Petty’s Heartbreakers let that sucker rip
The Gateway — April 6, 1983
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | Long After Dark | Backstreet BSR-5360
Both a consolidation and a confirmation of past efforts, Long After Dark takes all of Tom Petty’s usual obsessions (loneliness, misplaced trust, letting go of the past…) and wraps them up in hooks mostly culled from his 1979 “how to make a hit album” best seller, Damn the Torpedoes. More than just a hint of formula is evident here, but even working with the same old building blocks, the pieces sometimes fall together in wondrous new ways (ie: ‘Between Two Worlds’, ‘Finding Out’). You won’t impress your trendy friends by listening to Tom Petty anymore, but TP is still a classic American rock ‘n’ roller in the tradition of Chuck Berry. “We could buy a ’57 Cadillac/Put a Fender amplifier in the back,” Petty muses. “Drive straight to the heart of America/Turn up to ten/Let that sucker rip!” Meaning? Why, damn the torpedoes … and full speed ahead!