The Petty Archives

Record companies rush new albums for winter
By Dan Russell
The Duquesne Duke - Thursday, November 11, 1982

The leaves fall, the temperature drops and the record stores unleash a stampede of albums to local record stores. You can count on all three year after year. This year's new releases prove as diverse as ever and should satisfy one and all. If you haven't already one or twenty, here are some recommendations.

The pop/rock aisles are rich with some of the most popular bands going. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers lead the list and should surpass last year's Hard Promises sales with the new Long After Dark album. From the sound of the few singles it may be Petty's best project to date.

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Petty Is Cheap
By Robert Schneider
Albany Student Press - November 12, 1982

Someone once said that the worst affliction is to have no affliction. Adversity often has the effect of bringing out the best in people. This also applies to musicians. Tom Petty, who in the past experienced a great deal of trouble, seems to fit the above axiom. His latest LP, Long After Dark, shows a complacency. Although it's vintage Petty, it's also a bit flat.

Petty, who has been blessed with both hit singles and albums, has not been blessed with peace and quiet. Almost from the beginning of his mass popularity, Tom Petty has had disputes with many factions, from record companies to radio stations. He hasn't battled his loyal fans, though.

Sound Advice
By Steve Valdez
Round Up - Friday, November 12, 1982

(This review is presented with the help of Rick Eakens and Pat Gay at Budget Tapes. The opinions expressed belong solely to the reviewer and should not be construed as the opinion of the people at Budget.)

TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS -- Long After Dark (Backstreet) -- The fifth album by Petty and the Heartbreakers, Long After Dark is a collection of hard rock torch songs. The lyrics tend to deal with relationships that have either gone sour somehow or are on the verge of disintegration. Petty's distinctive, anguished vocals add considerably to the underlying bitterness expressed in the lyrics.

The playing is tight and the solos on many of the songs are expressive. On the radio cut, You Got Lucky, the guitar solo seems kind of lost and directionless which really fits the content of the lyrics. The side one opener, A One Story Town, isn't a real strong opener compared to some of the other tunes (like Finding Out), and is in a lot of ways similar to their earlier hit Here Comes My Girl. Finding Out is a good, driving rock tune that I think would make a good radio hook.

Petty's pessimism passes
By Tim O'Brien
The Aquinas - November 19, 1982

When it comes to new Tom Petty albums, the waiting is the hardest part. But Long After Dark, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' latest release, is here at last -- and it sizzles!

Unlike their last album, Hard Promises, Long After Dark is new in every sense of the word. There is a new energy to the music, a new use of the synthesizer and, most surprising of all, a new attitude in the lyrics.

Petty's pessimistic past is apparently behind him, and his words reflect a more positive view toward life. "There's been a change of heart," he sings with renewed vigor. The change is not quite complete, however, and Petty's optimism is a cautious one at best.

Each song on the album crackles with an intensity sorely missed on Hard Promises. Only "The Same Old You" doesn't soar with an incredible amount of electricity, probably because this isn't the same old T.P.

Consistency marks 'Dark'
By Jeff Callan
The Miami Student - November 19, 1982

In last year's UNABRIDGED, I chose Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Hard Promises as the best album of 1981. Although their new release, Long After Dark, isn't this year's best (that honor goes to Costello's Imperial Bedroom), it's more consistent than their last effort.

Not until "A Wasted Life," the ballad closing side two, does the album slow down at all. The frantic bitterness on Dark is a definite change from the brooding mood of the last album. Petty's lyrics are those of a man trapped by his emotions. And he's pretty maddened about his inability to escape.

On the Records
By Robert Sledge
The Union Democrat - November 22, 1982

"LONG AFTER DARK," Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. ★★★ 1/2
Tom Petty and his group have once again been able to turn out a favorable effort, proving them one of the most consistent groups in rock.

One of the reasons this album works is because of its magnificent cohesion as a whole. Often, a group will flip-flop between styles and instruments, the result being uneven. Also, some groups have trouble being consistently good on both rockers and ballads, but they try to put both on one album anyway.

Journey are the masters at mixing ballads and rockers with success, but Petty and the Heartbreakers are definitely not Journey, and they stay away from ballads for the most part, and have a consistent string of style. 

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Long After Dark
By Julie Toth
The Observer - December 1, 1982

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have a knack for being able to repeatedly turn out good, solid rock and roll albums. From their very first Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Shelter Records) to their very latest Long After Dark (Backstreet/MCA), their LP's have matured from being a display of young, raw talent into a showcase for a band who has reached full maturity.

On Long After Dark, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers return minus bassist Ron Blair (replaced by Howie Epstein) who was with te group since its conception. His absence does not seem to diminish the group's sound which is at its strongest and best. Although the album is full of familiar guitar riffs and the perpetual theme of the trials and tribulations of loving a woman -- instead of being repetitious -- they have become the groups' trademark.

Long After Dark | Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | Backstreet Records
Review by Rick Schwartz
The Daily Aztec - December 2, 1982

Here comes some more standard fare from Tom Petty. Once labeled alongside Bruce Springsteen as a glorified street rocker, Petty has fallen into a familiar mold.

Everything about "Long After Dark" is familiar, from the sting of Petty's Rickenbacker to his whiny vocals. "Long After Dark" is nothing new. Petty has stayed with the same band since his debut and none of its members, nor Petty himself, have encouraged any new directions for this rock 'n' roll quintet.

It may be too much to expect anything else. Petty is an endearing character, respectful of his audience, content to give them what they expect. Why take chances?

After all, Petty has never been a substantial composer, but a few of his songs have evolved into rock 'n' roll anthems, wrought with the urgency and rawness that embody the very fabric of the genre.

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Tom Petty's latest album might be his best
By Dan Russell
The Duquesne Duke - Friday, December 3, 1982

Tom Petty returns to the scene with flair.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' fifth album, Long After Dark, dives staight ahead into rock and roll. While other top acts alter their musical style in an attempt to keep an edge on their peers, Petty remains close to his musical roots much as the same fashion as his only American superior, Bruce Springsteen.

On paper Petty's new songs resemble his older melodies in musical structure more than ever. The only different is that Long After Dark's set is performed in a musical flare that never evolved in Petty's earlier songs.

The most noticable difference is Pettys vocals. He sings with more intensity and emotion than ever on the new album and for this reason he finally lives up to the description of being one of the last of the true romantic songwriters.