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Playback Box set

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Audio CD, Box set, November 20, 1995
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$37.29 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 7 left in stock. Sold by Fulfillment Express US and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Damn The Torpedoes Trailer


Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers belong to a special class of artists. A class comprised of those few acts that have sustained decades-long careers despite the restlessness of popular music’s audience. They have scored hits in five different decades while selling tens of millions of records along the way. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during their first year of ... 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 (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,754 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

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 62 customer reviews
And for the casual/new fan, this is a great introduction.
Andrew Furst
"When the Time Comes" is one of the better songs from You're Gonna Get It.
A Kid's Review
This collection is one of the best collections of it's kind.
G. Walt Murray

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Rob Damm on 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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133 of 148 people found the following review helpful By A Kid's Review on November 12, 2005
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.
Read more ›
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "joenumber2" on 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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By cincinnatusalong on 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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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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