Petty began to take control of his vocal gifts on the second Heartbreakers album.
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What a way to close their self-titled 1976 debut album.
Tom Petty sets the record straight with Paul Zollo in Conversations With Tom Petty, concerning a very particular label that is often cast upon the Heartbreakers: “We’re always referred to as a Southern band,” he says.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is, ultimately, an uneven record. Taking their official lineup into account, only eight of the ten tracks can really be considered Heartbreakers songs.
“Strangered In The Night” is the second and final song on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers that is a leftover from Petty’s solo record sessions, therefore not technically qualifying as a Heartbreakers song.
For as long as rock ‘n’ roll has been around, there have been songs celebrating the genre. In the ’50s, there was “Rock And Roll Music,” “Twenty Flight Rock,” “Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay,” “Seven Nights To Rock,” and “Rock Around The Clock,” among many others.
Tom Petty has written his fair share of songs about mysterious women: “Magnolia,” “Shadow Of A Doubt (A Complex Kid)” and “A Thing About You” are just a few notable ones. “The Wild One, Forever” was his first, and it is simultaneously one of his greatest love songs and one of his most heartbreaking.
It’s interesting that “Hometown Blues” is featured on two Heartbreakers best-of compilations — 1995’s five-disc, career-spanning box set Playback and 2000’s double-disc Anthology: Through The Years. Firstly, there are arguably better songs from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers that didn’t make the cut
“‘Breakdown,’ I wrote that, and we cut it. It was really long. Maybe seven or eight minutes … And somewhere near the end, [Mike] played that lick … Dwight Twilley came in, and when that lick came by, he goes, ‘That’s the lick! Oh man, that’s the lick!’
As it stands today, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are one of America’s longest running and most beloved rock ‘n’ roll groups.