 248. p. 98.
  8. ^ "Tom Waits: The Heart of Saturday Night". Mojo. No. 200. July 2010. p. 76.
  9. ^ Hull, Tom (April 1975). "The Rekord Report: Third Card". Overdose. Retrieved June 26, 2020 – via
  10. ^ Deusner, Stephen M. (March 24, 2018). "Tom Waits: The Asylum Era". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  11. ^ "Tom Waits: The Heart of Saturday Night". Q. No. 73. October 1992. p. 100.
  12. ^ Coleman, Mark; Scoppa, Bud (2004). "Tom Waits". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 854–55. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  13. ^ Gill, Andy (December 2011). "What Is He Building in There..?". Uncut. No. 175. pp. 52–53.
  14. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (October 24, 1974). "Consumer Guide (49)". The Village Voice. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  15. ^ Maslin, Janet. "Tom Waits: On the Road, On the Town". The Village Voice. p. 106.
  16. ^ Siegal, Buddy (January 7, 1993). "Tom Waits: 'The Heart of Saturday Night' (1974); Asylum". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 5, 2009.
  17. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time: The Heart of Saturday Night – Tom Waits". Rolling Stone. December 11, 2003. Archived from the original on December 20, 2010. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  18. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. May 31, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  19. ^ "British album certifications – Tom Waits – The Heart of Saturday Night". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved October 9, 2020.Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type The Heart of Saturday Night in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.


External links[edit]