The Sunday Dozen: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Scott Thurston, Ron Blair, Benmont Tench, Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, and Steve Ferrone in 2010.

Since many of these songs came from Tom Petty solo albums, I briefly considered leaving the Heartbreakers out of the title. But the band left its fingerprints all over the solo albums so a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers dozen it is. I’d hate to break the band’s hearts after they’ve given me so much pleasure over the years,

This was a hard one to winnow down. My homemade portable Tom Petty CD has 21 tracks on it. Oh well, what the hell.

The listicle is arranged in chronological order and reflects my taste. The hardest track to omit was Don’t Come Around Here No More because it’s their best video. HEY.

I’m not the only one who thought American Girl was a Byrds song the first time they heard it. Roger McGuinn briefly wondered if it was a lost song resurrected by the record company. Instead, it heralded a new force on the music scene; one that was made of promises that were fulfilled.

I don’t know about you but every time I’m stuck in traffic or on hold, I think of The Waiting. It *is* the hardest part.

Tom may be a transplant from Florida, but Free Fallin’ is one of the ultimate LA songs.

I Won’t Back Down is another TP anthem. I think of it as his ELO song. I think producer Jeff Lynne had something to do with it. He’s in the video as are George and Ringo. If I need to include their last names, there’s something wrong with you.

This version of Runnin’ Down A Dream comes from the band’s 30th anniversary show in Gainesville. It features the flying fingers of Benmont Tench.

King’s Highway reminds me of cruising El Camino Real on the Peninsula during my misspent youth. The song, of course, was written during my misspent adulthood.

Let’s get to the point, I love You Don’t Know How It Feels.

You Wreck Me also comes from the 30th anniversary show. I love it even if Mike Campbell lets his Gator freak flag fly.

Swingin’ features outstanding high harmony vocals by the late Howie Epstein. Plus, the video has a cat in it. Rumor has it that I like felines.

Saving Grace comes from TP’s second Jeff Lynne produced solo album, Highway Companion. Drummer Steve Ferrone shows his chops on this number.

Down South. What’s not to love about a song with a Sam Clemens reference?

Jefferson Jericho Blues rocks like crazy and gets my proverbial mojo working.

I mentioned the Byrds at the top of the post. This week’s lagniappe cover is Feel A Whole Lot Better:

2 thoughts on “The Sunday Dozen: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

  1. Another odd, almost alliterative note among the many connections between Tom Petty and Roger McGuinn is Mr. Petty played the character Lucky on the show King of The Hill and Mr. Petty and Mr. McGuinn teamed up to record the song King Of The Hill (there are a couple versions out there).

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