The Petty Archives

Vinyl: Drop Down And Get Me | Del Shannon | Electra/Asylum
Review by Allan Peterson
The Daily Aztec - November 13, 1981

I don't know, maybe I'm prejudiced and jaded beyond repair, but to me, this stuff sounds like music for recovering alcoholics. A couple of the tunes are actually acceptable and listenable. The rest of it sounds like the background music in a cheap Mexican restaurant. Now, soothing music can be useful: if you're drunk enough, if your baby done you wrong enough, if you don't know or care enough. Del has definitely had enough. During the course of the LP, he calls himself a "sucker," a "fool" gets down on his knees and considers himself crazy more than once. I believe him. Maybe lyrics don't matter. Maybe they do.

The music after all is reasonable. Tom Petty produces, and most of the Heartbreakers appear. This LP can't be all bad, right? Yeah, okay, it does make it -- twice. The title track is reassuringly inventive and biting. "To Love Someone," the last ballad on side one, is kind of nice. Sweet really.

The LP is dedicated to the memory of Pat Hamilton. Pat must be a transsexual. Every single song on the LP seems to be sung to the same woman, or the same woman stereotype. She must have done some powerful wrong-doing. A real bitch. You know the type. But Del's such a nice guy, he loves her anyway. As Del says, "I'm a sucker for you, love." Get pissed Del.

Nothing is spared, nothing is sacred. This grouping of individuals just mutilates an old Stones tune, "Out of Time." More like out of life. Maybe if Shannon started smoking four packs a day his voice would sound convincing for the kind of sop that paces this delightfully slimy piece of vinyl.

Not everybody will or should dislike this LP. Old cowboys, young ones too, will find this music mollifying enough to get drunk with when their old lady has a fit and moves to New Mexico. Tom Petty is not incompetent nor daft. The sound is well-balanced and there is a smooth, warm glow throughout the instrumentals. Mike Campbell plays fine slurpy guitar licks in the background, and the rest of the boys and girls, including Stan Lynch, Phil Seymour, Benmont Tench, Kym Westover and even T.P. himself fill in more than adequately. Shannon does write most of the stuff, except for some stolen oldies. I could never understand why a person would steal something if they couldn't make any use of it. Sell it, I suppose.

Ah yes. I feel a twinge of guilt. Hey, I like Tom Petty, and Shannon is obviously his friend. Must be a good friend. Hey Tom, I thought you were sinking when you teamed with Stevie Nicks, but this is ridiculous. Oh well, can't please everybody. Shouldn't even try.