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Hard Promises Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, March 20, 2001
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. The Waiting 3:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. A Woman In Love (It's Not Me) 4:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Nightwatchman 3:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Something Big 4:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Kings Road 3:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Letting You Go 3:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. A Thing About You 3:32$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Insider [feat. Stevie Nicks] 4:23$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Criminal Kind 4:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. You Can Still Change Your Mind 4:15$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Hard Promises + You're Gonna Get It + Long After Dark
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 20, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 1981
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Mca
  • ASIN: B00005ABKC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #941 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Tom Petty's love affair with the more pop-oriented output of the Byrds and Dylan at their mid-'60s prime continued to find an increasingly wide audience in the '80s--and damned if some people didn't persist in calling it "new wave." Go figure. If writing hook-laden, instantly memorable pop-rock songs was both a sign of genius and one of music's toughest feats, Hard Promises (and its FM evergreens, "The Waiting" and "A Woman in Love") confirmed that Petty was one skinny, little, hard-working prodigy. Picking up effortlessly where Damn the Torpedoes left off, Petty and the equally conscientious Heartbreakers took nothing about their newfound fame for granted, delivering their fourth strong effort in a row, this one increasingly seasoned with touches of their Southern roots. The title hints at the tough underbelly beneath the jangly veneer of Petty's ever-accessible songwriting, exemplified here by "Nightwatchman," "Something Big," and "The Criminal Kind." All tracks on this edition have been upgraded via digital remastering, and the album's original inner artwork and lyrics have also been restored. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 62 customer reviews
All of the songs range from very good to excellent.
Just Fell In
If u are a fan of the band and want to get hold of some music which will touch many styles in one cd, then this is the one you want.
Classics like "Woman In Love", "Nightwatchman", and "Letting You Go" showcase Petty's diverse writing skills.
Henry Cross

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Music God on December 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is, without a doubt, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' finest moment! I can still remember the battle he had with the record company over the pricing of this album! Due to the rise in oil prices (a main ingredient used to press vinyl albums), the record companies raised the standard list-price of an album from $7.98 to $8.98. TP fought his record company, going as far as threatening to name this album "$7.98"! Finally, the record company relented and priced the album at $7.98, thus allowing "Hard Promises" to be released to the masses! In addition to the classics "The Waiting", "Woman In Love (It's Not Me)" and "A Thing About You", also included is arguably the best TP & THB recorded song: "Something Big". BUY THIS DISC NOW!!!!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Misfit Kid on June 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
"Hard Promises," in my opinion, refers to the tough task TP&HBs had in following the greatness (artistic and commercial) of "Damn The Torpedoes." They completely made good on that "promise" with this record. I personally like "Hard" more than "Damn," which may only be because it received slightly less overkill/exposure when it was released. Both are absolutely outstanding. Back in the day when bands were allowed (by their record companies) to develop their sound over the course of a few albums, greatness was often born. That is the case here. "Damn" marked the beginning of their peak creativity, and "Hard" found them calmly enjoying the view from the top. Most bands quickly slide downhill after they peak, but TP&HBs mananged to remain there for this album and then slowly (very slowly) "descended." Over the years they've managed to hit other career peaks as well but never as naturally and confidently as on "Hard Promises."
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By . VINE VOICE on July 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD
"Hard Promises" released by Tom Petty in 1981 had the seemingly impossible task of following his 1979 commercial breakthrough "Damn The Torpedoes." What's amazing is that Petty follows up his best work with another classic and finds himself searching deeper with more soul-searching lyrics than before and delivering them with a voice that displays true emotion proving the point that he just may be one of the most underrated singers in rock. Although not as consistent as "Torpedoes," "Promises delivers a punch and wallop that isn't too far behind. Opening with one of Petty's finest moments, "The Waiting" could easily have come off of it's predecessor with it's streamlined, radio ready sound. "A Woman In Love (it's not me) and "Letting You Go" were two minor hits for Petty but no less listenable than any of his major hits. In fact the latter is one of THE most underrated songs in Petty's catalogue. It's one of those songs that when you hear it, you remember it but it's sort of a forgotten gem and one of the best songs of his career.

By this point in his career Petty was proving himself to be just as effective at writing heartfelt country-styled ballads as he was rockers. "You Can Still Change Your Mind" and "Insider" pick up where "Louisiana Rain" left off. "Insider" is a particularly moving ballad with incredible counterpoint vocals from no other than Stevie Nicks. This is quite easily one of his most emotional and poignant songs up to this point and of his career. "Kings Road" and "A Thing About You" are great, fun rockers, the latter bordering close to the generic but Petty was still fresh enough at this stage of the game to keep it from falling into that category. The remaining songs include the humorous tongue in cheek "Nightwatchman" and "The Criminal Kind.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Billy Austin on August 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Many folks cite "Damn the Torpedoes" as the best album Petty and his band have ever made, but for my money, it's this disc instead.
Why? I think it has more texture and a little more sophistication - plus the smart, tuneful hard rock songs Petty fans know and love. For every hard rocking "Woman In Love" - which moves in crescendos and fits and starts -there's also "Something Big," a moody, enigmatic tale fueled by Benmont Tench's organ. Other highlights include "The Insider," featuring Stevie Nicks, "A Thing About You" which barrels ahead and goes straight for the throat, and, of course, "The Waiting," which mixes the rock n roll with a little folk-rock sensibility.
If you love that last song, I'd suggest the live compilation, "Pack Up The Plantation," which contains a wonderful live version.
Song for song, I think this is the best of the "old" Petty albums - the ones that range from the group's debut to "Long After Dark." After that, the group - now with bassist Howie Epstein in tow - charged off in different musical directions, like the concept album "Southern Accents" or Petty's Wilburyish solo album, "Full Moon Fever." "Hard Promises" is the best of the old guard.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sal Nudo VINE VOICE on July 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
If you enjoy Tom Petty's music, you simply can't go wrong with "Hard Promises;" some might even contend that Petty and his band have never sounded better than on this album in 1981. The drab cover shot of Tom Petty in a record shop typifies his non-glamorous style, yet his music has held up solidly from the very beginnning. His tunes grab you with their tunefulness and hooks instantaneously, and his ability to make songwriting seem so effortless is unrivaled. Amazingly, no two Tom Petty songs usually ever sound that much alike, despite his unchanging style.
As for the actual songs on this great album, it's hard to go wrong with the leadoff 80's gem, "The Waiting," yet the album boasts even better songs. As usual, the lyrics are hard luck, the sound much brighter. "Nightwatchman," however, is a Tom Petty shot at humor and observation, a truly funny and astute song. His vocals sound great all over, yet particularly shine on "Something Big," where a tinge of typical Petty country-type sounds seep in. This album features its share of feel-good tunes as well, like on the bold sound of "Kings Road," where Petty flashes that classic jangly rock and roll that sounds perfect in the car as you're driving too fast on a beautiful day. "Kings Road" would sound awesome live, and actually is a precursor to future Petty classics off the album "Learning to Fly." "Letting You Go" is an endearing 60's style breakup song, containing bleak lyrics, yet featuring another feel-good type sound. The awesome "A Thing About You" keeps up the frollicking rock and roll pace, with an immensely catchy chorus and a rocking/honky tonk sound; check out Petty really letting loose on the guitars midway through.
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