Petty album never ‘Lets Up’
By Eric E. Heckelman
Ohio State Lantern — Monday, May 4, 1987
I don’t want to get up because I haven’t had enough, I thought as the stereo arm rose from the final song and title track of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ new album, “Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough).”
If the final song’s title for some reason doesn’t catch your interest, the guitar work that kicks off “Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough)” will. Stan Lynch’s drumming becomes more and more dominant as the song progresses, while Petty distinctively wails out the vocals. The group brings the song to an impressive ending with quick guitar and drum work that left me hoping there would be another song.
The first song on the album is as impressive as the last. “Jammin’ Me” deservingly receives the most airplay of any tune on the album. Snarling electric guitars combine with Lynch’s dominant drums to complement the anger and raw energy evident from the first verse, “You got me in a corner, You got me against the wall, I got nowhere to go, I got nowhere to fall.“
Bob Dylan helped Petty and Heartbreaker Mike Campbell write the song and his influence is evident. Many of the song’s lyrics make a social comment similar to the final verse: “Take back Pasadena, Take back El Salvador, Take back that country club they’re trying to build outside my door.“
“Think About Me” begins side two with the same energy that “Jammin’ Me” starts side one. Like many songs on the album, this track begins with a dominant drum beat. Stirring electric guitar riffs are complemented by background piano that gives this song a honky-tonk flavor.
Similar to “Jammin’ Me,” the song sarcastically criticizes materialistic values. In this instance, a girl who has apparently left Petty for a man with “more” to offer. Petty sings, “Your boyfriend’s gotta big red car, Got a compact disc, got a VCR, I can’t do no disco dance, But I can sure love you baby if you give me a chance.“
“Runaway Trains” is one of those tunes that is not especially catchy, but gets better and better each time you listen to it. The introduction to song sounds eerie and ominous, yet bouncy. It brought to my mind scenes of Crockett and Tubbs peering around corners in search of the elusive Miami drug dealer.
A heavy drumbeat and twangy strings give the next tune, “The Damage You’ve Done,” a country-rock flavor which complements Petty’s mourning of a broken romance.
There isn’t a bad song on this album and there are several that will earn frequent spins on my turntable. Maybe Tom Petty has had enough, but I’m ready to sit down, put on the earphones, turn up the volume and start “Jammin’ Me.”