“Torpedoes” Right on Target
By Amy Hunter
The Crawford Pacer — January 25, 1980
Damn The Torpedoes, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ latest album, is definitely their finest yet. With Pettys strangling vocals and the Heartbreakers pumping rhythms, this album has been rapidly climbing the charts ever since its release in late November 79.
Tower Records reported that Damn the Torpedoes was one of their biggest selling albums over the holidays along with Pink Floyds The Wall.
Like their two previous albums, Damn the Torpedoes is stocked with radio hits. The biggest being “Refugee”, a tough minded, street song with lyrics like “It don’t really matter to me, everybodys got to fight to be free.”
“Here Comes My Girl,” another very popular song, is an almost typical love song except that the verses are nihilistic rather than soppy love mishaps. He asks himself questions that we ask ourselves every day like, Why am I here?, and Should I stay? In this song, Petty’s hope comes from his girl.
“Even the Losers” and “Don’t Do Me Like That” are two more great songs, although all of them are good. “Don’t Do Me Like That” is a swinging song with Benmont Tench’s organ keeping a steady rocking beat and Petty’s guitar sounding almost like a banjo.
Petty’s Dylan-like vocals and his raw guitar resembles early Rolling Stones music making an irresistible combination. His songs are ordinary and down to earth; a style lost in many of todays cosmic, synthesized rock ‘n’ roll. All in all, Damn the Torpedoes is an exciting, refreshing album well worth buying.