Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers/Greatest Hits (1993)

Well Well Well….I’m breaking total protocol here as this is my first ever Greatest Hits Review! Who woulda thunk it right Arena Rockers? Well for me it was simple Kiss and Aerosmith are the Whores of Greatest Hits sets and it used to piss me off when they would put out a Greatest Hits Set after Greatest Hits  Set ! Like C’mon man I mean the last time and the final nail in the Greatest Hits Coffin for me was when Kiss released that Complilation You Wanted The Best(1996)…remember that one? Those Ol grease paint fella’s suckered OL deKEs once again with the slick move of saying that Room Service,Two Timer amd Let Me Know  were left overs from the Kiss Alive Tour Of 1975.

Wowzers i was hooked Gene and Paul loaded up the Kiss Syringe and I shot up! I will tell you all coming off the Kiss buzz was a baaaaaad joke! There’s no way those three tunes (Room Service,Two Timer,Let Me Know ) were from 75. They sounded too slick,too new and to top it off they included like a 15 minute interview with Jay Leno on the end of the greatest hits! File this under Arena Rock Guide Chapter 7 paragraph 2 titled “Who Gives A Aaaaaaaaargh!”

You think I would have learned my lesson back in 1988 when I bought the Kiss Comp Smashes Thrashes and Hits and than along with the classic Kiss tracks which I already owned Kiss include two new studio turds one being Lets Put The X In Sex and You Make Me Rock Hard….call me DumbAss!

So i have issues with these sappy sucker comps! More power to you’s out there that like Greatest Hits Comps(hello Rockin Roberts and BMellis) and that’s ok i still respect ya’s! Hahaha!

Tom Petty i dug especially that Full Moon Fever album from 1989! But I never had all of his stuff  up to when I bought Full Moon Fever the only Petty I owned was that live  thingy  of his called “Pack Up The Plantation’ so when this Greatest Hits  album dropped in 93 I was onboard!

Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers which included Benmont Tech on keys,sidekick Mike Campbell on guitar,Stan Lynch on drums,Ron Blair and Howie Epstein both on bass at different times of course and these guys rolled (Ahem!) more than a few hits ….

Lets take a lookey at what I consider a real good set of classics…..

DeKEs The Torpedeos!

AMERCIAN GIRL-nice use of jingle jangle guitar and the off beat of the drums and we’re off American Girl rocks in a Petty way! Great lyrics, great beat just a great opener!

BREAKDOWN-Petty and the Heartbreakers shift gears and slow it down with a real good mid tempish Song! Breakdown has a real strong chorus and the keys sound good here!

LISTEN TO YOUR HEART-jingle jangle of guitars start the tune and Lynch drives the beat with his drums. Petty says the chicks splitting with the cocaine! Say it ain’t so! I love the sound of these old albums as the production is just too slick nowadays! Boo on them man cuz this is where the shit is fun folks!

I NEED TO KNOW-I like the piano line in this tune and it basically leads the tune off to some real catchy regions! Nice use of the old philospy of don’t bore us get to the chorus and than insert a cool Campbell  solo for good measure!

REFUGEE-whoah if you have never heard Refugee I guess you have been sonically frozen for the last 35 years or so. Great groove of the tune especially with the Hammond B3 driving along with Lynchs drums! Dig the backing vocals Refugeeeeee! Yeah man great tune ….

DON’T DO ME LIKE THAT-love the interplay of the piano and drums at the start! Love Pettys lyrics on the verses right into the chorus! The mid part of the song speeds up and man the Breakers slow it back down. Another all time great!

EVEN THE LOSERS-cool rhythms used on this tune and the songs gold is the chorus with the drums and bass locked in and Campbell tosses down another real good solo! Petty being a good singer is a great songwriter! Period!

HERE COMES MY GIRL-Lynch and Campbell drive this tune! Petty kinda talks his way thru this track until the chorus where it sounds likes he’s gonna lose his shit than he viola sings the chorus! Almost likey singing a duet with himself ! Ha!

THE WAITING-a staple like many on classic rock stations! Another real good blast of mid tempo rock! Toss in some Hey Yeah Hey’s in for some good measure and cool beans the bass is jacked on this tune especially along with the cool ol use of tambourine in the Chorus!

YOU GOT LUCKY-kinda creepy synth drives this tune. Off tune and off key but not! It’s a bizarre tune too be honest but Petty fuels the energy for some power chords and I’m real ok with that!

DON’T  COME AROUND HERE  NO MORE-always dug this tune! Sitars and drum machines and man the weaving and bobbing of the instruments is well done with time changes galore. Petty is tripping and he’s taking me with him! Woo hoo! Just did my first hit of Petty Ectasy! Wowzers friends I don’t want to come down…..great tune! Trippy video from what I recall!

I WON’T BACK DOWN-Petty hooks up Jeff Lynne he of ELO (Space Aces Favs) Fame co writes this and the next 5 songs together and man what Gems they are! Who as a rock fan didn’t buy Full Moon Fever? Some times the simplest of somgs like this one are classics! Campbell’s guitar drives the song in the verses and Petty delivers the rest! And I won’t back doooooown!

RUNNIN DOWN A DREAM-speaking of Campbell’s guitar driving a tune. This one is it! Campbell and guitar sounds evil in a contempary kind of way! This song even though it’s been played to death I can still handle! The friggin song is 26 years old but still sounds fresh! Great everything about this tune! Petty sings a great track and man  no one knocks Petty!

FREE FALLIN-Wowzers the big selling single…..ha Remember the vid with Petty cruising around a Shopping Mall strumming his acoustic! Of course Ya did! Free Fallin is a slower temple of a song but Petty had the uncanny knack of keeping my metal fried brain amused with his Simple Simon writing approach which equals real classic rock songs no matter at what pace there delivered at!

LEARNING TO FLY-over time this has become one of my favourite Petty tunes! Co written with Jeff Lynne this song sweeps at a big bombastic sonically charged production! It is so well written and delivered by the Heartbreakers! I like the easiness of the production under Pettys voice during the chorus and I guess it’s the ELO effect that Lynne bought to Petty Central!

INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN-another great song,different pace almost Beatles like. The sonics on this tune are awesome.  Big sound from the Heartbreakers drives this tune. Petty tells a great story about a dude getting a tat in LA and a girl learning a few chords…A Rebel without a clue!

MARY JANES LAST DANCE-a song about smoke ha! It’s whatever U want it to be friends..discuss….cool harp played by Petty! Keep moving on! Love the drums on this …cool groove! That’s another great thing about this tune. At a time(1993) when Grunge Mania was sweeping North America Petty fires up a Heater and records the song like it’s from the 70s production wise. Man I love this stuff. Thanks Tom for just  doing what you do!

SOMETHING IN THE AIR-good  time strumming tune! Petty ends the album with a cover tune by some guys named Speedy Keen! Cool stuff and ends the album rockingly(Kinda!)

IN CONCLUSION- didn’t see this one coming eh folks! Yep I can count on one hand how many Greatest Hits I like but this one is a must! Kinda funny though I never had the urge to go and get all his stuff after this release. From here I did buy  Wildlowers and last year I bought Hypnotic Eye and that’s a pretty good album so my Petty collection is still scattered, as well  I do have a couple of Petty live Bootlegs that are great shows(from 1982 and 1990) …

This is a great comp album!





19 thoughts on “Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers/Greatest Hits (1993)”

  1. A local artist named Glenn Murphy recorded a theme song for our local DJ Craig Fee, and it goes to the tune of Last Dance for Mary Jane:

    “He’s the one they call Craig Fee,
    He’s the guy that don’t eat meeeat.”

    ANyway just a funny story.

    This is an ESSENTIAL greatest hits…I don’t know if they have ever done a better single CD set? Very good for your first Hits review…first of more I hope?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t have any in the pipeline so to speak Mikey….I just realized that this is actually my 2nd Greatest Hits review ….Trooper Hot Shots I reviewed at the request of my bro in law! So that one would be the first,but since it was a request Pettys is my deal so null and void Hot Shots!
      Ha…calling myself out than retracting!
      My playground, my rules! Hahaha…
      This is a solid album man and it was good to revisit it ….no duds nere whatsoever!


  2. Nice one, Deke. I used to have this (only Petty album I owned!) and it was in the CD player a fair bit for a while. Like you, I didn’t get ’round to investigating anything else for a very long time. Long time meaning last year’s Hypnotic Eye! Like you say, that’s a pretty good album – I’d be interested in reading a little more of your thoughts on that one …


      1. Sure thing, fella – just whenever you get the chance …

        Looking forward to seeing what you have up your sleeve on Wednesday!


  3. I used to own this. I was gonna say I still did, but for some reason it isn’t on the shelves wtf. Ah well, it’s sure to turn up at the junk shop sooner or later, as some nimnod gets rid of a perfectly awesome disc for no good reason. When i see one, I’ll rescue it!

    I loved the track list here. Of course I could name other songs that could make this a 2CD (at minimum) because I sure do love me some TP&tH, but this disc gets the job done in a pinch.

    Is my aging crappy memory correct in remembering that Last Dance With Mary Jane was a rare new track only available (at the time) on this disc?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For sure this could have been a double cd I wished Jammin Me was on here so there Ya go….
      I think your fried noggin is right! Mary Jane I believe was added as new track could be wrong but it was the single so…..
      My brain is the most fried my friend!
      I win!


      1. Haha I don’t think this is a contest we should be proud of… we’re both screwed hahaha!

        As for LDWMJ, it was the single for the comp, and Wiki says it was new at the time!

        “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” (Petty) – 4:35
        First release, 1993


      2. Your reporting the news fella….wait Til Pettys biography drops with him talking about his doing smack! Talk about hyping your book ..holy sheeeit! I mean in the Paul Stanley bio it’s milk and cookies and Petty I figured the book might come with some rolling papers but man …..


  4. It’s one of my very few greatest hits too Deke – but I agree, one well worth having! This compilation should be in some sort of how to make a greatest hits tutorial – a delicious taste of several albums, inviting the listener to check out more!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Also meant to mention: There was a weird part of me that was disappointed when this got released. I know it was inevitable, but I always thought Petty was above needing a Hits set. Like, just go get the records, dammit! Same thing with Mellencamp. They both resisted for a long time before a hits set got released… Both Petty and Mellencamp started in 1976, Petty’s Hits set in 1993, Mellencamp in 1997. That’s 17 years for Petty, 21 years for Mellencamp. The only other band I can think of that’s been around forever and hasn’t seen a proper Hits set released is Metallica.

    There’s probably a whole post of content in that thought right there, bands that it’s shocking they haven’t got a Hits collection, but it’d have to be written by someone more knowledgeable than I.


    1. I see your point. For me though Petty makes sense to me as does Mellancamp for a buyer of only certain albums by those artists. Kiss and AeroWhore just seem to release the same Ol same ol….songs so if only I had a couple of kiss or Aero albums Hits albums would be ok….plus it’s fun to,rag on millionaires man ……


      1. Oh I agree, those Petty and Mellencamp sets are great – really incredible, when you think of everything they accomplished, how many huge songs. But bands like that, that waited so long for the Hits set, it feels (to me) that at a certain point it goes past being able to sum it all up in one CD. There’s just too much. So many album cuts that deserve to be there that just don’t, and then it just feels like a cash grab. Bah. Don’t mind me. I’m just ramblin’!


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