Tom Petty says he had one main goal in putting together his first album in four years with the Heartbreakers: Getting back to basics. “I knew I wanted to do a rock ‘n’ roll record,” Petty tells David Fricke of Rolling Stone. “We hadn’t made a straight, hard-rocking record, from beginning to end, in a long time.”
In keeping, the forthcoming Hypnotic Eye includes new songs like “American Plan B,” “Burn Out Town” and “Faultlines” that are said to hearken back to the focused rock sounds of his earliest recordings, with Petty still in great voice. “That’s what [long-time guitarist] Mike [Campbell] said: ‘You sing like you did on the first two albums,’” says Petty, now 63. “Maybe this album does sound like that. But it’s that band 30 years later.”
Hypnotic Eye, due this summer via Reprise Records, was co-produced by Petty, Mike and Ryan Ulyate over a period of time going back to 2011, when work on “Burn Out Town” began. Several earlier songs were reportedly put aside because they felt more in keeping with the blues-focused 2010 release Mojo.
Also on tap for this year: A deluxe reissue of Petty’s 1994 solo effort Wildflowers, which be expanded by an astounding 10 songs. A Heartbreakers record in every way save for its title, the Rick Rubin-helmed project spun off radio hits in “You Don’t Know How It Feels” and “It’s Good to Be King.”
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