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Music / The Heart of Saturday Night

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Found the heart of Saturday Night yet, Tom?

The Heart of Saturday Night is the second album by Tom Waits, released through Asylum Records in 1974. It's best known for the audience favorites "Diamonds On My Windshield", "(Looking for) The Heart Of Saturday Night" and "The Ghost Of Saturday Night".


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" (3:47)
  4. "Drunk on the Moon" (5:06)
  5. "The Ghost of Saturday Night (After Hours at Napoleone's Pizza House)" (3:16)


  • Tom Waits: vocals, piano, guitar
  • Jim Hughart: double bass
  • Pete Christlieb: tenor saxophone
  • Jim Gordon: drums
  • Bob Alcivar: arranger

Looking For The Tropes Of Saturday Night...

  • Alliterative Name: Cigar Chewing Charlie in "Drunk On The Moon".
  • Alliterative Title: "Semi Suite".
  • Album Title Drop: "The Heart Of Saturday Night"
    Looking for the heart of saturday night.
  • Always Night: All tracks have a midnight atmosphere.
  • Arc Words: The word "I never..." in "San Diego Serenade".
  • Break Up Song: "San Diego Serenade"
    I never saw your heart until someone tried to steal it, tried to steal it away
    I never saw your tears until they rolled down your face
  • Car Song: "Diamonds On My Windshield", where Waits describes all the things he sees while he is driving around in his car.
  • Catch Your Death of Cold: "Please Call Me, Baby"
    Wherever you are
    It's too cold to be out walking in the streets
    We do crazy things when we're wounded
    Everyone's a bit insane
    I don't want you catching your death of cold
    Out walking in the rain
    So please call me, baby
  • Concept Album: The songs are all about the bar life on a Saturday night. The first track is about the anticipations of a swell time, the final track is about how Sunday morning cracks dawn and Saturday effectively becomes "a ghost".
  • Continuity Nod: The final song "The Ghosts of Saturday Night" already anticipates Waits' next album Small Change:
    And a solitary sailor
    Who spends the facts of his life like small change on strangers
    Paws his inside P-coat pocket for a welcome twenty-five cents
  • Cradle of Loneliness: Loneliness is a major theme. Especially in "Fumblin' With The Blues".
    You know, the ladies I've been seeing off and on
    Well they spend your love and then they're gone
    You can't be lovin' someone who is savage and cruel
    Take your love and then they leave on out of town, no they do
  • Counting to Three: Waits counts off to four at the start of "Semi Suite".
  • Design Student's Orgasm: The album cover, under art direction of Cal Schenkel, but made by Lyn Lascaro shows Waits in a stylized evening scene, paying tribute to Frank Sinatra's album cover for In the Wee Small Hours.
  • Drunken Song: "Drunk On The Moon", where Waits sings about someone who is wandering around drunk at night, while the moon is out.
  • Face on the Cover: Tom Waits shown in close-up, in a nightlife street scene.
  • If I Had a Nickel...: "Semi Suite"
    You wish you had a dollar
    For every time he hollered that he's leavin'
    And he's never comin' back
  • Lampshading: "San Diego Serenade"
    I never heard the melody until I needed the song.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: Pretty much every track.
  • The Masochism Tango: "Semi Suite" and "Call Me Baby" are both about relationships were the couples argue a lot, but just keep coming back to each other.
  • Melancholy Moon: "Drunk On The Moon", where a man walks around drunk in the street and watches the moon.
  • Ode to Sobriety: The protagonist in many of the songs is habitually wasted.
  • Pep-Talk Song: "New Coat Of Paint"
    All our scribbled love dreams, lost or thrown away
    Here amidst the shuffle of an overflowin' day
    Our love needs a transfusion, so let's shoot it full of wine
    Fishin' for a good time starts with throwin' in your line
  • Product Placement: "The Ghosts Of Saturday Night"
    And the last bent butt from a package of "Kents"
  • Shout-Out:
    Ol' Captain Ahab, he got nothing on me.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: "Diamonds On My Windshield" and "The Heart Of Saturday Night" which fade into each other and are about the same topic. "The Ghost Of Saturday Night" also ties in with "The Heart Of Saturday Night".
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: "Please Call Me, Baby".
    And we're always at each other's throats
    You know it drives me up the wall
    But most of the time I'm just blowing off steam
    And I wish to God you'd leave me
    Baby I wish to God you'd stay
    Life's so different than it is in your dreams
  • Smoking Is Cool: Waits on the album cover. Also during "Diamonds On My Windshield".
    And you remember the fumble, as you stumble for a cigarette
  • Something Blues: "Fumblin' with the Blues".
  • Stock Sound Effects: Car traffic can be heard at the start of "The Heart Of Saturday Night."
  • Talk Like a Pirate: "Shiver Me Timbers", in which Waits decides to sail away and start a new life at sea.
  • Walk the Earth: Or better said sail the Earth in "Shiver Me Timbers".
  • Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: "Fumblin' With The Blues"
    You know the bartenders, all know my name.