The Petty Archives
  • 1999-04-30_The-Augustana-Observer

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Tom Petty bounces back with Echo
By Tim Glenn
The Augustana Observer - Friday, April 30, 1999

Few truly great rock bands have had the talent and longevity to last twenty years or more, most imploding due to fiery egos and internal conflicts (most regrettably The Beatles, more recently Guns n' Roses). The ones that do survive, though, are mighty indeed, i.e. The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, U2, and a few others. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers find themselves in select company, especially considering that rock is currently being left behind in the charts in favor of disco and teen pop and is, as always, in danger of being pronounced dead.

Only in L.A.: Breaking The Valley's Heart
By Steve Harvey
The Los Angeles Times - May 1, 1999

Did you see where Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were given a star on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame? Good thing the shrine is not located on a certain boulevard in the San Fernando Valley. Petty, you may recall, wrote these lyrics in "Free Falling":

It's a long day living in Reseda.
There's a freeway running through the yard.
All the vampires walking through the Valley
Move west down Ventura Boulevard.

(I wonder if the vampires are heading for that casket shop in Van Nuys.)

Tom Petty | "Echo" | Warner Brothers Records
By Dave Cuozzo
American University Eagle - May 3, 1999

One of the best recording artists of the last three decades is without a doubt Tom Petty. He has revolutionized rock and roll. Every decade, Petty and his band, the Heartbreakers, release songs and albums that raise the bar for them and other older rockers. Songs like "Mary Jane's Last Dance," "Free Fallin'" and "Runnin' Down a Dream" have influenced the sound of rock.
Petty is back with his follow-up album for "Wildflowers." "Echo" is a great album, full of heartbreak and straight-from-the-soul messages.

"Echo" has some of the better Petty songs of the 1990's. "Free Girl Now" is a fast paced song along the lines of "Free Fallin'." It's about a girl who has gotten away from her boyfriend and is free to live life.

Another Petty staple, the guitar that comes in late, is on the first track, "Room at the Top." The song seems to drag a bit at the start, however, this is done to throw off the listener. The guitar and backing vocals come in and the pace picks up from this point. These elements strengthen the song, add life and make us wonder how one man has come so far without losing his roots.

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Petty's Back: Rocker emerges from funk with a hard-rocking, first-person album
By Jim Farber
Calhoun Times - Tuesday, May 11, 1999

Tom Petty ambles into a room like a cowboy who just spent too much time on his horse.

He moves slowly, measuring each gesture, mirroring those movements in spare and deliberate speech.

Petty's hair isn't combed, his shirttail is untucked and his jeans fit loosely. It's just the rumpled image you'd expect from Petty, one of rock's most low-keyed and steady hit makers.

In both his demeanor and music, you'll find his intensity lurking below the surface. Glimpses of it arise as soon as Petty begins discussing the dramatic changes in his life and work that paved the way for his new album -- Echo.

CD Sounds
By Skip Pearlman
Harlem Valley Times - May 13, 1999

ECHO, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Warner Bros). ★★★ ½ -- Not many rock artists can match the consistency of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. While most artists work diligently to update and change their music, Petty continues to stick to a tried and true formula of stripped down, countrified roots rock. And true to form, Petty has come up with another set of solid cuts -- right from the opening strains of "Room at the Top" and into the instantly familiar, instant Petty classic "Counting On You," it's clear Petty is on top form on this disc. Highly recommended.

  • 1999-05-28_The-Deseret-News

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Music Notes: Classic rock full of riches and rags
By Scott Iwasaki
The Deseret News - Saturday, May 28, 1999

Classic rock fans like their music comfortable.

To them, putting in a CD by the likes of Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen is like slipping into a soft, faded pair of blue jeans.

There is a washload of classic rockers out there. And while some of these stars' new albums are still sewn with sturdy denim fiber, a few contain synthetic threads. In fact, some releases sound like unraveled rags.

Record Releases
Review by Michael Lisl
Schenectady Daily Gazette - May 30, 1999

'Echo' | Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | Warner Brothers Records 9472940-2
"Echo," the newest effort from Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, probably won't grab Petty too many new ears or younger listeners.

After all, "Echo" is full of guitar-driven folk-pop songs, some embellished with harmonica; music that some listeners would dismiss as outdated in the alternative rock-infused, hip-hop-dominated musical landscape of the late 1990s.

But that's part of the beauty of this album. "Echo" finds Petty and company doing what they do best, what they've done best for more than 20 years -- and with no apologies, thank you very much.

Reviews: Audio
Dubuque Telegraph-Herald - Sunday, June 6, 1999

"Echo" (Warner Bros.) - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
In the early 1980s, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released two studio works of perfect pop rock: "Hard Promises" and "Long After Dark." They were filled with men done wrong by their girls, often morally challenged, "looking for something big."

Then Petty got happy and started exploring a less-edgy side with former ELO frontman Jeff Lynne as his producer.

Freshly separated from his wife, Petty's recent woes are the listener's gain as the Heartbreakers' newest release, "Echo," hails back to their leader's best work. Lynne is gone as producer and Petty gives a lesson in the ABCs of rock 'n' roll.

Petty argument: America's best band
By Scott Tady
Beaver County Times - June 25, 1999

The mail bag has been a little light lately.

I can't remember the last time I got a letter, phone call, or email that began with "How dare you say..."

That means it's time to stir up a good argument.

Here goes:

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are America's best rock 'n' roll band. The band proved that again Wednesday, with a sizzling show at Coca-Cola Star Laker Amphitheatre.