The Petty Archives

Petty’s new LP fits same mold
By Ken Freeman
The Daily Collegian – August 9, 1978

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. “You’re Gonna Get It!” Shelter – ABC Records. DA-52029.
Each song on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ first album has its own distinct magical quality, but on “You’re Gonna Get It!”, their new LP, all the songs fit a little too tightly into the same mold.

The problem (if it is a problem) is largely due to a production technique that gives every song the same kind of drunken glow. Look out! Hide your children! It’s the Tom Petty wall…er…ah…puddle of sound!

Petty’s got a distinctive sound he can call his own, but poor Petty overindulges. Sounds like he sacrificed some versatility in the production and rushed it a bit on the mixing board to product an economically compact sound.

Nevertheless, probably because of Petty’s honest (I’ll die for it) rock ‘n roll heart, I ended up enjoying most of the new tunes.

On side one, the title song is a stronger version of “Breakdown,” the single from the first LP. But it’s got too much schmultz for Top 40 material.

“Hurt” starts off acoustically with three bass drum taps and pleasant guitar riff backing. Then the song goes full steam into the standard Petty challenge type rocker with a distinctly Byrds type guitar solo strategically placed in the middle of the song.

Side two is a bit more solid. The sheer power of “I Need To Know” overcomes its muddiness and makes it one of the best songs here. There’s a classic Petty scream followed by a classic guitar solo. It’s the climax of the album.

“Listen To Her Heart” is another great rocker influenced by the Byrds’ “I Feel a Whole Lot Better,” adding a searing guitar solo.

Well, I guess I should admit that I like this album. I like it because of Petty’s style of songwriting. He’s got a good knowledge of how rock ‘n’ roll should be played and written.

Petty sings mostly like Roger McGuinn and Bob Dylan, and at times, even imitates Dylan. You can hear definite Byrds and Rolling Stones influence as well as a kind of Buddy Holly sensibility in his music.

The album s no great improvement on Petty’s previous work, but if you are anxious for good new music as I am, and you’re familiar with Petty’s previous antics, I suggest “You’re Gonna Get It!” It will get your dull party jumpin’.