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!