In 1993, Tom Petty released his Greatest Hits album featuring 16 of his most well known tunes and 2 new ones – a cover of Thunderclap Newman’s “Something in the Air” and the (rightfully) presumptive hit “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”. The album went on to sell over fifteen million copies and become the definitive Tom Petty recording.
The upsides to such a smash success are obvious – more money than you can count, your music is everywhere, parents have a concise collection to pass to their kids and thus your legacy lives forever, your concerts are one big singalong, etc.; but there are a few less obvious downsides that go along with the teritory (although I doubt they bother Mr. Petty all that much).
The Greatest Hits compilation ultimately went on to define Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for the millions of people who have purchased this disc, and the rest of his (really great) body of work has fallen by the wayside as far as the masses are concerned. Most of the criticisms about Petty evolve from “nothing but simple pop songs”, which is actually more of a criticism of the Greatest hits than his work at large. The Heartbreakers are one of the best and most consistent American bands in the history of Rock and Roll and the fact is they have much more to offer than “just the hits”. While I am not going to sit here and argue with the merits of one of the most beloved compilations of all time, I will provide a collection with 18 tracks of my own – none of which are on the Greatest Hits. Here is my “Tom Petty – Not Greatest Hits” collection.
“Damn the Torpedoes, full steam ahead.” Indeed. This, the third release by the Heartbreakers did just that; bringing the band to a new level of stardom, screaming it’s way into a new decade.
The number of quality tunes on this record borders on ridiculous. With even-your-grandmom’s heard ‘em hit’s “Refugee”, “Here Comes My Girl”, “Even the Losers”, and “Don’t Do Me Like That” accounting for almost half of the album. When producer Jimmy Iovene heard Petty play the first few tracks on an acoustic guitar, he famously said “It’s a hit! You don’t need any more songs”. Despite being trampled by classic-rock airplay over the last 40 years, the aforementioned standards still sound fresh today – a feat that an increasingly diminishing number of their peers can boast.
What can be lost in all the hits here is just how good the band sounds on this record. This may be the release that made Tom Petty a household name, but Benmont Tench’s keys, Stan Lynch’s Drums and Mike Campbell’s guitar are all over this record. Recorded in complete takes of every song, Damn the Torpedos is a clinic on what a kick ass rock band can do with some well written pop songs.
Just 9 tracks and 35 minutes long this album is short on filler and long on rock and roll. The band has continued to put out solid release after solid release for the last 30 years, but this endures as the definitive Heartbreakers record. Recorded in the midst of Tom Petty’s bankruptcy and lawsuit with MCA records, this was almost a record that didn’t come out. We are certainly glad that it did.
The letter I is a man of mystery, he says what he means but you’re never quit sure who he’s talking about, he prefers to stand alone but can do more with an S or a T than anyone, his words might be short but his impact is never diminished due to a strict less is more policy, he’s all around you but is barely noticed as he slips in and out of words like a ninja. Is it you? Is it me? No, it’s I. Today we salute the ninth and arguably most versatile letter in the alphabet with a killer playlist inspired by no other than I.
“Don’t Pull Me Over” might not be the most obvious first choice for a music video off of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers newest album Mojo but Tom’s daughter Adria Petty certainly finds a cool and stylistic way to showcase the song. By teaming up with visual artist Patrick Roberts Adria created a fun and appropriate video for one of the band’s more unique songs off their album. Adria explains that the song was designed mainly as comic relief and urges you to “trip out and have a giggle and dig that guitar solo” as you watch the video by clicking here.
London-based pop rockers Noah and the Whale are two for two with their first two albums, and hope to score a trifecta of solid albums on the upcoming disc Last Night On Earth. To promote the new album; which is due for a March 2011 release, the band has released two rather dissimilar singles in advance of the album. The first, “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.” sounds a whole lot like Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More” – not that there’s anything wrong with that. The second track, “Wild Thing” finds the band dialing in an etherial Velvet Underground kind of vibe.
Not a bad start boys, keep em coming. You sure could do a lot worse than comparisons to Tom Petty and Lou Reed. Check out the new tracks below:
Next week, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers drop their first new album in 8 years, Mojo. After a killer SNL performance, and a couple of videos showcasing the new songs, we have been pretty excited about the new disc.
Well, the wait is over, as today the band announced that the album is streaming in its entirety for free in advance of it’s release next week. Click here to head over to espn.com and check out the new album . While it does seem a bit odd that the band chose ESPN to stream the new album, but hey, I am not complaining. If you are interested in learning more about this record, check out the mini documentary about the making of MOJO below. Enjoy!
In advance of the release their new album Mojo, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have released a couple of videos for tunes from the new album. While the videos are pretty much exactly the same, the songs couldn’t be much more different. ”Something Good Coming” is a nice little slow jam, and “I Should Have Known It” is a full on burner.
Check out both videos below, and get stoked for the release of Mojo on 6/15.
Last night Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers played two new songs from their upcoming album Mojo on Saturday Night Live. After watching these performances it is pretty clear that the new album is all about some old time rock and roll. No complaints here, as these two songs straight up ROCK! Mojo drops on 6/15, we’ll keep you posted as more details emerge. For now, enjoy the videos below.
With today being the last day of winter, and tomorrow marking the first day of spring, we wanted to pull together a playlist to mark the occasion. Open some windows, turn up the volume, and say goodbye to Old Man Winter. Hopefully the weather will follow our lead. Some songs are old, and some are new, but they are all great tunes for that perfect Spring day.
For the first time in eight years Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will be releasing a new studio album. The disc is simply named “Mojo”, and is set to be released this spring. The band has had a lot of successes since their last proper LP including an excellent documentary, a rocking Super Bowl halftime show, and a sprawling Live Anthology collection, no doubt building the anticipation for the new record.
“Good Enough,” The first song of the album is streaming for free on the Tom Petty website. The song has a throwback to the band’s 70′s live show with a driving blues sound. The release date for the rest of the disc has not been announced, however the band did announce that they will be giving away a free download of “Mojo” with every ticket purchase to their upcoming tour; a pretty cool and original idea.
The tour itself will feature some pretty awesome opening acts including My Morning Jacket, The Drive By Truckers, Joe Cocker, Crosby Stills & Nash, and ZZ Top. Below is a complete list of the dates:
5/6 – Raleigh, NC (w/ Joe Cocker)
5/7 – Charlotte, NC (w/ Joe Cocker)
5/9 – Tampa, FL (w/ Joe Cocker)
5/15 – Dallas, TX (w/ Joe Cocker)
5/16 – Houston, TX (w/ Joe Cocker)
5/18 – Phoenix, AZ (w/ Joe Cocker)
5/22 – Los Angeles, CA (w/ Joe Cocker)
6/2 – San Diego, CA (w/ Joe Cocker)
6/3 – Irvine, CA (w/ Joe Cocker)
6/5 – Oakland, CA (w/ Joe Cocker)
6/8 – Vancouver, BC (w/ Joe Cocker)
6/11 – Seattle, WA (w/ Joe Cocker)
6/15 – Cagary, AB (w/ Joe Cocker)
6/16 – Edmonton, AB (w/ Joe Cocker)
6/19 – Winnipeg, MB (w/ Joe Cocker)
6/22 – St. Paul, MN (w/ Drive By Truckers)
6/23 – Omaha, NE (w/ Drive By Truckers)
6/25 – Millwaukee, WI (Summerfest w/ ZZ Top)
7/10 – Indianapolis, IN (w/ Drive By Truckers)
7/13 – Kansas City, MO (w/ Drive By Truckers)
7/15 – Cincinati, OH (w/ Drive By Truckers)
7/17 – Chicago, IL (w/ Drive By Truckers)
7/20 – Cleveland, OH (w/ Drive By Truckers)
7/22 – Detroit, MI (w/ Drive By Truckers)
7/24 – Pittsburgh, PA (w/ Drive By Truckers)
7/28 – New York, NY (w/ TBA)
7/31 – Philadelphia, PA (w/ TBA)
8/11 – Atlanta, GA (w/ Crosby, Stills, and Nash)
8/12 – Nasheville, TN (w/ Crosby, Stills, and Nash)
8/14 – Darien Lake, NY (w/ Crosby, Stills, and Nash)
8/15 – Washington, DC (w/ Crosby, Stills, and Nash)
8/17 – Hartford, CT (w/ Crosby, Stills, and Nash)
8/19 – Boston, MA (w/ My Morning Jacket)
8/21 – Boston, MA (w/ My Morning Jacket)
8/24 – East Rutherford, NJ (w/ My Morning Jacket)
8/25 – Toronto, ON (w/ Crosby, Stills, and Nash)
8/27 – Saratoga Springs, NY (w/ Crosby, Stills, and Nash)
We are hoping for a big year of good music in 2010. With a few great releases already behind us, here’s looking forward to the rest of the year. Some albums on this list are confirmed, recorded, and ready to go, while others are still in the rumor mill. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to start looking forward to some great new music. Here are the albums that we are most eager to check out in the coming year.
Arcade Fire – TBD – May
Win Butler and Co. sold over a million copies with their first two records, can they follow up the success on their as-yet-untitled 2010 album. “Funeral” was great, “Neon Bible” was well, not as great, but we are pretty amped for the next episode.
Dr. Dog – Shame, Shame – 4/6
Dr. Dog is on a roll with back to back great albums, “We all Belong” and “Fate”, will this one follow suit? The band has hinted towards something more upbeat and akin to their live shows. Sounds good to me. The first single from the album, “Shadow People” is streaming for free, and available for The band recently talked with Paste Magazine in detail about the new album.
Drive By Truckers – The Big To Do – 3/16
Their first release for ATO Records (owned by Dave Matthews), and second release since the departure of Jason Isbell. “It’s very much a rock album,” Headman Patterson Hood said. “Very melodic and more rocking than anything we’ve done since disc 2 of Southern Rock Opera.” Two tracks from this album are currently available for free download at the Drive By Truckers Website.
Josh Ritter – So Runs the World Away – 5/4
Josh Ritter’s new album will be released this Spring, and with a little over 3 years since his last album it’s just in time. The first single “Change of Time” seems to be right in line with what we’ve come to love about Ritter and it only makes us hope for Spring that much more. The single is available for a free download on Josh’s website.
The National – TBD – May
If my ipod was a walkmen, The National’s last album “Boxer” would be worn pretty thin. To say I am “looking forward” to their upcoming release is a bit of an understatement as I am pretty much freaking out to hear new material from the best band in NYC. The band discussed the new album last month with Paste Magazine.
Radiohead - TBD
First, guitarist Ed O’Brien told UK Magazine, NME last Fall that a new Radiohead album was in the works, and now comes the report from LA Times writer Jia-Rui Cook that the band recently held a “wrap party” after three weeks recording their new album with Nigel Godrich. Things are shaping up nicely for a 2010 Radiohead album.
She and Him – Volume 2 – 5/23
She & Him is following up their incredibly promising first album with Volume two, out on May 23rd, and the duo say the new record is better, smoother, brighter, darker, and all together more intricate than the first. They have already released the first single “In The Sun” (download free here) and it certainly does whet the appetite.
The Strokes – TBD
While rumors of a new Stroke’s record have surfaced pretty much every year since their last record in 2006, a release actually seems real this time. The band’s website confirmed on 1/31 they will be Headlining the Isle of Wight festival this summer(first gig since 2006), and a new post on 2/1 stated they are in the studio recording. Also, a new video of the strokes in the studio has surfaced on Youtube. Looks like we are in luck for a 2010 release.
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – TBD
Coming off the success of the Documentary/Super Bowl Performance/Live Anthology things are good in Heartbreaker land. The band has been hard at work in their San Fernando Valley warehouse/practice space for what is rumored to be a summer/fall release.
U2 – Songs of Ascent - TBD
Both Bono and The Edge have thrown around with a 2010 album in several interviews over the past month but you never know. Whether it’s leftover material from No Line or something completely new, it’s hard to be sure. The Irish rockers go back on the road in May so we’ll look to see if they have anything new in their arsenal.
This fall , Tom Petty’s latest tour will be coming to your computer screen rather than a concert hall. As a lead in to Petty’s massive “Live Anthology”, the Heartbreakers “Superhighway Tour” will release a total of 24 of the 48 total anthology tracks for download over the 8 weeks leading up to the release of the anthology with the final 24 being available on November 24th, the day of the Anthology’s release.
Petty and Mike Campbell personally selected the 48 anthology tracks from the best of the live shows between 1978 and 2007. The band had hundreds of hours of high quality recordings to choose from including rare covers of the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil,” and James Brown’s “Good, Good Lovin”. The set while remastered, contains no overdubs and is meant to play like the real Heartbreakers concert experience. The music (available in mp3 or lossless FLAC files) is lively, and does a great job of capturing a great live act over the course of their career.
But this website is much more than just a bunch of live tracks, it is an experience. The website is a veritable treasure chest of Petty nostalgia including photos, reviews, press clippings and audio commentary from the band for each track. Either Tom Petty is a pack rat or he has kept some obsessive fans on his staff over the years, because this collection is stacked. I found myself lost on the site, continually finding more and more great content about the band. Much like the “Running Down A Dream” Petty documentary, this content portrays Tom Petty as a super cool unpretentious rocker, and really adds to his legend.
You don’t have to take my word for it, Petty is offering a free preview at his site here.
In addition to the Superhighway tour, the Live Anthology will be release in a physical form too, with it’s fair share of additional content. The deluxe edition, available only at Best Buy, will include an additional 14 tracks, two DVDs: a New Year’s Eve concert in 1978 and the previously unreleased documentary “400 Days”, and a an addition Blu-ray disk with all of the Anthology songs in super high quality 96k 24 bit audio. Not enough for you, well it will also include a deluxe concert poster designed by Shepard Fairey, a deluxe booklet, and all kinds of other goodies to.
Tom Petty clearly gets the fact that fans are looking for more than just tracks when making music purchases these days. He is delivering with a ton of super cool content to make the listener want to buy the music as opposed to just pulling it off the web. Well done as usual Mr. Petty.