AMONG THE WILDFLOWERS: REMEMBERING TOM PETTY AND 20 OF HIS GREATEST SONGSPublished Oct 6 by Daniel Moss.
YOU WRECK ME (1994 from 'Wildflowers')Another track co-written with Mike Campbell off a highly underrated album in the Petty cannon. 'You Wreck Me' seems to just play itself, it's vintage Heartbreakers on a later career solo record and one of his best.
LEARNING TO FLY (1991 form 'Into The Great Wide Open')For an artist that built his career on economical songwriting, 'Learning To Fly' might be his most simple in terms of initial song ideas. The trademark production of Jeff Lynne really sticks out on this track with the layers and layers of acoustic guitars and super dry vocals but it's the perfect execution of the songwriting that allow it float above.
I WON'T BACK DOWN (1989 from 'Full Moon Fever')
Written in the studio while mixing 'Free Falling' and with slightly tweaked lyrics from the initial idea after receiving feedback from George Harrison because these things happen when you're Tom Petty.
RUNNIN' DOWN A DREAM (1989 from 'Full Moon Fever')
REFUGEE (1979 from 'Damn The Torpedoes')After stating that he didn't want to be a part of the new wave and punk rock scene and that Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers were a rock n roll band, this song is ironically where Petty sounds his most like Tom Verlaine. Allegedly they went through about 200 takes in the recording of this track, with producer Jimmy Iovine pushing them until they got the perfect performance. Gruelling at the time but it probably paid off in the end with one of their biggest hits to date.
FREE FALLIN' (1989 from 'Full Moon Fever')It's not often that you write your most well known song this far into your career but Tom Petty isn't your average guy.
AMERICAN GIRL (1976 from 'Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers')Recorded on July 4th 1976 - the bicentennial of the United States.
THE WAITING (1981 from 'Hard Promises')
In all its jangling Rickenbacker glory, this might be the Heartbreakers at their most 'Byrds-y'. The song takes it's inspiration from Janis Joplin's famous quote of 'I love being onstage and everything else is waiting'.
DON'T COME AROUND HERE NO MORE (1985 from 'Southern Accents')
There really isn't any other Tom Petty song that sounds like this. Written with Dave Stewart from Eurythmics and built around a Linn Drum machine, sitar, synths and somehow still sounding like a Tom Petty song. One of his best.
BREAKDOWN (1976 from 'Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers')Where it all began.
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