Wednesday, August 22, 2007

349. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (1976)

Track Listing

1. Rockin' Around With You
2. Breakdown
3. Hometown
4. The Wild One
5. Forever
6. Anything That's Rock 'N' Roll
7. Strangered In The Night
8. Fooled Again (I Don't Like It)
9. Mystery Man
10. Luna
11. American Girl


If you only know Tom Petty for his later days antics like Free Falling or Learning To Fly or Into The Great Wide Open, you are actually missing a pretty good musician. A pattern that I have noticed is that very few artists go untouched by the 80's virus, if they started doing music before the 80's they often get some kind of pervading illness. Most good 80's acts are contained in the 80's or go on to the 90's, rarely are good acts of the 60's or 70's still good in the 80's. Tom Petty is an example.

This album is actually pretty great. There is a self-conscious attempt to mix the Byrds with the Stones, and that is clearly present here, but the time is different, it is now 1976 and there is a little tiny bit of punk creeping into here, the first track for example has about 5 second snippets of punk in the chorus and the music goes on with a certain attitude which was hard to find before the mid-70's bringing a fresh perspective to the Stones and Byrds as well as creating something quite different and fun.

I was therefore pleasantly surprised with this album, I really didn't rate Tom Petty that highly and now I do. The standout track here is the last one, and it is the most famous track in the album for a good reason, American Girl is a perfect 3 minute track of pop-rock whose guitar riff was the direct inspiration to the Strokes' Last Nite. Get this album.

Track Highlights

1. American Girl
2. Rockin' Around With You
3. Anything That's Rock 'N' Roll
4. Breakdown

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Initially following its release, it received little attention in the United States. Following a British tour, it climbed to the UK's top 30. After a full year and many positive UK reviews, the album reached the American charts, where it climbed to No. 55 and eventually went gold. The song "Anything That's Rock & Roll" became a hit single in the UK, "Breakdown" achieved top 40 success, and "American Girl" became a radio staple which can still be heard today.

Elliot Reid is an American Girl:

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