The Petty Archives

Tom Petty and 'pop rock'
By Ray Rogers, esq.
The Gateway -- September 29, 1978

According to a recent World-Herald story, Billy Graham, the evangelist -- not the rock promoter, was conducting a crusade in Norway when he was attacked by "the Norwegian Society of Heathens, anarchists, and other demonstrators..."

This rather unruly bunch threw "rotten fruit and cream cakes" at the renowned Mr. Graham.

One woman complained that Graham's religious style consisted of "power Christianity." What, one may be wondering, does this have to do with music? Well, not much, but the phrase "power Christianity" has the same ring to it as a term being bandied about currently in rock 'n' roll magazines -- "power pop."

I've never really understood what the term means, but it seems to have something to do with the mixing of pop music and hard rock. Or it could mean pop music with weird, usually perverse lyrics.

  • 1978-10-07_St-Petersburg-Independent

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Tune In: Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
St. Petersburg Independent - Saturday, October 7, 1978

In the record world, prophecies are very risky to make and seldom fulfilled. Last year a record critic said that 'if they last' Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will 'provide much needed adrenalin for American rock.'

But if the string of chart-toppers that the group has turned out this year is any indication, the Heartbreakers are giving massive transfusions to the music scene.

Petty, whose roots come from the music of Roger McGuinn and the Byrds, the Beatles, and Van Morrison, has a crusade to give AM radio 'back to the kids' and his group is the one that's doing most of the delivering.

'Listen to Her Heart,' written by Tom Petty, is proof positive that the Heartbreakers will be around quite a while longer -- a condition that many think is plain incontestable.

Record Reviews
By Dave Nelson
The Main Sheet - October 11, 1978

"YOU'RE GONNA GET IT" | Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | (Shelter/ABC)
The second release from Petty and his cohorts proves even tighter and more consistent than their debut album. They project a sound reminiscent of the early Rolling Stones, without losing their originality. All the cuts possess a raw feeling to them and give off unlimited energy. By keeping them short (no song exceeds 3½ minutes), they whet the appetite of the listener and avoid monotony and simplistic repetition. They avoid all the glitter and over-production flooding the racks lately and have a more basic approach to conditions for recording.

The album's highlights are "I Need To Know," "When The Time Comes" and "Restless." They even try their hand at a little reggae with "No Second Thoughts." It's impossible not to get caught up in the overall power and magnetism produced in one of the few promising, up and coming bands in the midst of all the "new wave" material.

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers An American Band
Lakeland Ledger - Friday, November 17, 1978

I just got "You're Gonna Get It" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and really like the album. Can you tell me something about him? Is he English?
A: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers first came to public attention in England, but they're definitely an American band, a product of the music Petty listened to when he was a teen-ager in Gainesville, Fla. -- the Byrds, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Petty began playing with local bands in Gainesville at the age of 14, and went through close to a dozen groups before forming Mudcrutch with Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, who play today in the Heartbreakers. Mudcrutch relocated in Los Angeles in 1973, and caught the ear of Shelter Records president Denny Cordell.

Problems caused the group to split, and in 1975, Petty formed another group -- the Heartbreakers.

Toledo Blade - November 17, 1978

Brian Wilson, who's been working on the Beach Boys' best album with former Chicago Producer James William Guercio and former Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, has been staying at his beach house since his seperation from wife Marilyn. No divorce peoples have been filed and insiders expect a reconciliation, but a recent incident at Madame Wong's restaurant in Los Angeles revealed a very unsettled Wilson. After a performance by the group 20-20 (featuring drummer Phil Seymour), Brian reportedly slopped food around and hollered as he sat at a table with local scene maker Rodney Bingenheimer, Shelter Records president Denny Cordell, and Tom Petty. "I thought Brian was a perfect gentleman," Petty said, "apart from buttering his head and trying to put it between two slices of bread."

A Rock Round-Up: Best rock releases of 1978
By Jim Sullivan
Bangor Daily News - December 9, 1978

6. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers -- YOU'RE GONNA GET IT! (ABC/Shelter)
If only for writing two of the best singles of the year, "I Need to Know" and "Listen to Her Heart," Petty should claim Top Ten status. But he and his group go beyond that. Embracing the commitment of the best 60's bands, and refusing to be limited by any media classifications, the Heartbreakers turn out extremely vital rock 'n' roll for the late '70s. They've assimilated their influences (most obviously the Byrds and the Yardbirds) and come out with refreshing music, uninhibited by extraneous ego-flahsing. The songs are personal, but universal as well, and making that connection is so important. Petty does it consistently.

Rolling Stone: Random Notes
By Fred Scruers
The Morning Record and Journal - Saturday, December 30, 1978

Producer Tom Petty, who's in the studio with Jimmy Iovine, may produce Del Shannon's planned record...

State of the art
By Robert Goldberg
The Daily Princetonian - Wednesday, January 24, 1979

It's January of 1979, which makes it five years until 1984, twenty-one years until 2000, and just about time to do a wrap-up of last year. Actually, this column has little to do with art -- it's mostly about rock and roll. If you're more interested in the arts at Princeton, you can skip down to the end. If you're not interested in the arts at all, you're reading the wrong page.

1978 was the year that saw the crowning of two trends that had been on the rise for at least three or four years previously -- punk rock and disco. As my friends are fond of saying, the former is words without music, and the latter is music without words. Those are decent definitions, except I'm not sure that some guy screaming "I wanna be a dead boy" or "you make me cream in my jeans" qualify as lyrics, and I'm not sure that ten minutes of incessant bomp-bomp-bomp qualifies as music. So there we are: the songs of our era have no music, and no lyrics. I think we're in trouble.

Popline: A Petty Affair In MCA Merger
By Richard Cromelin
Los Angeles Times - March 18, 1979

MCA may have gotten more than it bargained for in its acquisition of ABC Records -- or is it less? Tom Petty, one of the prize acts on ABC's roster, is apparently balking at being shuttled to a new label.

"We don't consider ourselves affliated with MCA because there is no provision in our contract to our transfer to MCA," says Petty's manager Tony Dimitriades. "We're not affliated with any company. We're talking to various people."

Some companies are reportedly tossing multimillion-dollar offers toward free-agent Petty, but MCA isn't out of the picture. The label's new president Bob Siner is currently engaged in what are described as "delicate negotiations" with Petty's representatives. Siner is said to be optimistic about the proceedings.

At stake is Petty's third album, which is nearly completed. Dimitriades is hoping for a May release, but just who will release it remains to be seen.

MCA is also facing an antitrust lawsuit filed last week by several of ABC's independent distributors, but it can't look for sympathy from employees of ABC: Approximately 300 staff members were dismissed by ABC in that company's final act of self-dissolution.