Editor's Note: This is a German article and my translation of it. If you actually know German and would like to improve it, please contact me.
DIE ZEIT, 10. Juni 1977
VON Manfred Sack
Tom Petty: „Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers". Die Live-Aüftritte dieses neuen ÜS-Quintetts sollen, wenn die Berichte britischer Pop-Zeitschriften zutreffen, allein schon visuell ein faszinierendes Spektakel sein. Das Debüt-Album jedenfalls ist ein akustischer Schnellkursus über die letzten zwölf Jahre Rockmusik-Geschichte, die dieser Gitarrist Tom Petty so clever verarbeitet hat wie wenige seiner Kollegen. Epigonen-Kunst, ganz klar, aber meisterhaft gespielt und ohne den l Verblasen „reyolutionären" Anspruch der englischen Pünk-Rokker. (Shelter/Ariola 28 588)
Worth a Listen
By Manfred Sack
Die Zeit -- June 10, 1977
Tom Petty: "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers." The live performances of this new U.S. quintet should, if the reports from British pop magazines are true, be a visually fascinating specacle. The debut album is, in any case, an audible crash course on the last twelve years of rock music history that guitarist Tom Petty has processed cleverly, as has few of his colleagues. Copycats of art, for sure, but masterly played without blowing the revolutionary claim of the English Punk-Rocker. (Shelter/Ariola 28 588)
Tom Petty — A Tough Guy Who's Not So Tough
By Greg Beebe
Santz Cruz Sentinel - Wednesday, May 10, 1978
With Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, who invade a sold out Civic Auditorium Monday night, everything that's rock 'n' roll is fine. Real fine.
Forget all the ambigious titles and classifications—Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are a hard working rock band which plays its third Santa Cruz date Monday in a long-awaited show sponsored by Wild West Productions.
When the group played its first Santa Cruz gig in August, 1977 at the Catalyst, it was attended by a loyal smattering of hardcore music fans who were just beginning to come on to the fresh new sound of the Heartbreakers.
Now, one super album and an AM radio hit later, the band is on the verge of releasing its second lp, due in local vinyl shops around May 20.
"I think it's actually better than the first album," Petty said. "We had more time, the band is better. We were all really pleased with it."
Tom Petty Makes 'em Go Bananas
By Greg Beebe
Santa Cruz Sentinel - Tuesday, May 16, 1978
The feverish anticipation preceding Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' third Santa Cruz appearance Monday Night was exceeded only by the show itself.
The Heartbreakers methodically mashed out two long sets of raucous rock 'n' roll while the Civic Auditorium house went utterly bananas.
People began lining the steps of the Civic early Monday afternoon, staking out ground near the door so that they may get as close as possible to Petty and his high-rolling rock 'n' roll band of the future.
Petty performs solid, positive, polished rock
By Vincent Trola
The Daily Aztec -- Wednesday, May 17, 1978
It has been almost one week since Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers set foot on Montezuma Hall's stage, but the fever still lingers.
Petty and his band of bad boys launched a full-scale attack on the ears of a sell-out crowd, and literally sent them reeling head-on into the heavens of classic rock 'n' roll music.
In a word, the band was incredible. No one band I have ever seen has totally controlled both the stage and its fans in attendance.
The San Diego show as one of a few warm-up gigs before the band begins their U.S. tour in Los Angeles in June. Petty and his cohorts were somewhat uneasy about the tour, and felt the warm-up shows would help them loosen up.
What the hell were they worried about? Petty, except for a few small problems, was near perfection.
Editor's Note: Thanks to John Harrison for the scan!
Tom Petty: Plugging In to the Glory of Rock
By Robert Hilburn
The Los Angeles Times - Sunday, June 4, 1978
ABC Records president Steve Diener was excited by the field reports on his desk. The new Tom Petty album had been in the stores only a few days, but reorders were already coming in. Lots of them.
"The interest is phenomenal," Diener said. "The reaction is the kind you normally expect only for an artist who has been around five years and has a dozen gold albums. The record is an event. I feel something building here that is like an eruption."
Across town, Petty—whose Monday night concert at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium is sold out—smiled at the possibility of finally having an album high on the charts. It's only his second LP, but Petty has been on the rock 'n' roll trail for nearly 10 years.
Tom Petty's Grand Larceny
By Susin Shapiro
The Village Voice - June 5, 1978
Note from the right side of my brain: Tom Petty's second record, You're Gonna Get It!, has all the earmarks of a classic, even if it isn't one. It's in harmony with rock's most conservative ideologies, particularly influenced by Roger McGuinn's nasal optimism and Mick Jagger's vampy half-speak (see "Hot Stuff"). Petty's not hazarding new routes; he's too busy polishing the familiar and systematizing the sensational. He's carrying on rock tradition for the benefit of the blank generation. Every tune on the LP is Gothic architecture -- two-and-a-half-minute, scientifically structured units by a band that plays strictly as a community.
The LP has no moments of unrestrained frenzy, but its cultivated aesthetics ("Restless") somewhat compensate. This is why Petty is not a new waver, as some have claimed. New wavers are primarily romantic, carving drama out of their own flesh and open sacrificing, neglecting, or mutating their lives for art and inspiration's sake. The Heartbreakers play no-punches-pulled power pop, but they are far too sophisticated and far too commonplace to destroy themselves in the process. Their music has every intention of commemorating the past. Nietzsche once warned that the artist's break with tradition (in other words, revolution) would mean the end of art, but Petty and other classicists will never let that happen. He has subsumed his personality in the service of Good Clean Fun.
Singles Of The Week
The Daily Express - Tuesday, June 6, 1978
"I NEED TO KNOW" (Island), in which Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers come back with some good American bash crash high-energy music.
Pop Music Review: Classic Rock of Tom Petty
By Robert Hilburn
Los Angeles Times - June 7, 1978
Predictions are hazardous in any field were success depends on something as fickle as public taste, but there's enough evidence available to take a stab at one: Tom Petty's going to be a superstar in rock.
Rather than deal in a narrow jazz-rock, classical-rock, pop-rock fusion, he and the Heartbreakers band deal in a classic rock style so powerful and pure you'd think they'd stumbled across some long-lost formula.
Most importantly, Petty connects with his audiences.
Petty's sound: future rock
By Brad Brockbank
Stanford Daily - Wednesday, June 7, 1978
Tom Petty is the Renaissance of Rock and Roll.
I've said it before: There's a lot of crap that's floating around the AM airwaves that some would call music. Maybe it's the sound of the '70s, but the '80s are almost here and I have a feeling, after seeing Petty play at Memorial Auditorium Saturday, that the '80s may just spell the return of good, solid Rock. And at the forefront of the Rock Revival will be a young man named Tom Petty.
Petty broke into the BeeGee-esque AM scene a few months ago with a hard-driving sound on a song called "Breakdown." The composition quickly rose into the Top 40 and floated around for awhile before falling into Oblivion. The song came from the album "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers," which was the group's first effort.
Now, Petty has released a new album, "You've Gonne Get It," and is touring extensively to promote it. Saturday night's performance was a good showcase for the group. It is maturing quickly and it is attracting a following.
The show began almost an hour late, much to everyone's discontent. Finally, at 8:50 p.m., Wha-koo came on stage and delivered a 50 minute set that didn't deserve an encore and didn't get one. There is little about the band that makes one sit up and take notice. Lead singer Dave Palmer anchors a strong vocal performance when he calms down enough to sing and lead guitarist Chuck Cochran can play rehearsed scales and make people think he's doing something more difficult than he really is. But besides a tight harmony and a capable drummer, Wha-koo still has quite a way to go.
Things changed at 10:20 p.m. when the stage darkened and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers stepped on. Opening with "When The Time Comes," a song from the new album, Petty gave a blistering performance. THough in the end it had lasted only an hour, the group performed 14 songs with intensity, and few people left unsatisfied.
Petty's avant garde sound is centered around short, high-energy songs that have their roots in the '50s and '60s. Besides performing five songs from each of his albums, including "Breakdown" and "I Need To Know," his new hot single, Petty betrayed his influences by performing a few early Rock and Roll classics. "Shout," made popular by the Animals in the '60s, was Petty's first encore. He soon came out again to perform Chuck Berry's "Route 66." The final song of the night was a searing rendition of "I Fought The Law."
It was over
When it was all over, the band had delivered a powerful message: They are the group of the future to watch.
Last time the group appeared in the Bay Area, they played second bill to Be-Bop Deluxe at Winterland. Petty stole the show then, but this time, when they play Winterland this Saturday, they won't have to. They will be the show. In fact, they are quite likely to be THE show for some years in the future.