G.O.A.T.: (Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night by Tom Waits (1974)

THE GREATEST OF ALL TUNES (G.O.A.T.) is a series of posts, producing my 100 favorite songs of all time.  The master list is here, and I update it about every two weeks or when I have another 10 songs or so. Today, I’m doing a whole bunch of GOATs all in a row. A bunch of posts, a bunch of cover versions!

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.

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