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Southern Accents
Southern Accents
Price: $4.99
72 used & new from $3.54

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A record from the Heartbreakers' past..., March 8, 2000
This review is from: Southern Accents (Audio CD)
Southern Accents represents Tom Petty's homage to his Deep South roots. Sure, Petty is a Gainesville, FL native but that doesn't fool anyone. Gainesville is as much a part of the South as Atlanta, Montgomery and Mobile. This album is also a watershed moment for Petty and his bandmates as it embodies a burgeoning period of experimentation. It captures Petty in his rawest form when he is singing from his heart. You can hear the true-to-life lyrics of his past in "Rebels," "The Best of Everything" and especially the haunting "Southern Accents." The title track is the most personal of all of Petty's songs. In it, he speaks to his childhood and young adult years with the wisdom of a man that can acknowledge those aspects of his past. The collection of songs here is a big departure for the band. It is part country, part psychedelic (on the delicious mind candy that is "Don't Come Around Here No More"), part bluegrass rock and part funk. If you don't find something to please yourself on one track, wait a few minutes and things will change. New sounds abound as vocal distortion (It Ain't Nothin' To Me) and new instruments (big brass horn section and a sitar) make an impression. Some consider it an uneven effort but when taken in the context that it was supposed to be a double album, Southern Accents comes off as a "best of" collection of what Petty wanted to sing about. He selected these songs to give a wide palette of flavor to the listener and he succeeds as he transitions relatively flawlessly from the various styles on this excellent album.

Playback [6 CD Box Set]
Playback [6 CD Box Set]
Price: $42.62
52 used & new from $22.25

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything and the kitchen sink, too!, March 8, 2000
This review is from: Playback [6 CD Box Set] (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. This isn't just some fluffy picture book, it has a bevy of information that any fan cannot live without. For under fifty dollars, you get the definitive collection of Petty material up to 1992. Do not pass this up!

Room At The Top
Room At The Top
4 used & new from $45.74

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the price, March 8, 2000
This review is from: Room At The Top (Audio CD)
The songs included on this three-song disc are "Room at the Top," "Sweet William," and "Angel Dream" (not "Lonesome Sundown" as reported in another review here). It is the middle song that is the true star of this rare release. Sweet William is one of the most obscure, rocking-est songs Tom Petty has ever put forth. This one is a raucous celebration of major guitar riffs by Mike Campbell, some terrific hardcore jamming by the Heartbreakers, and smokey lyrics by Petty himself. This one cut really harkens back to the loud garage bands of yesteryear. Room at the Top is a fine tune and really a terrific, complex song from the most recent Heartbreakers album Echo. Included also is Angel Dream--one of Petty's admitted personal favorites. It is sweet and haunting and remains an overlooked Heartbreaker gem. However, overshadowing it all is Sweet William. A true treat for anyone willing to buy this import.

Unforgiven (Snap Case)
Unforgiven (Snap Case)
DVD ~ Clint Eastwood
151 used & new from $0.01

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clint Eastwood delivers a masterpiece, January 10, 2000
This review is from: Unforgiven (Snap Case) (DVD)
This film won the 1992 Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Gene Hackman) and Best Editing. Garnering three of the "major" awards is impressive and they are what make the film a memorable and enjoyable experience. Eastwood the director is in top form. He has always displayed a steady hand in directing his stories and actors and he doesn't disappoint here. Nothing flashy but it is his understated direction that leads this film to it's climax. In less capable hands, a director may be apt to moralize or preach. Eastwood capably lets the story (overlooked as an original screenplay) tell itself. His turn as the lead character -- William Munny -- is also an underplayed, nuanced part. I think it is one of his best acting jobs. He carries a grim outlook and those set, steely eyes convey all of the emotions the character feels. In a movie with so much else that is good, his performance is not to be ignored. Gene Hackman is outstanding in his portrayal of Little Bill Daggett, the sheriff of Big Whiskey, WY. His performance is both blustery and low-keyed. It is a credit to Hackman to know how to pull if off effortlessly. The movie itself is the real star. It plays on so many levels and gives a lot of shades of gray that really blow off the Westerns of old. There is no good guy in the white hat. In fact, there is little good to be found in the movie. Most of the men and women are scoundrels or people of ill-repute. However the general theme of reality that Eastwood conveys is what you will have to look for. Things aren't what they seem and this "anti-Western" shrugs off the myths of the Old West.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - High Grass Dogs: Live from the Fillmore
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - High Grass Dogs: Live from the Fillmore
DVD ~ Tom Petty
Price: $13.98
26 used & new from $5.89

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The music Won't Back Down, but the video is Free Fallin', December 29, 1999
It's too bad this wasn't released as an audio cd or double live album. It really has some terrific songs -- all of Petty's finest -- and a few overlooked or retooled gems. However, the direction of the concert film is slipshod. While the widescreen presentation is nice, there are too many artsy cuts and a tired overuse of extreme closeups of unnecessary scenes. Do I really want to get a gander of Tom's posterior filling the screen? I'd have much rathered some tight, uninterrupted shots of Mike Campbell's fab guitar manipulations or Benmont Tench's killer keyboard work. Instead, there is a distracting, frenetic pace that doesn't let you focus on any one thing too long before it cuts to another. Someone should have told the producers that this wasn't a pop video. A more lingering view of the stage and wider shots of the band going through their excellent setlist would have been far preferable and afforded the viewer a "you are there" sense of belonging. Instead, you get the feeling that you've stumbled on an Oliver Stone attempt at a 90-minute music video. There are good moments: Seeing Bo Diddley on stage with the guys for "Mona" was great fun and Petty did have some lighthearded moments before "Even the Losers." However, this DVD is hamstrung by the visual masturbation of the director. As a diehard Petty fan, I love the sound of this concert film but I can't give it a fifth star. Buy this for the music. That aspect is a five star for sure. The video brings the whole experience down a notch. And that is saying something when discussing the Heartbreakers' ability to mesmerize and enthrall. Keep the TV off and crank the speakers and go about your housework.
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