The Petty Archives

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Records: Live Albums
By Denny Angelle
Boys' Life -- July 1986

Pack Up The Plantation by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (MCA): Tom Petty's snarling, Southern rock voice saves the day on this double-record set.

This 16-song set, recorded on tour in 1985, is really a greatest-hits collection disguised as a live record. But that really doesn't matter, because these versions of Petty favorites like "The Waiting" and "American Girl" are performed with pedal-to-the-metal power. On every cut, the Heartbreakers pour out thunder behind Petty's rough, emotional singing.

Petty and company toss in a few rejuvenated moldy oldies to further energize the party. The best of these are "Shout," an Isley Brothers rocker from 1962, and "Needles and Pins," a duet with Stevie Nicks.

This record reveals why Tom Petty has such a huge following. Even a predictable live show blasts off when jump-started by Tom's remarkable singing. That alone puts him in a league with Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger.