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Playback [Box set]

Tom PettyAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

Price: $43.98 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Audio CD, Box set, 1995 $43.98  
Audio Cassette, Box set, 1995 --  

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Damn The Torpedoes Trailer


Some time in the last few years Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers took a left turn. Maybe it was when Petty woke up in the night with the idea of reuniting his first band, Mudcrutch, to cut the album they never got a chance to make back in the early 70s. Maybe it was when the Heartbreakers assembled the mammoth multi-disc The Live Anthology, which detailed thirty years of concerts. Maybe it ... Read more in Amazon's Tom Petty Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 20, 1995)
  • Original Release Date: November 20, 1995
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Mca
  • ASIN: B000002OYT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,822 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of the shining lights of '70s, '80s and '90s rock 'n' roll gets his own boxed set, and it's a doozy! The first three discs are devoted to the must-have tracks from all of Tom's albums up through 1993, and then come the real goodies: a disc of rare B-sides and then two discs of unreleased tracks (27 in all!), including Elvis covers, curiosities like a pre-Stevie Nicks version of Stop Draggin' My Heart Around , demos, live takes and more, plus an 84-page color booklet.

Tom Petty peaked early. In 1974, Petty's northern Florida bar band, Mudcrutch, moved to L.A., signed a deal with Shelter Records, and transformed itself into Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. By 1976, they had released their self-titled debut album, a seemingly impossible blend of the Byrds' jangly harmonies and Southern-California idealism with the Rolling Stones' bluesy punchiness and working-class grittiness. The rhythm section rocked; Mike Campbell was an effortlessly elegant guitarist, and Petty himself was a passionate singer. By the third album, 1979's Damn the Torpedoes, the band was creating such timeless rock & roll singles as "Refugee" and "Even the Losers." By 1980 their best music was behind them. The rhythms slackened; the melodies no longer grabbed; the performances lacked the same urgency. They played with admirable craft and sold millions of records, but they never again made music as powerful as their first three albums. This creates a serious imbalance in this box set, "Playback" (MCA), which fits 21 songs from the first four albums onto one overwhelming CD and then fills up another five CDs with 71 more tracks, which suffer by comparison. For the hardcore Petty fan, though, Playback is a treasure trove of obscurities. While most box sets adopt an 80/20 split between greatest hits and rarities, "Playback" is closer to 50/50, and includes B-sides never released in album form, rare Mudcrutch cuts, shelved studio tracks, and cover versions of songs by Jimmy Reed, Conway Twitty, and Elvis Presley. --Geoffrey Himes

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instant Tom Petty collection! August 5, 2000
Format:Audio CD
For most people, I'm guessing these 92 tracks are all the Tom Petty you are going to need. The first three discs are really faultless-- some of the best pop music ever committed to tape. The rest of the box is aimed squarely at folks who already own much of his catalog-- it's chockfull of rareities, alternate takes, remixes and so forth.
Buying this set is really a no-brainer. If you don't have much Petty: i.e. greatest hits, and maybe and album or two, you NEED this. And odds are, it's all you'll need. If you have all the standard issue Petty discs, you can still look foward to 40% worth of the box dedicated to stuff you probably haven't heard. The most compelling reason,though, to own this set, for the hardcore fan is the sound quality. The regular issue Petty discs are fairly terrible: especially the older stuff... the 20-bit HDCD mastering on these new discs KILLS the standard versions and sounds *almost* as good as the out-of-print (and very pricey) Mobile Fidelity pressings. This box is incredibly cheap and provides many hours of listening, enjoy.
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127 of 142 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Please note that I am not under 13, but did not feel like disclosing unvital information


It's almost inevitable that a band with a long and successful career will release a box set. This six disc offering from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is their fulfillment of that prophecy.

Playback, released in 1995, chronicles the band's career on MCA records. Fifty songs from the Heartbreakers' 1976 self-titled debut through their 1993 Greatest hits compilation can be found here.

That's just the first three CDs. The fourth disc features fifteen B-sides of singles. The final two CDs contain previously unreleased tracks and studio outtakes, including some songs recorded by Mudcrutch- the first lineup that would become the Heartbreakers. There isn't much point in any further introduction, so I'll jump right into the music:


Disc One - The Big Jangle

The Big Jangle covers the Heartbreakers first four albums: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (1976), You're Gonna Get It (1978), Damn the Torpedoes (1979), and Hard Promises (1981). The original lineup of the band is present, with original bassist Ron Blair and drummer Stan Lynch. Blair would leave the group following Hard Promises. Here we can find the Heartbreakers defining their sound as they clawed their way up from humble beginnings to the platinum success of Damn the Torpedoes.

Two classic rock staples, "Breakdown" and "American Girl" can be heard as the first two tracks of the box set.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything and the kitchen sink, too! March 8, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Playback is a tour de force for any rock fan. You don't have to be a fan of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to appreciate this six-disc set. In fact, it may help convert you to believing that Petty and his bandmates are one of the major pioneers in rock and roll and an enduring act that is hard to replicate or resist. This boxed set is chock-full of goodies. Most boxed sets include the artist's major hits and then some throwaway cuts or barely passable "hits." No such filler exists here. Discs One through Three are packed with all of the hits and concert favorites that are as fresh and infectious as when the band burst on the scene in 1976. Where you really get your money's worth and hear the band air it out is in Discs Four through Six. The collection of songs on these three discs are mostly unreleased (especially in stellar compact disc sound). Sprinkled judiciously over these discs are some live tracks, unreleased gems, retooled or remixed versions of songs that became classics later, a few cover tunes and a handful of funny, lighthearted melodies. Standing out in the group are Stan Lynch's searing vocal rendition of "Psychotic Reaction" (originally by The Count Five), the fantastic "Trailer" (left off of Southern Accents), a wacky country version of "Damage You've Done" (released in a more rock-friendly format on Let Me Up I've Had Enough), the trippy "You Get Me High" and a great driving-in-the-car rocker titled "Travelin'". This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks! Included is a large booklet of musings by Petty and the band on each track in the set. In the booklet, the origins of some of the songs are revealed, studio anecdotes are revisited and the backstory of the band is explored. Read more ›
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect June 17, 2006
Format:Audio CD
I have to start by pointing out that the Amazon "reviewer" has nary a clue when it comes to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers because anyone who thinks "By 1980 their best music was behind them" is sadly mistaken. They have continued to make great rock n' roll for thirty years, and with a new release coming out in July are still going strong. Not only do they continue to rock and grow as a band and as artists, they make meaningful songs that protest the dying of radio and the fun of music due to the corporate takeover of radio.

As for the release itself, it is filled with hits, demos, B-sides, live songs and that is what a boxset should be. It is too bad it doesn't include songs from "Wildflowers" and the other CDs that have come out since, but there's the rub with artists who continue to produce the goods. There are some songs left out that should have been included (that could be said for any boxset though), particularly, for me anyhow, "The Wild One, Forever;" "You're Gonna Get It;" "Spike;" "It Ain't Nothin' to Me;" "Stories We Could Tell" (what a gem this one is!) and "Girl on LSD" (leaving this amusing tune off when it is so hard to find was a travesty!). My only other wish was that the live songs were drawn from unreleased material and included a couple more cuts. All in all though, this boxset is not only well worth the money, it is a treasure for any fan of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Enjoy, and long live these gone gators!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Petty is awesome. I've owned this collection for at least 6 ...
Tom Petty is awesome. I've owned this collection for at least 6 or 7 years and still find it a great reference for his career prior to 1994 (when he switched record labels.)
Published 2 days ago by M. Cmar
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Worth every penny¡!
Published 15 days ago by glenn w fleming
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice set
Im no Tom Petty fanatic but this has some great photos, a good book and all the songs i know. Very pleased with the set.
Published 1 month ago by RyanamirraH
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a nice surprise. Forgot how much I really liked the ...
This was a nice surprise. Forgot how much I really liked the favorites BUT loved all the music I never heard before. Can't wait to add to my IPOD. They are truly a great band!
Published 1 month ago by Diana Palmer
5.0 out of 5 stars You can NEVER go wrong with Tom Petty!
I bought the playback set as a gift, but if I could have ordered one for myself too, I would have! I remember when this set was released - I was only about 8 years old and my mom... Read more
Published 2 months ago by JamminMe
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for true TPH fans!
Awesome box set. Not the same 'ol greatest hits stuff. Very cool. Also has very complete liner notes.Seeing them in Eugene on Aug.7th!
Published 4 months ago by cody
5.0 out of 5 stars A true fan's dream
At first glance, half of this album may seem irrelevant to you because it includes Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers greatest hits. Read more
Published 5 months ago by east coast dude
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent compilation
A collection of Petty's earliest songs together with previously unrelased material. Recommende for all true lovers of rock'n'roll. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Petter Meier
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Tom Petty gift
This was a gift for my sister, who is a huge Tom Petty fan. It was everything she ever wanted and more. She litteraly cried when she got it. Read more
Published 7 months ago by David Fletcher
5.0 out of 5 stars I Can't Wait..........Tom Petty Rocks
Although I am a blast from the past and I enjoyed a few of Tom Petty's songs ( way back then), I just recently discovered what I was missing. Read more
Published 7 months ago by barbara j. miller-garcia
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Topic From this Discussion
Tom Petty's - Mary Janes Last Dance
It's only available on his "Greatest Hits." Take care!
Jul 26, 2006 by Stephen W. Hill |  See all 4 posts
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