The Petty Archives

Tom Petty | Full Moon Fever | MCA Records
By John Shamlou
The Daily Aztec - May 22, 1989

Petty's latest LP, Full Moon Fever, made sans Heartbreakers, while not quite as intentive and feisty as '87's Let Me Up (I've Had Enough), is still another engaging winner. Full Moon Fever boasts infectous rockers, effective slower moments and Petty's ever-present lyrical twists.

The album starts off with "Free Fallin'," a lost-love trip through Los Angeles, where the narrator tries to convince us and himself he's better off without his ex-girlfriend. It shows the other side of Petty's sometimes-flip attitude. When he tries, Petty can write ballads as well as anyone, as evidenced by "Alright for Now," a gentle lullaby that loses producer Jeff Lynne's electronic excesses. (In the past seven months, Lynne has produced records for Randy Newman, the Traveling Wilburys, Roy Orbison and Petty, not to mention George Harrison's comeback earlier. Will someone please get ELO back together?)

  • 1989-05-28_The-Sydney-Sun-Herald

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Music: Petty sessions go solo
By Stuart Coupe
The Sydney Morning Herald - May 28, 1989

For almost a decade Tom Petty has been one of the best known figures in rock 'n' roll but his popularity has reached a all-time high with his involvement in supergroup The Traveling Wilburys.

The Wilburys' album which featured Petty, along with Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, and George Harrison, has sold enormously well, and now Petty has released his first solo album, Full Moon Fever.

  • 1989-05-30_Mohave-Daily-Miner

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Album Review: Petty finishes first solo album with a little help from his friends
By George Ziemann
Mohave Daily Miner - May 30, 1989

For the first two songs, Tom Petty's latest album, Full Moon Fever, almost sounds like it could have been called Traveling Wilburys, Volume 2. Almost.

It also could almost be a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers LP somewhere around the middle.

There are a number of reasons for comparison in either direction. Most of the Heartbreakers make an appearance on Full Moon Fever, as do all fo the Wilburys with the exception of Bob Dylan. Add Jeff Lynne's production and the similarity to the Wilburys increases geometrically.

But even with all of these influences and excellent cohorts in place to allow critics to make easy comparisons in either direction, Full Moon Fever is embodied of an identity all its own. Yet it really has no identity at all; the album wanders from influence to influence, drifting here and there, flitting from one style to the next.

And that's what I like about it so much.

  • 1989-05-31_Allegheny-Times

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Tom Petty out of the shadows
By Cary Darling
Allegheny Times - May 31, 1989

LOS ANGELES - Tom Petty was walking under a particularly gray cloud for a long time. In 1985 he broke his hand in anger during the recording of his darkly colored "Southern Accents" album. In 1987 his hillside Encino home was destroyed by fire.

That same year he sued tire manufacturer B.F. Goodrich for using music in its commercials which sounded like his song, "Mary's New Car." After a restraining order was issued, the ads were pulled.

Throughout much of that time Petty admits he was drinking too much and that the whole period was one of frustration and confusion. "Those things are always interesting to read about unless it's you," Petty said, smiling. "Then you read about it and think, 'Geez, that's me.' I hope I'm over all that."

People In The News
By William C. Trott
The Bryan Times - June 1, 1989

PETTY BEHAVIOR: There's a strange interlude on the compact disc version of Tom Petty's latest work, "Full Moon Fever." At the point where the record album and the cassette tape would have to be flipped, CD owners are treated to a segment titled "Attention CD Listeners" that features Petty, Del Shannon and Jeff Lynne making barnyard noises. Finally, an announcer comes on and says, "Hello CD listener. We've come to the point where those listening on cassette or records will have to stand up or sit down and turn over the record or tape. In fairness to those listeners, we'll now take a few seconds before we begin side two. Thank you, here's side two." Petty said he threw in the bit to give CD listeners an intermission. "I just like the pause," he said. "If you take an album as a whole, it's nice to have that little break where you turn the record over and begin the second part of the program."

  • 1989-06-01_The-Age

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Records: Petty tops, with a little help
Melbourne Age - Thursday, June 1, 1989

His brief stint with the Traveling Wilburys has done Tom Petty a power of good, judging by the calibre of his first solo album Full Moon Fever (MCA 255929-1). The freewheeling singer/guitarist has not cut loose from the Heartbreakers -- the band members have just taken a break for individual projects.

In fact, Heartbreakers Mike Campbell (co-producer, guitars and assorted instruments), Ben Tench (piano) and Howie Epstein (backing vocals) are around to help Petty around with his solo album, along with Wilburys' Jeff Lynne (bass, keyboards, vocals and co-production), George Harrison (guitar, vocals) and the late Roy Orbison (backing vocals), as well as drummers Jim Keltner and Phil Jones (who has toured with the Heartbreakers).

Petty's 'Other Stuff' echoes disdain
By Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle - Friday, June 2, 1989

Rocker Tom Petty has taken much the same disdainful, irreverent approach to music videos as REM. The latter's first tape was titled "REM Succumbs" (read: We don't really want to do this but the label is forcing us). And Petty's new one is called "A Bunch of Videos and Some Other Stuff" (from MPI Home Video, 65 minutes, $24.95). That title echoes the playful insolence shown in many of the clips themselves - not to mention a news release that describes the tape as "a blatant example of crass commercialism."

  • 1989-06-04_Meriden-Record-Journal

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Off The Record: Powerful songwriting enhanced by studio treats
Review by Jim Zebora
Record-Journal - Sunday, June 4, 1989

Tom Petty: Full Moon Fever | MCA Records
At first listen, producer Jeff Lynne sounds like a good match for the music of Tom Petty. On this first solo outing for the Heartbreaker's guitar-playing leader, Lynne opens up both his voice and the instrumental tracks, relieving Petty of his too-frequent bouts with musical constipation.

But all is not as good as it could be. Just like so many others he has produced, from Dave Edmunds to the Traveling Wilburys, Petty ends up sounding like a member of Lynne's erstwhile Electric Light Orchestra taking only a tentative step on his own.

Tom Petty
By Parry Gettelman
Orlando Sentinel - June 4, 1989

(★★★★) Tom Petty, Full Moon Fever (MCA): Some artists need years between albums and then months in the studio - and what do you get but two hit singles and a lot of filler. Tom Petty went three years between albums in the early '80s, but he's on a hot streak now - in 1988, supposedly his year off, he worked on two solid, successful records.

First, there was the Traveling Wilburys collaboration with Jeff Lynne, George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison. Now, after a delay due to the success of the Wilburys, Petty has released Full Moon Fever, his first solo album. And there's not a weak song on either side.

Some of the solo album actually predates the Wilburys. Petty began hanging around in neighbor Jeff Lynne's garage after the Heartbreakers came off their last tour and Petty's bandmates dispersed to work on various side projects. Petty wrote and recorded some songs with Lynne, who had produced George Harrison's comeback album. Then Petty and Lynne wound up becoming Wilburys together and finally got around to finishing Full Moon Fever.