The Petty Archives

Rock On
By Ethlle Ann Vare
Middleport Daily Sentinel - January 10, 1982

I've been weeding out for a month now. I have an ulcer and my fingernails are bitten to the elbow. But here it is, fnally -- the Rock On Annual Ten Best List.
Eligible albums were released from December, 1980 through November, 1981. They are arranged alphabetically.

The Rock On Annual 10 Best List: Best Albums
6. Hard Promises Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Rock's golden boy is growing up just fine, thanks.

A look back at the 'musical pleasures' of last year
By Kevin Bicknell
The Red & Black - Wednesday, January 20, 1982

The first reason to do a top-ten list is because it's fun. You get to look back on the albums and singles that gave you pleasure all year and organize it into some perspective. It is also an ego trip, a chance to communicate and a summing-up of the year.

The most interesting part of last year was that the good albums did not stand out as much as the good singles and that is why I am including a list of the top-ten singles last year. Also, as I didn't review most of my personal top-tens, commentary has been added to the listings. Kick out the jams.

The Top Ten Singles
5. "The Waiting" by Tom Petty. "Hard Promises" was disappointing, but this Byrds-meets-the-Rolling-Stones songs leapt off of it. The only thing that salvaged "96 Rock" this year.

Any conclusions to be drawn from one man's top-ten? Aside from an overall surplus of good music? Only that rock audiences still demand the best and if you start us up, we'll never stop.

Rock On: Album Reviews
By Ethlie Ann Vare
Medina Journal-Register - Thursday, February 11, 1982

Del Shannon -- "Drop Down and Get Me" (Network/Elektra) -- Ironically, while Bruce Springsteen was producing a landmark LP by Gary "U.S." Bonds, Tom Petty had taken another '60s rocker under his wing -- Del Shannon ("Hats off to Larry," "Runaway").  Those songs' incredible organ sound (provided by Max Crook on the musitron) presaged everything from Phil Spector's wall of sound to the Moody Blues.

So it's disappointing that this new LP has nary an organ lead, despite the presence of keyboardist Benmont Tench. We have here some catchy songs and excellent guitar work (more like Shannon's mid '60s work with the likes of Peter and Gordon) and, in general, a good album.

Unappreciated Musicians Heralded
By Steve Gritzan
American University Eagle - February 26, 1982

Tom Petty You're Gonna Get It -- It's his second LP, and it's the one that got me started on a petty kick. Damn the Torpedoes is really not that much different, but You're Gonna Get It may have a bit more soul. Plus, I haven't heard it as many times (1978)

Spartanburg Herald-Journal -- March 11, 1982

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and laying down tracks in Los Angeles for their next album using a new bass player, Howie Epstein. Replacing former Heartbreaker Ron Blair, Epstein previously worked with Del Shannon and John Hiatt. It's not certain yet whether he'll become a full-time member of the band...

Shannon drops down and comes up empty
By Gary Graff
Columbia Missourian - March 21, 1982

Del Shannon. Drop Down and Get Me (Elektra Records).
An apt title here would be Del Shannon and the Heartbreakers. This is Shannon's comeback, his first record in almost 10 years, and his first album is new material since many years before that.

So he does things up big-time, signing on Tom Petty as producer, thus ensuring back-up from the Heartbreakers.

"Coke," drug choice of Hollywood
Gadsden Times -- March 21, 1982

Recently, rock music star Tom Petty told students at the UCLA campus he had given up cocaine because "I couldn't get my mind on anything else." But his statement, quoted in the campus newspaper, was a rarity.

  • 1982-11-06_Sarasota-Herald-Tribune

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Album Review: Petty Gets His Message Across
By Robert Hilburn
Sarasota Herald-Tribune - November 6, 1982

HOLLYWOOD -- Tom Petty's new "Long After Dark" album is a textbook example of how to have your cake in rock and eat it too.

Due this week from Backstreet Records, the LP underscores Petty's ability to weave meaningful themes into a highly commercial framework.

The secret is putting your message into the popular or accepted language of rock so that passive, mainstream fans can enjoy the music on a casual level while other, more active fans can appreciate it on a deeper level.

Though most of the collection's lively, engaging songs deal with the search for romance, it is more rewarding to view the lyrics as statements about maintaining integrity of your dreams, whether they involve career or relationships.

Editor's Note: "Midnight Snack" is a radio show.

Old and New Voices Premier on Midnight Snack
By Phil King
The Colgate Maroon - November 9, 1982

Sunday: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Long After Dark
Tom Petty's second album since the breakthrough Damn the Torpedoes contains no big surprises -- which is to say, fine songwriting and execution, as always. Petty is an established member of the mainsteam who's able to make his hard-fought appenticeship in the business pay off; his work has a keen sense for the strong riff and melody line, tight playing and seamless production, as he all the while doggedly insists against the notion that rock has anything to do with Art. Like Hard Promises, Long After Dark continues to explore themes of personal crisis, despondance and the state of feeling beleaguered by life, usually within the context of a relationship. Phrases like "Faraway feeling," "hands of fate," "there was nothin', only black sky" and "I don't think pain is so romantic" pop up all over the place on this record, and the lonely-boy spirit of it all would be wearisome if not for the expressiveness of Petty's writing.

Musically, Long After Dark reverts to the hard-driving style of Torpedoes' "Century City" and "Don't Do Me Like That." The teaming of Petty's marvelous North-Florida drawl with the Heartbreakers' flawless professionalism is as enticing as ever. The band rocks out on "We Stand a Chance," "Finding Out" and "The Same Old You." The standout cut, "You Got Lucky," gets a strolling pace underneath a nice synth loop (Petty's first use of the synthesizer) and strumming guitar. It's hard to explain just how good this song is ... so I suggest pumping your radio at the appointed time and enjoying it first hand.