Petty gives new life to oldies in Pack Up The Plantation
By Glen Gore-Smith
Winnipeg Free Press - Saturday, December 14, 1985
Pack Up The Plantation (MCA), a two-record set from Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, is a live concert album, plus the soundtrack to the movie and long-form video of the same name.
By interspersing originals with non-nostalgic cover versions of vintage rock tunes, including The Searchers' Needles And Pins, and The Animals' Don't Bring Me Down, Petty adds a dimension of variety, while putting his own style in a historical context.
There's a cost to this,of course. To make room for the oldies (and because some tracks are stretched), certain of Petty's better songs are omitted (Don't Do Me Like That, Don't Come Around Here No More).
Petty has a tendency to put his heart into his singing, without quite unlocking the heart of the music. But Plantation, at its best, does what a live album is supposed to do: Breathe temporary new life into well-worn material -- in this case, most notably on Needles & Pins, Southern Accents (duets with Stevie Nicks) and You Got Lucky, arguably Petty's most compelling song. ★★★