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Greatest Hits CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 574 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, January 12, 2010
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reissue of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Greatest Hits, originally released in 1993, has gone on to be the best selling collection in the band's four decades and counting career. Over seven times platinum, this collection now has been remastered, upd

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He's sold millions of albums, filled arenas, and hobnobbed with George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison, but Tom Petty's driving heartland rock has often been taken for granted by the same critics who hail John Mellencamp as a genius. Greatest Hits is an airtight argument for Petty's own greatness. Starting with "American Girl," the rollicking, Byrds-inspired single from Petty's first album in 1976, this compilation presents a chronological overview of the guitarist-vocalist's career with and without the Heartbreakers, also chronically underrated as one of today's best bands. Every one of the 16 older tracks is a well-crafted gem, full of solid guitar hooks ("Here Comes My Girl"), arresting images ("Don't Come Around Here No More") and simple but poetic lyrics ("The Waiting").

Petty isn't an innovator; he's a talented craftsman with impeccable taste and a strong sense of rock history, internalizing influences ranging from the Beatles' psychedelic masterpiece, Revolver, to the best of '70s punk. (It's interesting to remember that early efforts such as "Refugee" and "Don't Do Me Like That" first won Petty attention as a New Wave artist). With his Dylanesque vocals and chiming 12-string guitars, Petty is more often linked these days with the sounds of the '60s. But recent tunes such as "Learning to Fly" and "Into the Great Wide Open" are as smart, relevant and (dare I say) alternative as anything in MTV's Buzz Bin. --Jim DeRogatis

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 12, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: November 16, 1993
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: MCA
  • ASIN: B000002OO0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (574 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #562 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The first greatest hits collection by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers covering from 1977 to 1993 does omit some material, such as "Jammin' Me" from 1987's Let Me Up, but on the whole, serves to demonstrate their impact on the late 1970's through early 90's music scene. Key[]=original studio album.
Petty's first single, "American Girl" defined the sound he brought to American music. The title character was "raised on promises/she couldn't help thinking that there/was a little more to life." It also regained popularity as the song Buffalo Bill's victim was jamming to in Silence Of The Lambs. [Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers]
The downbeat "Breakdown" from the same album, is a statement of connection from a man to a woman.
"Listen To Her Heart" throws verbal punches at the wrong kind of man with designs for a girl, and that opening guitar is wonderful, especially as the drums kick in. Petty really socks it to me: "She's gonna listen to her heart/It's gonna tell her what to do/She might need a lot of loving/But she don't need you." [You're Gonna Get It]
The "is she free or isn't she free?" dilemma is explored in the rockingly engaging but poignant "I Need To Know": "I need to know(I need to know)/Because I don't know how long/I can hold on/And if your makin' me wait/If you're leadin' me on/I need to know(I need to know)." [You're Gonna Get It]
Tom Petty's signature tune, taken from Damn The Torpedoes, is hands-down my favourite. The narrator comforts a girl who's had a rough, tumble-down life and surmises "Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have/Kicked you around some/Tell me why you wanna lay there/Revel in your abandon" And the message in the chorus: "You see, you don't have to live like a Refugee.
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Format: Audio CD
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Greatest Hits pulls together 18 great tracks from one of rock's most legendary yet still underrated groups, covering Petty's career from 1976 up through 1993. Of course, Petty has released several classic albums since this GH CD was released, but this album provides fans unfamiliar with the consistency and strength of Petty's early years the chance to see that something good did indeed emerge from the musical doldrums of the 1970s. Petty's whiffs and raw, throaty vocals were a proverbial breath of fresh air during the days of disco. At the time, the music was characterized as new wave, if you can imagine that, but the heart of Petty's music has always been in America's heartland; while he has successfully incorporated a number of musical stylings over the years, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers remain the embodiment of classic rock 'n' roll.
The band's 1976 self-titled debut album barely made a ripple in America until the band found success in the UK - then, America took notice of the first single Breakdown and the rock classic American Girl. You're Gonna Get It was released in 1978 and supplies the tracks Listen To Her Heart and I Need to Know. Much greater success was waiting in 1979 when Damn the Torpedoes saw the light of day, and this GH collection features four unforgettable tracks from that breakthrough album: Refugee, Don't Do Me Like That, Even the Losers, and Here Comes My Girl. It's hard to believe Refugee maxed out at number 15 in the US charts, as the song was all over the airwaves at the time. These four songs reflect the growth and maturation of Petty & the Heartbreakers as they truly began to establish a rock 'n' roll legacy.
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Format: Audio CD
He's been going in and out of style, but he's guaranteed to raise a sneer...as his recent alt-rock tribute LP confirms, Tom Petty has straddled new wave attitude with classic rock heritage for nearly 25 years. He leads the Heartbreakers, one of rock's all-time best backing bands (guitarist Mike Campbell, drummer Stan Lynch and keyboardist Benmont Tench are American rock masters on their instruments) and has prolifically created some of the era's sturdiest music.
That music's first decade and a half, heard on this essential one-disc greatest hits set, was released by MCA Records after acquiring Petty's former label, ABC, in 1978. Petty's tempestous relationship with MCA was spent witholding an 1981 album to protest increasing prices, foolishly injuring himself in a studio accident, suffering bankruptsy and a damaging home fire. ("Into The Great Wide Open," is a first-rate parody of the business and still doesn't address it all.) This constant battling may have fueled the anger and desperation in classic singles like "Refugee," "I Won't Back Down," "Don't Come Around Here No More," and "You Got Lucky." These featured distinctive videos (Petty was an early MTV constant) and could as easily have played to tyrannical bosses as wayward lovers.
Many Petty songs (especially their relatively short length, all but five songs here run four minutes or less) show the influence of classic 60s rockers Petty loved and emulated: Del Shannon (for whom Petty produced an LP and invoked on the rave-up "Runnin' Down A Dream"), his adopted Traveling Wilbury brethren the Beatles (most obviously George Harrison's mid-60s work), Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison. Even during his awkward solo excursions, Petty graciously invited influences and bandmates for the ride.
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