Heartattack and Vine is a 1980 album by Tom Waits. It's best remembered for the fan favorites "Jersey Girl", "Ruby's Arms" and the title track. At the time it was his best-selling album up to that point.
It would be his final album for the label Asylum and symbolically end the first period of his career, where his music mostly evoked a "drunk pianist in a jazzy nightclub atmosphere". After this album Waits moved to another label, while his music changed into a style more akin to Avant Garde Music / Alternative Rock with the New Sound Album Swordfishtrombones (1983).
- "Heartattack and Vine" (4:50)
- "In Shades" (4:25)
- "Saving All My Love for You" (3:41)
- "Downtown" (4:45)
- "Jersey Girl" (5:11)
- "Til the Money Runs Out" (4:25)
- "On the Nickel" (6:19)
- "Mr. Siegal" (5:14)
- "Ruby's Arms" (5:34)
- Break Up Song: "Saving All My Love For You"I'd come home, but I'm afraid that you won't take me back, but I'd trade off everything just to have you near.
- Continuity Nod: "Heartattack And Vine" makes mention of a "little jersey girl in the see-through top, with the peddle pushers sucking on a soda pop". The track "Jersey Girl" is also about such a girl.
- Devil, but No God and God Is Flawed: "Heartattack and Vine"Don't you know there is no devil, there is just God when he's drunk
- Face on the Cover: Waits is seen on the album cover as a newspaper picture.
- Instrumental: "In Shades".
- In the Style of...: The album cover is designed in the style of a newspaper cover. The headlines of the articles are the names of the songs.
- Ironic Nursery Rhyme: "On The Nickel" , a pseudo lullaby about little boys who don't do what they should and grow up to be skid row homeless.
- Joisey: "Jersey Girl", of course.
- Lampshade Hanging: In hindsight, the opening line of "Saving All My Love For You" serves as a shockingly self-aware analysis of where the album falls in his discography, coming between his "bluesy barfly" first period and carnival-barker sound of the second period.It's too early for the circus; it's too late for the bars...
- Morality Ballad: "On the Nickel" is actually a parody of such. Waits wrote it from the point of view of a father telling his son that he'll end up like the men on Skid Row if he doesn't do as he's told.
- Not Staying for Breakfast: "Ruby's Arms".As I say goodbye to Ruby's arms, you'll find another soldier, and I swear to God to Christmas, there'll be someone else to hold you
- One-Man Song: "Mr. Siegal".
- One-Woman Song: "Jersey Girl", "Ruby's Arms".
- One-Word Title: "Downtown".
- Packaged as Other Medium: The album cover is designed to look like a newspaper article.
- Perpetual Poverty: Not too surprisingly, "Til the Money Runs Out"Can't you hear the thunder someone stole my watch
I sold a quart of blood and bought a half a pint of scotch.
- The Power of Love: "Jersey Girl"You know she thrills me with all her charmsWhen i'm wrapped up in my baby's arms
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Waits wrote "Jersey Girl" for his wife and frequent collaborator Kathleen Brennan.
- Scatting: "Jersey Girl" has Waits scatting "sha la la la", which surprised even him''I never thought I would catchy myself saying "sha la la la" in a song.
- "Heartattack And Vine" is heard in Hellboy (2004) during the first scene where the adult Hellboy appears.
- Bruce Springsteen covered "Jersey Girl" and includes it in most of his live shows, though his versions has a few lyrical differences. note "Heartattack And Vine" was covered by Screamin' Jay Hawkins.
- "Jersey Girl" was used on the soundtrack of Jersey Girl, albeit in Bruce Springsteen's version.
- Homicide: Life on the Street: The episode "Bad Medicine" opens with "Til the Money Runs Out"
- "Ruby's Arms" is used on the soundtrack of Prénom Carmen by Jean-Luc Godard.
- Stock Sound Effects: Church bells are heard during "Saving All My Love For You".
- Stop and Go: "Til the Money Runs Out" has an instrumental intro, followed by a sudden break and a few seconds of silence. Then Waits and the instruments come in.
- Title Track: "Heartattack And Vine"You'll probably see someone you know on heartattack and vine