By Steve Valdez
Round Up — Friday, November 12, 1982
(This review is presented with the help of Rick Eakens and Pat Gay at Budget Tapes. The opinions expressed belong solely to the reviewer and should not be construed as the opinion of the people at Budget.)
TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS — Long After Dark (Backstreet) — The fifth album by Petty and the Heartbreakers, Long After Dark is a collection of hard rock torch songs. The lyrics tend to deal with relationships that have either gone sour somehow or are on the verge of disintegration. Petty’s distinctive, anguished vocals add considerably to the underlying bitterness expressed in the lyrics.
The playing is tight and the solos on many of the songs are expressive. On the radio cut, You Got Lucky, the guitar solo seems kind of lost and directionless which really fits the content of the lyrics. The side one opener, A One Story Town, isn’t a real strong opener compared to some of the other tunes (like Finding Out), and is in a lot of ways similar to their earlier hit Here Comes My Girl. Finding Out is a good, driving rock tune that I think would make a good radio hook.
Many of the songs on this album are similar in style and content to tunes from previous releases. There is some good rock on this album, but many of the songs are hard to distinguish from one another. The production and the mix are both done really well and the instrumental and vocal tracks support each other pretty well.
Best cuts: Finding Out, We Stand A Chance, You Got Lucky, and A Wasted Life.