Tag Archives: Greatest Hits

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!

 

 

 

The Cars/The Cars

Don’t laugh but the Cars are the grandparents to Weezer!  Yup and when Weezer dropped there debut album(Blue Album) in 1994 who was the producer? Ric Ocasek the gangly tall geeked out sunglass wearing lead singer/main songwriter of The Cars! Hmmmm maybe DeKEs hasn’t totaly lost his marbles….

Also the Cars debut album is 35 minutes of Quirkiness as was the 37 minute debut from Weezer!

Speaking of Weezer heres my review of the Ocasek produced album..https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/sonic-waves-weezerweezer/

Your Honor! I rest my case…..

The Cars were one of those bands that i didn’t champion back in the day out loud as Gene and Paul would have revoked my Kiss Army membership quicker than you can say ‘The Elder!’

But from a distant as a young lad in my Highschool Daze of the early to mid 80s The Cars had a real good run of hits and they were catchy songs,well crafted with hooks galore and a sound of there own!

Than by 1988 whoossssh they were gone and a few years later pops up a Greatest Hits set and it had all the hits from there 6 studio albums. For the longest time this is all I Just Needed!(cheap pun).

Now if you know my deal I hate Greatest Hits packages I never bothered with them (for the most part)until Kiss(surprise,surprise) suckered me in 1988 with Smashes,Thrashes and Hits that included 2 new songs(Let’s Put The X In Sex and You Make Me Rock Hard) that were just plain dumbo rock, bad Synthy sounds and just goofy lyrics that were just brutal! I was fooled ..ha! $immons and $tanley still loved me though…..

Actually come to think of it Kiss with Double Platinum back in 1978 was THE first Greatest Hits album I ever bought! What a scam job hahaha..they totally duped this 11 year old at the time with a double set of songs that i already owned but did include Strutter 78 which was no different to Strutter 74 from the debut album(maybe it was,maybe it wasn’t )….Geezus Stanley and Simmons …ha ….but the whole silver packaging of Double Platinum  was impressive to say the least! Lol!

Of course that became the norm for all artists put out 11 of your Greatest Hits songs and toss on the end of your Hits album  a couple of leftover pieces of  junk so that DeKEs will take notice and buy….yeah I can admit it i was  hosed by this move more than a few times…….

The Cars for me it worked in reverse as  I mentioned I had there Greatest Hits but over the years I have collected 5 of there 6  albums and there are some good songs that I’m gonna talk about so over time I will slowly tackle The Cars body of work so today lets chat about the self titled debut released in 1978(produced by Roy Thomas Baker,he of Queen Fame!)  a band from Boston calling themselves The Cars….

Ric Ocasek,David Robinson,Elliot Easton,Benjamin Orr(RIP) and Greg Hawkes…..Hey it can’t be Metal……all the time!….well most of the time !

GOOD TIMES ROLL-Let the Good Times Roll oh! And so it begins which is a triple header of hits on the debut album and how about the album Covers of The Cars especially this one and Candy Oh! Wowzers and it worked man…sex sells but you need good tunes also and The Cars do that! Good Times Roll is a slick rock track! Big sound,new wavey in spots with the synth mixed with rock guitar but current for the times and even to this day. Ric and these cats are here to stay!

MY BEST FRIENDS GIRL-some neat picking on the guitar from Easton and he laid down some good guitar work! Simple yet effective! Ocasek throws down that geek guy lead vocal that in the basis of this band works fine actually Grandpa Weeezer had a knack for writing real good short tunes to keep my attention span from wandering back to MetalVille! Like i said earlier I love Eastons playing after Ric sings the line ‘used to mine’. Simple yet so effective I’ll be humming it all day!

JUST WHAT I  NEEDED-Umm who has not heard this track? For me the first time I heard it it was simple yet so hooky! That guitar riff from Elliot Easton is sooooo good! I also had no idea it was the bass player Benjamin Orr who sang lead on this tune until many years later but whooo cares! The opening few bars hook you in as a listener! “I don’t mind you coming here and wasting my time!” Cool use of the synth from Greg Hawkes and yeah I have a ton of issues on how some bands use there keyboards(Hello Journey) but for The Cars no issues! Ha! This is one of the best Cars songs ever!

I’M IN TOUCH WITH YOUR WORLD-so what do you do when your first three songs on your debut album push the album into the million plus sold club? Well you have to keep going artistically! This song is not single material! It’s almost like a psychedelic  Acid Cars trip off a cliff with the use of sax,synth and the song is held together by Eastons playing. Different vibe with this tune,not one of my favs and to be honest more of a skip to the next track kinda deal!

DON’T CHA STOP-some more great guitaring from Easton and like so many tracks on this album his guitar work drives the tunes! Don’t Cha Stop picks up pace after the drop in the previous tune.

YOUR ALL I GOT TONIGHT-Yup Easton shines on this one as well! He weaves up and down the fret board in a New Wavy kind of deal! Ocasek and the boys try to perhaps tell us they have deeper tracks on there debut album but man it’s just hard to top those first three songs! Try they may and I’m sure they knew they had some songs that we’re gonna go big but not mega even still in 2015! Folks these are the songs that are on the debut that no one ever notices ….shit I guess that must suck,but you deal with it when your bank account gets stuffed with cash….wish I had that problem!

BYE BYE LOVE-next to the 3 big singles this is the next best track! Orr steps up for the lead vocal on the last three songs! This tune ramps up especially in the chrous with Easton flinging some power chords and Hawkes goes all wackle doodle on the keys in the solo section and Orr had a real good rock voice which The Cars realized they had! Check out the vid!

MOVING IN STEREO-chunks of Hawkes keys mashed up Eastons guitar form the basis of this tune! It’s a New Wavers delight! Hawkes synth sounds meshed with Robinsons kinda sounding like electronic drums pave the wave for this tune as Orr once again is lead vocalist! On the debut it’s almost a 50/50 split in the lead vocalist dept between Orr and Ocasek! One vocalist sounds like a nerd looking for cool!(Ocasek) the other vocalist sounding more Rock cool!(Orr)

ALL MIXED UP-Big Queen like backing vocals are on tap for this song and well when you have Queens producer Roy Thomas manning the recording console of course some influence is gonna creep up! Orr almost sounds Bowie like on this tune. Poppy tune big atmospheric sound they were I think trying to get at and I mean The Cars here definitely found there own niche…

IN CONCLUSION-I’m sure most the Arena Rock Readers will just say ‘ just gonna stick with The Greatest Hits Deke!” Fair enough but i gotta do fair journalism reporting here friends! Ha! Seriously though no one ever talks about the other 6 songs on this album as the first three songs are staples on the Classic  Rock Circuit! So it’s been cool to talk about them and a few of them to be totally honest are a tuff slug to get through them sonically but what the hell! Some one has too!

For these Cars reviews( gonna pop up occasionally) I’m gonna post of course a song we all know with one that is not so known as that seems to be the deal with The Cars albums (all of Em!)

Having said that those first three tunes The Cars could have just released a 3 song EP back than and that would have still sold a ton …