This great record is too often not on lists of Tom’s classics, but it is full of songs that have stood the test of time. It marked the end of his drunken raconteur phase. He switched labels after this and recorded his absolute classics “Rain Dogs” and “Swordfishtrombones” a few years later. But “Heartattack and Vine” ranks up there, too, what with songs such as “On the Nickel,” “Ruby’s Arms,” “Saving All My Love for You,” and the title track. The highlight, though, is his original version of the song Bruce Springsteen made famous, “Jersey Girl”—written for Tom’s wife-to-be, Kathleen Brennan.
Asylum Records, 1980 [All-Music Guide review]