The Petty Archives

Editor's Note: All of the typos were copied verbatim from the original.

cd box set: Petty and the Heartbreakers: A musical history
By Greg Barnes
The Lanthorn - February 9, 1994

Music is an art form under continual change. Many of its faces have defined generations. But there comes a time when artists transcend these borders with their musical talents. Artists like Tom Petty.

Petty's early days were spent in Gainesville, Florida, where he formed his first band, "Mud Crunch." After a move to L.A. and a little soul searching, Mud Crunch gave way to the Heartbreakers.

Their first album was released during the late seventies, smack dab in the middle of the disco era. Their unique sound quickly gaines them an audience, and ushered in "eighties rock and roll."

With the release of their third album, Damn the Torpedoes, The Heartbreakers reached critical acclaim. "Don't Do Me Like That" was the smash single off the effort, which also spawned the other familiar tunes "Refuge" and "Even the Loosers."

Battle of the Sexes: The Video Game
By Chris Willman
The Los Angeles Times - February 20, 1994

Current music videos are reviewed and rated on a 0-100 scale.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, "Mary Jane's Last Dance." Petty, playing a creepy morgue worker, unzips a body bag and finds the daisy-fresh, comely corpse of Kim Basinger ( wrapped in plastic , as Jack Nance used to say on "Twin Peaks"). Petty zips her back up, wheels her lifeless form home, and tries to enjoy a quiet evening in with his dead date. Only, ha ha, Basinger's head keeps flopping over every time he tries to prop it up, and she ain't much of a dance partner. Finally, dejected, he dumps her body in the ocean.

Not since Alice Cooper's "Cold Ethyl" have the joys of necrophilia gotten such an earnest airing in the pop mainstream, and the utterly purposeless perversity places this one high in the all-time music video what- the- hell- were- they- thinking? pantheon, ruining a perfectly good little Petty tune.

Though you might think Basinger would've thought twice before accepting as inexpressive a role as a dead sex object, you have to give her some credit: It is still a better career choice than "Boxing Helena." 17

Three decades of true rock from Petty all on one disc
By David Henson
The Red & Black - February 22, 1994

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - "Greatest Hits" MCA Records
The town of Gainesville, Florida may not have too much going for it when it comes to respectable universities, but thanks in part to native son Tom Petty, this gator swamp has at least earned some respect in the world of music.

Over the past three decades, Tom Petty has quietly become a legend in rock music. And now, after 20 years of jammin' me (and you, and everyone else), Petty and his Heartbreakers hve finally released a steaming hot collection of their greatest hits, along with two freshly brewed bonus debuts.

"Greatest Hits" features 18 tunes which are listed chronologically by the order of their release, spanning a total of eight albums.

The opening track off of "Greatest Hits" is the 1976 classic "American Girl," from "Silence of the Lambs" fame, which is at its best if listened to while driving, preferably at a lethal rate of speed. However, be sure to pull over at a rest stop before the next sleepy song reaches your speakers, because "Breakdown" is guaranteed to make you wreck.

During the evil disco era of the late seventies, Tom Petty was regarded as a modern day deity for being one of the few newer acts in a select group of true rock 'n' roll saviors, along with the likes of Supertramp, in this dire time of Abba and The Bee-Gees.

Music Reviews
By Tony Mathews
CNC Free Press - March 1, 1994

Well, I thought it was time I inflicted my opinions on you, boys and girls. Spring is here, and so are some hot new releases in the music industry. And thanks to The Tuning Point, at Spruceland, I've been able to review some of these new albums, on my brand new CD player. (I was the last person in the free world to get one.) I have my own special rating system, starting like this:
♪ = makes a handy frisbee
♪♪ = slightly more pleasant than meeting Lorena Bobbitt in a dark alley
♪♪♪ = worth your hard earned $$$, if you got it on sale
♪♪♪♪ = oh joy! a real good listen! More exciting than the Kerrigan-Harding thing!
♪♪♪♪♪ = BETTER THAN SEX!!! This album's a keeper!

TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS - Greatest hits (MCA 1993)
I've always hated Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and I now know why. His voice is annoying, and his band sucks, to put it mildly. The music (what he claims is music) is repetitive and nauseating. Argh! Some songs on this album of greatest hits I've hated forever, and never even known it was Tom Petty. I'm still struck with the question "Why?" Why waste money on a bunch of crappy songs that have already been released, and throw them onto a greatest hits album. Then again, if these are his greatest hits, I don't even want to think what the other stuff sounds like. If you haven't clued into the fact that I think this album is crap, maybe my rating of ♪ will give you a hint.

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'Best-of' format is best bet for the good but not great
By Jerry Spangler
The Deseret News - Thursday, March 3, 1994

Tom Petty may have begun his musical sojourn as a clone of Roger McGuinn and the Byrds, but as his "Greatest Hits" package attests, he has since emerged as one of the brightest singer-songwriters of the past decade, although still largely derivative of other artists.

"Greatest Hits" chronicles most -- but not all -- of the high points in Petty's career, beginning with "Breakdown" in 1977. The package includes 16 Petty hits and two new songs -- the Dylanesque "Mary Jane's Last Dance" and a cover of Thunderclap Newman's "Something in the Air."

Both new songs illustrate the good and bad of Petty's up-and-down career. "Mary Jane" is a seductively simple blues rocker spiced with harmonica and lost-in-America lyrics that is as good as anything he's ever done. "Something in the Air," meanwhile, is a carbon-copy of the original, and while enjoyable in a guilty-pleasure sort of way it is nonetheless uninspired.

Collection reflects growth for Tom Petty
Gadsden Times - March 10, 1994

PHILADELPHIA -- Tom Petty says his new greatest hits collection, which includes music from his 18 years with the Heartbreakers and also some solo material, traces not only musical development, but personal growth.

"I've certainly seen a lot more of life -- you take in so much information that your head hurts sometimes," the reserved, Gainesville, Fla.,-born Petty said in a recent interview from Los Angeles.

"But I think that's probably the biggest influence on work. You have to live life in order to write songs. You can't close yourself off. I don't have the patience anymore to sit and sweat writing songs."

Tom Petty rock tune awakens teen in deep coma
By Cindy Horswell
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - July 23, 1994

"Gonna leave this world for a while."
HOUSTON -- Laura Hight missed her 17th birthday, because she had left this world for a while.

But she battled back from a deep coma, and 4 1/2 months after a car accident that doctors did not expect her to survive, the teen-ager from Dayton, Texas spoke again.

Her father, C.T. "Rusty" Hight, 47, a lawyer and member of Dayton's school board, and her mother, Leah, a 39-year-old homemaker, never doubted that she would come back to them.

"When I first saw her at the hospital," Mrs. Hight said, "I told her that I knew she hurt bad, but that she would be fine, that we would be with her."

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Yes, Virginia, Tom Petty was a local boy
By Bill DeYoung
Gainesville Sun - August 14, 1994

Petty left Gainesville for the Big Time in 1974
One of the Gainesville stories you'll hear most often, if you're a rock 'n' roll fan, is the one about Tom Petty -- superstar singer, songwriter and Traveling Wilbury -- and how he was born and raised right here in Hogtown.

Yeah, right.

Well, hold onto your Richenbacker guitars, boys and girls, because it's true. Thomas Earl Petty was born Oct. 20, 1950 in Alachua General Hospital, the first of Earl and Katherine Petty's two sons (Tom's brother Bruce came two years later). He went to Sidney Lanier Elementary School, Howard Bishop Junior High School (he was actually on the football team) and Gainesville High School, where he graduated with the class of 1968.

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Petty wins award
Gainesville Sun - September 10, 1994

Tom Petty holds up the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, honoring his overall career, backstage at Thursday's 1994 Video Music Awards show at New York City's Radio City Music Hall.