The Petty Archives
  • 1999-04-18_Savannah-Morning-News

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Reviews of new CDs
Savannah Morning News - Sunday, April 18, 1999

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: "Echo." Tom Petty's long journey through Americana takes a detour down melancholy side roads on his 14th album. Back with his longtime supporting cast, the Heartbreakers, for their first full-blown collaboration in eight years, Petty unveils an album where the playing is typically top-notch, the organic jangle rich and familiar.

An 'Echo' of Earlier Days
The Los Angeles Times - April 19, 1999

Will Tom Petty's "Echo" resonate with fans? That's the title of the new album from Petty and the Heartbreakers and the early critical appraisals call it a return to the jangling rock roots of the veteran rock outfit. Will that also mean a return to strata of multimillion-unit sales? The release got off to a somewhat sluggish start, according to Scott Levin, a music marketing executive for the Musicland national chain, who described it as "the strongest release--of a very weak week." Other retailers said they expected the album to debut stronger after the band's recent performances on "Saturday Night Live" and "Late Night With David Letterman," but all agreed it would likely pick up steam when the group kicks off its first tour in five years this summer. "[Music aimed] at his audience doesn't hit as hard as some of the youth stuff, especially some of rap stuff, but it has longevity," said Bob Feterl, regional manager for Tower Records. Watch this week for an announcement of the band's tour dates--early word from the Petty camp is the Los Angeles-area shows will be in August.

First Night: Tom Petty
By James McNair
London Independent - Tuesday, April 20, 1999

Loyal audience appreciates the Petty moments
Tom Petty | Shepherd's Bush Empire | London
With Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen, and now Tom Petty back in the spotlight, we have witnessed the return of a trio of great American singer/songwriters. Like Waits and Springsteen, Petty is a pop-classicist who has no interest in chasing the musical zeitgeist. His new album Echo - his tenth with the Heartbreakers - name-checks Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller, and musically, it is a comfortingly familiar melange of folk and blues-inflected Americana. Hardly revolutionary, then, but Petty is a link to those halcyon days before Jeremy Clarkson and Michael Bolton gave adult-oriented rock a bad name.

Last night's gig was the first Petty and his band have played in the UK for seven years. With Mike Campbell (who co-wrote "The Boys of Summer" with Don Henley) and the session legends Benmont Tench and Howie Epstein in the firing line, there was no doubting the line-up's credentials. Their heartbreaking days, however, are most definitely behind them.

  • 1999-04-22_Chanticleer

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Still room at the top
By Kevin Cole
The Chanticleer -- April 22, 1999

Tom Petty brings out a fine echo of sounds from before
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | Echo | Warner Bro. Rec. | ★★★★★
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers return to the music scene with their 12th CD "Echo." This new release is reminiscent of the 1996 "She's the One" soundtrack in that it's harder hitting than something like "Wildflowers." The lyrics are filled with typical Petty philosophies: defiance, stand up for yourself, the underdog who triumphs in its own way.

Petty fans cheer new CD
By Devin Grant
Charleston Post & Courier - April 22, 1999

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - "Echo" - (WB)
Everyone has at least one artist that they hold so dear to their hearts, that they will buy that artist's new release, sound unheard, because they just know that it will be good. For more than a few rock listeners, the purchase of a Tom Petty album has always been a pretty safe bet in that regard. Rarely have the Heartbreakers actually lived up to their name by presenting us with something unlistenable. One lone black mark came in the '80s with "Let Me Up I've Had Enough," which for the most part sounded phoned in.

"Echo" represents Petty's first true release with the Heartbreakers since 1991's "Into the Great Wide Open." Since then there has been a solo Petty album, "Wildflowers," and a soundtrack to the movie "She's The One" that only partially pacified fans waiting for more from Tom.

If the amount of time between albums has made you hesitant about what you might find on "Echo," then allow me to calm any undue anxieties that you may have. As Petty himself said to David Letterman recently, "Rock 'n' roll is alive and kicking at my house!"

Album Review: Echo by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
By Rajesh Kottamasu
The Harvard Crimson - April 23, 1999

True to its name, Echo carries Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers back from the quiet brooding of their She's the One soundtrack to the territory they cover best, both lyrically and stylistically: independence, defiance, rebellious love. Strange themes for a bunch of middle-aged industry veterans, but satisfyingly appropriate when you consider their enduring drive to crank out solid '60s-era rock 'n roll when their closest contemporaries have gone adult contemporary. "Free Girl Now," is a pounding emancipatory salute that, along with the similarly triumphant "Swingin'," and "Room At The Top" showcases the band's "screw 'em" mentality as well as its ever-mature capacity for tight, anthemic bite. Petty's musical roots show gleefully through the Byrdsian "Accused of Love" and the jangly, warm-weather "Won't Last Long." His bittersweet vocals melt heartbreakingly in ballads like "Lonesome Sundown." Mike Campbell's steady guitar work provides perfect support and in some cases lends the music a tenacity that Petty's lilting whine, for all its mouthy charm, doesn't. Echo, in the end, is the product of a band that knows itself well and is determined to remain the same group of free-willed, Florida-cool rockers they've always been. They may no longer be learning to fly, but they still won't back down.

  • 1999-04-26_Clarkson-Integrator

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Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers: Echo
By Bradley Schaufelberger
Clarkson Integrator - Monday, April 26, 1999

There are only a few things that you can count on in life and good music written by Tom Petty is one of them. Echo is his 11th studio album with the Heartbreakers and seems to be one of his best.

Petty comes roaring back with this album that challenges this progressive rock era. He doesn't rely on sound distortion and power chords to make his music more appealing to the younger masses. Petty simply sticks with his simple recipe that made him a legend. The three-year hiatus was what the band really needed to put out another exceptional album. Petty is able to mix slower songs with quicker ones with the greatest of ease. He is able to go from one extreme right to another and make it sound great.

  • 1999-04-29_Portsmouth-Daily-Times

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So you wanna be a rock 'n' roll star?
Portsmouth Daily Times - Thursday, April 29, 1999

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers rock band members, left to right: Mike Campbell, Howie Epstein, Tom Petty and Benmont Tench, kneel down as they are honored Wednesday with the 2,133rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have sold over 30 million albums, won Grammys and MTV awards and produced over 25 classic hits. Their latest album "Echo," which was released on April 13, debuted this week at number 10 on the Billboard album chart.

  • 1999-04-29_The-Oswegonian

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Tom Petty performs three intimate shows in NYC
By Beth Motschenbacher
The Oswegonian - April 29, 1999

On April 15, I trekked down to New York to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The show was the last of their three-night stand at Irving plaza, a small intimate venue that fit about 1,000 fans. The series of shows, along with several at the Fillmore West in San Francisco last month, served as warm-up to the full-scale tour planned for the summer. The Heartbreakers will be touring in support of their new album, "Echo," which was released on April 13.