1970s
The Petty Archives

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.

Original German:
DIE ZEIT, 10. Juni 1977
Hörenswert
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)

Translation:
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)

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  • 1978-05-10_Santa-Cruz-Sentinel

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."

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  • 1978-05-16_Santa-Cruz-Sentinel

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.

  • 1978-05-17_The-Daily-Aztec

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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.

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.

  • 1978-06-07_The-Los-Angeles-Times

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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.

  • 1978-06-08_Eugene-Register-Guard

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Tom Petty rock band to play here
Eugene Register-Guard - Thursday, June 8, 1978

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, one of the nation's most-discussed new rock bands, will perform a concert at 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Lane County Fairgrounds.

Tickets are available at the Sun Shop, Everybody's Record and Odyssey Records for $6.50 each. They will also be sold at the door for $7.50 each.

Petty is considered an overnight success in the rock music industry, yet he has been performing for 10 years. He grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., then moved to Los Angeles as a teen-ager, where he has played in a number of rock bands.

Petty put together the Heartbreakers two years ago then snagged a record contract last year that resulted in the release of an album many critics glowingly praised. As a result, Petty was called the best newcomer of 1977 and the band played before large crowds in California and Great Britain.

Note: I cut out most of the stuff about the other band, but the full article is in the PDF.

  • 1978-06-10_Winnipeg-Free-Press

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Pop Pourri: Cheap Trick and Tom Petty - big waves on a quiet sea
By Andy Mellen
Winnipeg Free Press - Saturday, June 10, 1978

Although most of rock's big names have been relatively quiet this year, there's been no shortage of quality rock and roll records. Anyone who thinks that 1978 has been a bad year for rock simply hasn't been listening to recent releases by a wide array of up and coming bands.

Two of North America's most promising rock and roll groups, Cheap Trick and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, have brand new albums which are guaranteed to add to their already considerable reputations.

There's not much doubt in my mind that the time has come for Tom Petty to take a place among rock's premiere performers. It's been two years since his highly-acclaimed debut album was released to great reviews (it made many writers' top album lists for 1976) but generally sluggish public response.