Articles Tagged: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

Certain Songs #1032: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – “Room at the Top”

Album: Echo
Year: 1999

This is embarrassing, but there is some dispute in my household over when the eighth (and final) time I saw Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers actually happened.

That it was at the Fillmore in San Francisco is beyond dispute. But Rox thinks we saw them during the initial January-February 1997 stand, whereas I think we saw them on the March 1999 stand. I even dug up my old email program — Pegasus Mail! — from that time period to see if I had any emails about it, but that was during the “stand in line at Tower Records for concert tickets” era, so no go.


Certain Songs #1031: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – “Supernatural Radio”

Album: Songs and Music from the Motion Picture “She’s The One”
Year: 1996

This is probably the weirdest entry in Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers catalog: ostensibly a motion picture soundtrack, She’s The One (as I’m going to call it) doesn’t really feature soundtrack music per se (exception, “Airport,” a jazzy instrumental at the end), has a few leftovers from Wildflowers (which had they been on Wildflowers would have been credited to TP only) and — weirdest of all — the only covers that ever appeared on a Tom Petty studio album: Beck’s “Asshole” and Lucinda Williams “Changed The Locks.”

Which was the last song I wrote about before Tom Petty died.


Certain Songs #1030: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – “Walls (Circus)”

Album: Songs and Music From She’s The One
Year: 1996

Like most of the other rockers of his generation, Tom Petty had his entire world turned around by The Beatles. So much so that after John Lennon was shot, he had “We love you J.L.” etched on the run-out groove of Hard Promises.

And, of course, unlike most of the other rockers of his generation — except for Linda Eastman, of course — Tom Petty not only became close with one of the Beatles, they co-founded a band together.

Still, for all of that, his music never really felt as derived from The Beatles as it did their contemporaries like The Byrds, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.


Certain Songs #1029: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – “Wildflowers (Toronto 3-17-1995)”

Album: The Live Anthology
Year: 1995

On the short list of The Prettiest Songs Ever Written, Tom Petty Division, “Wildflowers” was an atypical opening number for the album for which it also served as the title track : it was neither a single nor an uptempo rocker, which was usually how he opened his records.

But of course, it didn’t matter: “Wildflowers” was always about setting a mood of wistfulness. And hope. And regret. But most of all, inevitability of change.


Certain Songs #1025: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – “Built To Last”

Album: Into The Great Wide Open
Year: 1991

Into The Great Wide Open was probably Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers most stylistically cohesive album since Long After Dark nearly a decade before, and there were a lot of worthy songs: the swampy-rocker “Out in The Cold,” the widescreen cautionary tale “Into The Great Wide Open,” the lovely “All The Wrong Reasons” (or as I’ve always called it, “Re-Falling”) (and yes, I only wrote this paragraph in order to work that joke in) are all worthy entries into the upper middle reaches of Petty’s canon.

But my favorite song on the entire record was the the one songs that didn’t really sound like the rest of the record, the near doo-wop closer “Built to Last.”