October 15: Tom Waits released The Heart of Saturday Night in 1974

Oceanside ends the ride
With San Clemente commin up
And Sunday desperados slip by
And cruise with a dry buck
And the Orange drive-in, neon billing
And the theaters filling to the brim
With Slave Girls, Hot Spur, Bucket Full of Sin
– Tom Waits, Diamonds on my windshield

The Heart of Saturday Night is the second studio album by singer and songwriter Tom Waits, released on October 15, 1974 on Asylum Records.

It is a fantastic album!

(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night and San Diego Serenade, PBS soundstage in 1975:

A year and a half after his first album (Closing Time), Tom Waits issued this collection of late-night ballads inspired by his passion for jazz, Tin Pan Alley, and Beat-poetry.

It was produced by Bones Howe, who cut his engineering teeth on early 60s jazz sessions, the album is much more than an pastiche of a bygone-era. Tom Waits has always flirted with self-parody, but lands firmly on the right side every time.

The Album is made with real love and passion, and feels like a transition between Closing Time and the more jazzy Nighthawks at the Diner and Small Change. The album cleverly fuses new orleans tinged music with 50s cool jazz, and when Waits throws in his love for un-order and ramble, the results are glorious.

New Coat of Paint, Danish TV 1976:


“Waits has a marvelously raspy voice, a jazz singer’s phrasing, and plays a fair piano. The material on Heart ranges from spoken jazz-poetry to doleful melodic lyricism. “Diamonds on My Windshield,” the one entirely spoken cut, celebrates being on the road.”
– Rolling Stone magazine, 1974

Diamonds on my Windshield (1975?):

Tom Waits – The Heart of Saturday Night (Spotify):


  • Tom Waits – vocals, piano, guitar
  • Jim Hughart – double bass
  • Pete Christlieb – tenor saxophone
  • Tom Scott – clarinet
  • Jim Gordon – drums
  • Bob Alcivar – arranger
Technical personnel
  • Bones Howe – producer, engineer
  • Geoff Howe – engineer
  • Terry Dunavan – mastering
Design personnel
  • Cal Schenkel – art direction
  • Lynn Lascaro – illustrations
  • Scott Smith – photography

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