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Wildflowers

194 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 1, 1994
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Vinyl, November 1, 1994
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Wildflowers + Full Moon Fever + Into The Great Wide Open
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Certified at 3 million units by the RIAA. (8/95)

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As you listen to Wildflowers, Tom Petty's first new album in three years and his first ever for Warner Bros., you may be struck by a certain quality, new for Petty but nonetheless familiar. The predominance of the twangy rhythm guitar; the high-pitched, nasal singing; the irresistibly catchy pop hooks; and the melancholy lyrics straining for a spiritual significance just beyond their grasp--all these elements make Petty sound as if he were a Beatle imitating Bob Dylan. Then you may realize that Wildflowers resembles nothing so much as a George Harrison solo album. That's not such a bad thing; Harrison (Petty's old bandmate in the Traveling Wilburys) has a knack for giving moody spiritualism a pop tunefulness. It's just that Harrison on his own is a second-tier rock & roll figure whose best work is long behind him, and that's pretty much the case with Petty as well. Only with appropriately reduced expectations can one enjoy Wildflowers for what it is. --Geoffrey Himes


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 1, 1994)
  • Original Release Date: November 1, 1994
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000002MUN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,028 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Ben C-F on October 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is Tom Petty's finest album. He made it at a time when he realized he wasn't getting any younger, his midlife crisis work with Jeff Lynne past him, battling the end of his marriage; all those strange feelings were condensed and channeled through his songwriting, and the result was the magnificent WILDFLOWERS. It's Petty's first album produced by Rick Rubin (who had already lent his talents to the Heartbreakers' teriffic "Mary Jane's Last Dance" the previous year), and the earthy, crisp sound is a perfect compliment to both Petty's voice and his songs. The beauty of Tom Petty's music is both the casual ease he seems to effortlessly slip into, and the way his songs just manage to stick in your head. At first listen, you'll always find one or two songs that stand out, and certainly the others are good, but not necessarily great. But then, they get stuck. Try as you might, you simply can't get them out of your head. And it's at this point that you realize, all these other songs are just as great. And by that time, you realize just how beautiful the album is. WILDFLOWERS is no exception. The simple instrumentation (powered by Steve Ferrone's minimal drumming) hides the complexity of the work.
Lyrically, this is also Petty's strongest album to date. "You Don't Know How It Feels" and "Hard On Me" deal with the pain of isolation, the fear of loneliness. Songs like "Only A Broken Heart" and the title track are almost reassurances, like he's saying it's okay to feel this pain, you're headed somewhere better.
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72 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Robert Workman on February 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
"It's just that Harrison on his own is a second-tier rock & roll figure whose best work is long behind him, and that's pretty much the case with Petty as well."

George's best work came out not too long before this and was succeeded by an equally towering achievement after he died. As for Petty, he's far shy from having one foot in the grave as a creative artist. Criticism is subjective, to be sure, but these comments are not only way off base they're offensive.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful By David A. Kotwicki on June 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Dear Amazon,

Mr. Himes review of Mr. Petty's work is snarky and shallow. His characterization of Petty & George Harrison (two of the all-time greats) as "second tier" is condescending and uninformed. As a frequent customer who is a Harrison & Petty centric rock fan, it's a turn-off to read drivel such as this.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By ProperGander News (Dr. Emil Shuffhausen) on August 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
PREAMBLE RAMBLE:

One of the great sins of American culture is our worship of the new, the young, and the fad. When a man acquires a few lines on his face, we toss him away and burble on about his "best days" being behind him. It's true in most public arenas, but especially true in the field of popular music, at least in terms of media descriptions and corporate executive decision-making.

Yet, we're the same culture that produced Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Robbie Robertson, Roger McGuinn, Chuck Berry, Kris Kristofferson, BB King, John Lee Hooker, George Jones, Bob Dylan, and Jerry Lee Lewis--rockers, soulsters, folkies, bluesmen, and country icons--who have managed to soldier on with aplomb and something to say (and a burr in their saddle) at an age when many folks are looking for a rocking chair and some lemonade.

Why, compared to those guys, Tom Petty is still just a pup, age-wise. But he shares a kindred spirit with all of the above, and he takes a backseat to none of them when it comes to talent. For any "reviewer" to call Tom Petty "second-tier" is a display of appalling ignorance and small-mindedness concerning music history. Tom Petty, a much-deserving member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is one of the giants in American music, being the embodiment of a perfect fusion of Elvis swagger, Southern Rock soul, British Invasion zeal, and California acousti-pop dreams. WILDFLOWERS is one of the peaks of his career.

GETTING ON WITH IT:

Many cultures recognize the blessings and the wisdom that come from experience--from living life, taking the shots and the knocks, and coming away from it all with some good stories to tell.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mike Reed VINE VOICE on February 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Tom Petty had apparently put out a second solo effort, the follow-up to his honey of an lp 'Full Moon Fever'. 'Wildflowers' has fifteen cuts, most of which carry their weight on the disc rather well. Tunes I found myself sort of tapping my toes to were the Petty-esque "You Don't Know How It Feels", "Time To Move On", the Dylan-like "Honey Bee", "To Find A Friend" and "Wake Up Time". Don't just assume this CD isn't going to be any good because the Heartbreakers aren't mentioned in the artist's name - for this release rocks! In fact, I could see Petty including several of these songs in his live sets. Ever see Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers play live? They're not to be missed. Old fashioned well-written rock & roll, as with most Petty albums. A nice find.
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