THE GREATEST OF ALL TUNES (G.O.A.T.) is a salute to the greatest songs of all time, one song per artist. Want more? Go to the G.O.A.T. Page for all the GOATs so far!
Troubadour Tom Waits has lots of great songs, and lots of great records, so why is my pick for his Greatest of All Tunes “The Heart of Saturday Night?” Well, it’s my favorite Waits record, for one thing, based not just on this song but also on songs like Diamonds on my Windshield, Fumblin’ with the Blues, and New Coat of Paint. For another, it captures his ability to evoke vivid imagery and craft poetic love songs—he’s like a more romantic version of Bruce Springsteen.
Further listening: I like a lot of Waits’ songs, but here’s the true G.O.A.T.s: Ol’ 55, Jersey Girl, What’s He Building, Downtown Train, Pasties and a G-String, and Hold On.
Covers: Shawn Colvin’s is the best, but the others are good too.