The Petty Archives

Long After Dark hit for Petty
By Kevin Dunn
The Rocket - January 21, 1983

"Long After Dark," the most recent Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers album, peaks as the band's best musically textured record to date. The album combines the rough rocking sounds that drove "Damn the Torpedoes" and the more subdued sounds that puncuated the "Hard Promises" album.

"Long After Dark" proves that Tom Petty and his fellow Heartbreakers do possess a great deal of rock 'n' roll talent. This band is young enough to be new and vital and old enough to be good and mature.

The songs and music on this record walk the thin line of rock 'n' roll perfection.

The opening side of the album is packed with five red-hot rocking numbers. Songs like "A One Story Town," "You Got Lucky," and "Change of Heart" highlight the up tempo rock 'n' roll of side one.

On the second site, Petty and crew change the pace slightly. "Straight into Darkness" and "The Same Old You" are typical Petty style songs, but the rest of the second side is something different for this band. "We Stand a Change" and "Wasted Life" are both sizzling rock tunes and three well produced ballads. This entire record, extremely solid, and does not feature one weak song. It captures the listeners attention and imagination and holds them both throughout the entire record.

The album contains seven vibrant fluid ballads and these are the type of songs that have escaped the grasp of Petty's earlier records. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers' ability to utilize different styles of rock only serves to prove that they are maturing as musicians.

"Long After Dark" produces raw rock and powerful ballads, thus making this album a great musical success for Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.