Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Greatest Hits (1993)

FrontCover1Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were an American rock band from Gainesville, Florida. Formed in 1976, the band originally comprised Tom Petty (lead singer, guitar), Mike Campbell (lead guitarist), Ron Blair (bass guitar), Stan Lynch (drums), and Benmont Tench (keyboards). In 1981, Blair, weary of the touring lifestyle, departed the band. His replacement, Howie Epstein, stayed with the band for the next two decades. In 1991, Scott Thurston joined the band as a multi-instrumentalist—mostly on rhythm guitar and second keyboards. In 1994, Steve Ferrone replaced Lynch on drums. Blair returned to the Heartbreakers in 2002, the year before Epstein’s death. The band had a long string of hit singles including “Breakdown”, “American Girl”, “Refugee”, “The Waiting”, “Learning to Fly”, and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”, among many others, that stretched over several decades of work.

The band in 1977:
from left: Mike Campbell, Ron Blair, Tom Petty, Stan Lynch, and Benmont Tench:
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The band’s music was characterized as both Southern rock and heartland rock, cited alongside artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, and John Mellencamp as progenitors of that genre that arose in the late 1970s and 1980s. While the heartland rock movement waned in the 1990s, the band remained active and popular, touring regularly until Petty’s death in 2017, after which the Heartbreakers disbanded. Their final studio album, Hypnotic Eye, was released in 2014.

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, their first year of eligibility. Although most of their material was produced and performed under the name “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers”, Petty released three solo albums, the most successful of which was Full Moon Fever (1989). In these releases, some members of the band contributed as collaborators, producing and performing as studio musicians.

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Greatest Hits is a compilation album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released in 1993. It is Petty’s best-selling album to date and was certified 12× Platinum by the RIAA on April 28, 2015. The single “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” became one of Petty’s most popular songs, reaching No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The other new song on the album is a cover of the Thunderclap Newman hit “Something in the Air”. The album contains no songs from 1987’s Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough). However, three songs from Petty’s 1989 solo album Full Moon Fever were included.

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On its original release in November 1993, the album debuted at No. 8 on Billboard 200, and first peaked at No. 5 on the chart in February 1994. It reached a new peak of No. 2 following Petty’s death in 2017.

The new tracks “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” and “Something in the Air” were the band’s last recordings with drummer Stan Lynch. (wikipedia)

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Greatest Hits is a lean yet complete overview of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ biggest singles from their first prime. Sure, it’s possible to pinpoint a few great songs missing, but the group had a lot of great songs during the late ’70s and ’80s. This rounds up the biggest hits from that era, and in doing so, it turns into a succinct summary of the band at the top of its game. Everything from “American Girl” to “Free Fallin'” is included, with 18 tracks proving that Petty was one of the best rockers of his time. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Ron Blair (bass on 01. – 08.)
Mike Campbell (guitar, bass, keyboards, squeeze box)
Howie Epstein (bass, background vocals on 10. – 12, 15.-18.)
Stan Lynch (drums, percussion, background vocals on 01. – 11., 15. – 18.)
Tom Petty (vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica, percussion)
Benmont Tench (keyboards, background vocals on 01. – 11., 15. – 18.)
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Dean Garcia (bass on 11.)
George Harrison (guitar, background vocals on 12.)
Phil Jones (drums, percussion on 12. – 14.)
Jeff Jourard (guitar on 02.)
Jim Keltner (percussion on 05.)
Jeff Lynne (bass, guitar, guitar synthesizer, keyboards, background vocals on 12. – 16.)
Daniel Rothmuller (cello on 11.)
Phil Seymour (background vocals on 01. + 02.)
David A. Stewart (sitar, keyboards, background vocals on 11.)
Chris Trujillo (percussion on 17. + 18.)
Alan “Bugs” Weidel (piano on 11.)
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background vocals on 11.:
Sharon Celani – Marilyn Martin – Stephanie Sprull

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Tracklist:
01. American Girl (Petty) (from: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1976) 3.33
02. Breakdown (Petty) (from: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1976) 2.43
03. Listen To Her Heart (Petty) (from: You’re Gonna Get It!, 1978) 3.03
04. I Need To Know (Petty) (from: You’re Gonna Get It!, 1978) 2.23
05. Refugee (Petty/Campbell) (from: Damn The Torpedoes, 1979) 3.22
06. Don’t Do Me Like That (Petty) (from: Damn The Torpedoes. 1979) 2.42
07. Even The Losers (Petty) (from: Damn The Torpedoes, 1979) 3.38
08. Here Comes My Girl (Petty/Campbell) (from: Damn The Torpedoes) 4.25
09. The Waiting (Petty) (from: Hard Promises, 1981) 3.59
10. You Got Lucky (Petty/Campbell) (from: Long After Dark, 1982) 3.36
11. Don’t Come Around Here No More (Petty/Stewart) (from: Southern Accents, 1985) 5.04
12. I Won’t Back Down (Petty/Lynne) (from:  Full Moon Fever, 1989) 2.57
13. Runnin’ Down A Dream (Petty/Lynne/Campbell) (from: Full Moon Fever, 1989) 4.23
14. Free Fallin’ (Petty/Lynne) (from: Full Moon Fever, 1989) 4.15
15. Learning To Fly (Petty/Lynne) (from: Into the Great Wide Open, 1991) 4.02
16. Into The Great Wide Open (Petty/Lynne) (from: Into the Great Wide Open, 1991) 3.44
17. Mary Jane’s Last Dance (Petty) (new song) 4.33
18. Something In The Air (Keen) (new song) 3.18

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More from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers:
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Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – You´re Gonna Get It ! (1978)

PromoFrontCover1You’re Gonna Get It! is the second album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released in 1978. Originally, the album was to be titled Terminal Romance. It peaked at No. 23 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart in 1978.[1]

Many reviewers rated You’re Gonna Get It! a notch lower than the band’s moderately well-received debut album. Some reviews such as in Rolling Stone at the time noted the “impressive stylistic cohesiveness” between the two. It did chart higher, however, than its predecessor. (by wikipedia)

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers didn’t really knock out their second album — it was released two years after their debut — but it sure sounds as if they did. There are some wonderful moments on this record, but it often feels like leftovers from a strong debut, or an album written on the road, especially since the music is simply an extension of the first album. That said, when You’re Gonna Get It! works, it devastates. That’s not saying that “When the Time Comes” is a masterpiece, even if it’s a fine opener, but it does mean that “I Need to Know” and the scathing “Listen to Her Heart” are testaments to how good this band could be when it was focused.

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If the rest of the album doesn’t achieve this level of perfection, that’s a signal that they were still finding their footing, but overall it’s still a solid record, filled with good performances that are never quite as good as the songs. It’s pretty good as it spins, but once it finishes, you remember those two songs at the heart of the record, maybe the opener and closer, which are stronger than the rest of the competent, enjoyable, yet unremarkable roots-rockers that surround them. Not necessarily a transitional effort — after all, it pretty much mirrors its predecessor — but a holding pattern that may not suggest the peaks of what’s to come, but still delivers a good soundalike of the debut. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Ron Blair (bass, guitar, sound effects, background vocals)
Mike Campbell (guitar, accordion)
Stan Lynch (drums, background vocals)
Tom Petty (guitar, vocals, piano)
Benmont Tench (keyboards, background vocals)
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Phil Seymour (background vocals on 04.)
Noah Shark (percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. When The Time Comes (Petty) 2.47
02. You’re Gonna Get It (Petty) 3:01
03. Hurt (Petty/Campbell) 3.18
04. Magnolia (Petty) 3.02
05. Too Much Ain’t Enough (Petty) 2.58
06. I Need To Know (Petty) 2.26
07. Listen To Her Heart (Petty) 3.04
08. No Second Thoughts (Petty) 2.42
09. Restless (Petty) 3.23
10. Baby’s A Rock ‘n’ Roller (Petty/Campbell 2.54

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Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – New Years Eve Concert Santa Monica (1978)

FrontCover1.jpgThomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He was the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, formed in 1976. He previously led the band Mudcrutch, and was also a member of the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys.

Petty recorded a number of hit singles with the Heartbreakers and as a solo artist. In his career, he sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Petty died at the age of 66, of an accidental overuse of prescription drugs, one week after the completion of the Heartbreakers’ 40th anniversary tour. (by wikipedia)

In 1978 Petty and the Heartbreakers were riding a huge wave of success brought on by their first two albums and were about to blow up the next year after the release of Damn The Torpedos. The band celebrated the end of 1978 and the beginning of 1979 with a three-show New Year’s run that culminated on the 31st at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, CA. Just one day earlier the Heartbreakers were the second-to-last band to headline the famous Winterland in San Francisco before the Grateful Dead closed out the historic venue on New Year’s Eve.

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Petty’s performance in Santa Monica, which is real close to the group’s adopted hometown of Los Angeles, was stuffed with the best songs off the Heartbreakers’ first two albums and provides an incredible snapshot of just where the group was at that moment in time.

The show was filmed for a television broadcast, which never happened, and an hour’s worth of pro-shot footage was finally released a few years back. In addition to the many tunes from 1976’s Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and 1978’s You’re Gonna Get It! performed in Santa Monica are an early version of “Refugee” laid down before the band recorded the song in the studio and a celebratory cover of The Isley Brothers’ “Shout” just after the start of 1979. (by Scott Bernstein)

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Personnel:
Ron Blair (bass)
Mike Campbell (guitar)
Tom Petty (vocals, guitar)
Stan Lynch (drums)
Benmont Tench (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Intro + I Need To Know (Petty) 2.53
02. Surrender (Petty) 2.52
03. Fooled Again (I Don’t Like It) (Petty) 6.11
04. Casa Dega (Campbell/Petty) 5.34
05. Refugee (Campbell/Petty) 3.52
06. You’re Gonna Get It (Petty) 4.19
07. Mystery Man (Petty) 3.19
08. American Girl (Petty) 4.21
09. Breakdown (Petty) 6.56
10. Too Much Ain’t Enough (Petty) 4.43
11. Shout (D,Isley/Rudolph Isley/Ronald Isley) 8.47
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12. Uncut edition (including New Year’s announcement) 56.19

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and here´s the video of this show:

 

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Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Into The Great Wide Open (1991)

FrontCover1.jpgInto the Great Wide Open is the eighth studio album by American rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, first released in 1991. The album was the band’s last with MCA Records. The album was the second Petty produced with Jeff Lynne after the success of Full Moon Fever.

The first single, “Learning to Fly”, became the band’s joint longest-running No. 1 single (along with “The Waiting” from 1981’s Hard Promises) on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, spending six weeks at the top spot. The second single, “Out in the Cold”, also made No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock chart, albeit for two weeks.

The music video for the title song starred Johnny Depp, who had moved to Los Angeles as a teenager to seek rock stardom, along with Gabrielle Anwar, Faye Dunaway, Matt LeBlanc, Terence Trent D’Arby and Chynna Phillips.

The first single “Learning to Fly” was released prior to the album in June 1991, and was a big hit for Tom Petty. The second single, the title track, was released shortly after the album’s release and is also one of the band’s biggest hits. They were both top 10 singles on various charts. The third single “Out in the Cold” was a minor hit, although it did not achieve the commercial success of the first two. Throughout 1992, four other singles were released; “Makin’ Some Noise”, “All Or Nothin'” “Too Good To Be True” and “King’s Highway”.(by wikipedia)

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Though he’s a major American rock & roll star, Tom Petty has yet to produce the kind of classic album artists of his caliber are supposed to make at least once in their careers. And while Into the Great Wide Open may not be it, it’s the closest he and his band the Heartbreakers have come in nearly 15 years.

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You can hear it yourself. Petty’s first two albums — 1976’s Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and 1978’s You’re Gonna Get It! — have both just been re-released on Petty’s own Gone Gator record label, and still stand as his best work, effortlessly combining catchy melodies and unpretentiously raucous rock & roll. The follow-up, 1979’s Damn The Torpedoes, went triple platinum and made Petty & the Heartbreakers an arena attraction, but it also signaled a dulling of Petty’s grasp of the pop hook that — success or no — has simply made his music not as interesting as it used to be.

Until now, that is. Into the Great Wide Open is a surprising return to form. In some ways, credit for Petty’s renewal must go to Jeff Lynne, guiding Light in the Electric Light Orchestra, and, along with Petty, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, and the late Roy Orbison, a member of the Traveling Wilburys, the only so-called ”supergroup” in rock’s history to make decent records. Lynne, the Wilbury with the greatest ear for pop — he’s written more hit singles even than Harrison — produced Into The Great Wide Open, and his mark is all over it.

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And while he also participated heavily in Tom Petty’s 1989 solo album, Full Moon Fever — producing and cowriting seven of its songs — something’s different this time. First, and most obviously, the songs, eight of which Petty cowrote with Lynne, are better. ”All or Nothing,” with its stinging, Lennonesque vocal and arrangement, resonates with much the same intensity as Petty’s 1978 album-rock radio staple ”Breakdown.” Other tracks almost as good include ”Too Good to Be True,” ”Kings Highway” and ”Two Gunslingers.” They’re all delightfully hook-filled, which may not sound like a big deal, but for Petty — whose hits, like his 1985 ”Don’t Come Around Here No More,” can be more memorable for their videos than their music — it’s what he has direly needed for far too long. And Petty himself, who at his worst has tended to bray rather than sing, has never sounded fresher or more pleased with what he’s singing (though with lyrics like ”rebel without a clue”…sorry, Tom, even Meat Loaf’s lyricist used that cliché, in an overwrought piece of pop fluff he wrote for Bonnie Tyler five years ago). Petty may not be a Springsteen or a Dylan — he may not have a Born to Run or Blood on the Tracks in him — but who does? I always thought that guys like this start out hot, get famous, get lazy, and then disappear. They’re not supposed to actually get better. (by Kevin Canty)

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And on this album is one of the most important songs for me … this song helped me to go through a very difficult phase in my life:

Well, I started out
Down a dirty road
Started out all alone
And the sun went down
As I crossed the hill
And the town lit up
And the world got still

I’m learning to fly
But I ain’t got wings
Coming down
Is the hardest thing

Well the good ol’ days
May not return
And the rocks might melt
And the sea may burn

Now some say life
Will beat you down
Yeah, break your heart
Steal your crown

So I started out
For God knows where
I guess I’ll know
When I get there

I’m learning to fly
Around the clouds
But what goes up
Must come down

Heyy!

And the titeltrack of this album is of course one of the finest songs ever written by Tom Petty (watch the great video-clip featuring Johnny Depp, Faye Dunaway as his manager, and featured cameos by Terence Trent D’Arby, Chynna Phillips, and Matt LeBlanc.

All in all: This album is a must have … without any doubts … And you should listen to the great slide guitar, played by Mike Campbell.

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Personnel:
Mike Campbell (guitar, slide-guitar, keyboards)
Howie Epstein (bass, background vocals)
Stan Lynch (drums, percussion)
Tom Petty (vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion)
Benmont Tench (piano, accordion)
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Jeff Lynne (guitar, bass, background vocals, piano, synthesizer, percussion, sound effects)
Roger McGuinn (background vocals  on 07.)
Richard Tandy (synthesizer on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Learning to Fly (Petty/Lynne) 4.03
02. Kings Highway (Petty) 3.08
03. Into The Great Wide Open (Petty/Lynne)  3.43
04. Two Gunslingers (Petty) 3.09
05. The Dark Of The Sun (Petty/Lynne) 3.24
06. All Or Nothin’ (Petty/Campbell/Lynne) 4.07
07. All The Wrong Reasons (Petty/Lynne) 3.46
08. Too Good To Be True (Petty) 3.59
09. Out In The Cold (Petty/Lynne) 3.41
10. You And I Will Meet Again (Petty) 3.42
11. Makin Some Noise (Petty/Campbell/Lynne) 3.27
12. Built To Last (Petty/Lynne) 3.58

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And here´s one of the finest video clips in the history of Rock:

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Eddie waited ’til he finished high school
He went to Hollywood, got a tattoo
He met a girl out there with a tattoo too
The future was wide open

They moved into a place they both could afford
He found a nightclub, he could work at the door
She had a guitar and she taught him some chords
The sky was the limit

Into the great wide open
Under them skies of blue
Out in the great wide open
A rebel without a clue

The papers said Ed always played from the heart
He got an agent and a roadie named Bart
They made a record and it went in the charts
The sky was the limit

His leather jacket had chains that would jingle
They both met movie stars, partied and mingled
Their A&R man said “I don’t hear a single”
The future was wide open

Into the great wide open
Under them skies of blue
Out in the great wide open
A rebel without a clue