The Lanthorn — February 9, 1994

Editor’s Note: All of the typos were copied verbatim from the original.

cd box set: Petty and the Heartbreakers: A musical history
By Greg Barnes
The Lanthorn — February 9, 1994

Music is an art form under continual change. Many of its faces have defined generations. But there comes a time when artists transcend these borders with their musical talents. Artists like Tom Petty.

Petty’s early days were spent in Gainesville, Florida, where he formed his first band, “Mud Crunch.” After a move to L.A. and a little soul searching, Mud Crunch gave way to the Heartbreakers.

Their first album was released during the late seventies, smack dab in the middle of the disco era. Their unique sound quickly gaines them an audience, and ushered in “eighties rock and roll.”

With the release of their third album, Damn the Torpedoes, The Heartbreakers reached critical acclaim. “Don’t Do Me Like That” was the smash single off the effort, which also spawned the other familiar tunes “Refuge” and “Even the Loosers.”

After the success of his third album, Petty found himself in court during a long drawn out battle with record label MCA (a battle Petty eventually won). “Hard Promises,” Petty’s fourth album, was to remain at $8.98 (wow!), and Petty enjoyed the success of “Breakdown” and “The Waiting,” that propelled the Heartbreakers into what some would say was their musical prime.

In the late eighties, Petty worked with some of rocks’ legends. The Traveling Wilburies were a testament to good old fashioned rock-and-roll. A testament that would have an effect on Petty’s first solo effort Full Moon Fever.

Petty once said, “Someday I’d like to release the Worst of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.” Petty has always had a flair to be different, but that feat would be hard to do.

The greatest hits album hit the stores just before Christmas. This album is a dream. With the success of “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” the album offers a good look at Petty’s musical present, and the best of his past.

The real treat, though, is having all of his great stuff on CD. Petty has never sounded so good.

Born in a time when albums were actually vinyl, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were pioneers. Musically they were the eighties. No other band even came close to reaching their popularity in that era. The music they played is still some of the best music out there. Their trademark guitar lines and unforgettable lyrics have placed this band among the best.

Today, Petty is regarded as one of rock’s greatest. The man is fantastic. His voice and musical style have earned him his fame, and he is truly a rock ‘n’ roll star.

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