The Petty Archives

Steve Anderson's Compact Disc Reviews
By Steve Anderson
The California Tech - November 8, 1991

Rating System: After stating the author, title and publication information, I give the dollar amount that I would pay for the CD if I were going to buy it.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | Into the Great Wide Open | (c) 1991 MCA Records Inc. | $4.50
Those few Techers among you who listen to modern radio stations will certainly recognize some of the tracks on this album, especially "Learning to Fly," the first track. While the singing and the instrumentals on that track are first-rate, the melodies are a little vacuous and repetitive. I have to say that I far and away prefer the Pink Floyd song of the same name.

The title track, "Into the Great Wide Open," is an excellent vehicle for Tom Petty's storytelling-style lyrics. It chronicles the rise of a rock start from nowhere, a "Rebel without a clue." The minor chords lent a sense of foreboding to the song from the start, a sense which was mysteriously not followed through on in the lyrics.

I guess I'd best characterize this album as listenable, even enjoyable, but not very significant. The lyrics convey a lot of cool imagery which fails to resolve into any sort of meaningful larger picture. The music is cool, and fairly original, but too repetitive in parts.