20 Songs, 1 Hour 13 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With their third album, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers established themselves as one of the most important groups in ‘70s rock ‘n’ roll. The songwriting was Petty at his finest and the band received a key production from Jimmy Iovine, who kept the band’s toughness while readying them for FM radio. “Refugee” is the stone classic, a song so perfect that it nearly throws the entire album off balance. Except the follow-ups are the jangle-jungle of “Here Comes My Girl,” the down-but-not-out anthem, “Even the Losers,” and the pithy, dance-between-the-raindrops quickstep of “Don’t Do Me Like That.” Album cuts such as “Shadow of a Doubt (A Complex Kid)” and “Louisiana Rain” add bench depth. Guitarist Mike Campbell and organist Benmont Tench proved to be top-flight rockers who would make any band formidable, but with Petty’s sneer leading the way, the Heartbreakers were set for the future.  The Deluxe Version includes live versions of “Shadow of a Doubt” and “Don’t Do Me Like That,” an early stripped-down version of “Refugee,” and two studio cuts, “Nowhere” and “Surrender,” recorded during the album’s sessions. Essential.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With their third album, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers established themselves as one of the most important groups in ‘70s rock ‘n’ roll. The songwriting was Petty at his finest and the band received a key production from Jimmy Iovine, who kept the band’s toughness while readying them for FM radio. “Refugee” is the stone classic, a song so perfect that it nearly throws the entire album off balance. Except the follow-ups are the jangle-jungle of “Here Comes My Girl,” the down-but-not-out anthem, “Even the Losers,” and the pithy, dance-between-the-raindrops quickstep of “Don’t Do Me Like That.” Album cuts such as “Shadow of a Doubt (A Complex Kid)” and “Louisiana Rain” add bench depth. Guitarist Mike Campbell and organist Benmont Tench proved to be top-flight rockers who would make any band formidable, but with Petty’s sneer leading the way, the Heartbreakers were set for the future.  The Deluxe Version includes live versions of “Shadow of a Doubt” and “Don’t Do Me Like That,” an early stripped-down version of “Refugee,” and two studio cuts, “Nowhere” and “Surrender,” recorded during the album’s sessions. Essential.

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About Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Beginning in 1976, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers were one of America's finest rock & roll bands ever, combining the ringing guitars of the Byrds with the gritty rhythmic drive of the Rolling Stones. Petty's tales of American losers and dreamers were simple and direct, but emotionally charged. The Heartbreakers were a lean, tight band that could handle hard rock & roll and melodic pop equally well. The group gained critical attention and solid sales with their first album, but 1979's Damn the Torpedos was their commercial breakthrough, selling over two million copies; it couldn't have come at a better time, since Petty filed for bankruptcy before its release.

During the '80s, Petty sold consistently well, as he expanded his sound with the release of each album. In 1989, he released his first solo album, Full Moon Fever, which became his biggest hit yet. That momentum carried over into the next Heartbreakers release, 1991's Into the Great Wide Open, which went platinum. As they were preparing their next album, the group released a greatest-hits album in 1993 that contained the hit single "Mary Jane's Last Dance." Greatest Hits was the last album the group released on MCA Records. In 1994, Petty began a new contract with Warner Bros, releasing Wildflowers toward the end of that year; Wildflowers became another multi-platinum success for him. In 1995, MCA Records released a five-disc box set called Playback.

In the summer of 1996, Petty & the Heartbreakers released Songs and Music from She's the One. The Rick Rubin production Echo followed three years later. The year 2002 saw the release of The Last DJ, a scathing attack on the corporate greed inherent in the music business. It was followed in 2006 by a Petty solo album, Highway Companion. Another Heartbreakers album, Mojo, appeared on Reprise Records in 2010. Returning to their rehearsal space, The Clubhouse, in 2011, Petty & the Heartbreakers spent time demo'ing and recording what would become their 13th studio album. The harder, rockier Hypnotic Eye was released in July 2014, and became the first number one album in their career. On October 2, 2017, Petty was found at his home in cardiac arrest, and he died at a hospital in Santa Monica later that day. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

ORIGIN
Gainesville, FL
GENRE
Rock
FORMED
1975

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