Customer Reviews: Damn the Torpedoes
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on November 11, 2003
Once upon a time, long before middle age and Traveling Wilburys and Full Moon Fever, decades before the annoying David Spade caricature, a youthful Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers rocked with breathtaking passion and talent. They came fully into their prime with this recording, bursting into the public eye in November of 1979 with a performance of "Refugee" on Saturday Night Live. Blown away, I was at the record store the next day to buy this amazing album.
This is the finest recording made by the band, and the obvious choice for anyone who wants to buy their first Tom Petty CD. Some may prefer a greatest-hits package, but these songs were meant to be heard together, to flow as an album. Some may prefer the older mellower acoustic-guitar-strumming Petty, and that Petty has continued to make excellent music. But to buy Full Moon Fever first would be a bit like buying Springsteen doing The Rising instead of Born to Run, or Dylan doing Love and Theft instead of Blonde on Blonde. There are graceful comebacks, and then there is youthful creativity with passion and sometimes genius - Damn the Torpedoes is the latter.
This album contains everything you need to know about the band at its best. The stripped-down sound (more polished than garage rock, but just as vital), Petty's voice going from whines to raspy growls to scathing Dylanesque bitterness, evocative lyrics that take the listener through every possible emotion in 3 minutes, that 12-string Rickenbacker on the cover photo with the singer as skinny as I was back then, Mike Campbell's Chuck Berry-esque guitar solos, a driving rhythm section. Tom Petty would never come back to rock like this again. He's done music that's arguably as good, but rarely as consistent, and never with such blazing energy and gutsiness.
It would be easy to praise song after song in detail, but the bottom line is that this is indeed the quintessential Tom Petty album, every song a gem, the singer and his band at their youthful peak.
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on November 19, 2010
I'll be short, since this is a 31 year old album many people know. This review will comment the BD release, and its importance for future music releases on BD.

This is the complete album with nine bonus tracks, 18 tracks in total. All songs have been remastered and have recieved the same treatment. This is a very unique product among all the products following today's trend of over compressed and bad sounding CD's and downloads. This BD have incredible dynamics, and is a joy to listen to. (If only more artists cared about how their art sounded...)

BD can be the new SACD, and lets hope so. There have been sold more BD players in the last three years than all the SACD players sold since its start about ten years ago. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers with their producer/engineer Ryan Ulyate are pioneers in paving the way for music on BD, they have already created music history, and I hope this turns out to be a musical revolution!

To sum up, if you like Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers just a little bit, buy this! You will love it and play it often! And it will certainly get you excited for more high resolution music in both stereo and surround!

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers & Ryan Ulyate, if you or someone in your staff should read this, I tell you: Please keep this up! Your work is on this BD and the Mojo BD is so important for the whole damaged music industry! If I could thank you in person, I wouldn't have a vocabulary strong enough to express my joy. But know that there are many of us out here that will gladly pay to enjoy your music the way you intended in the studio!

Audio options on all 18 tracks and two music videos:
5.1 96kHz/24bit DTS-HD Master Audio
5.1 96kHz/24bit PCM
2.0 96kHz/24bit PCM

Region: All

Note: The DTS-HD High Resolution Audio 48/24 logo on the back shouldn't have been there, the audio is in fact as listed above.
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on November 11, 2010
Having been a huge fan of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers for all of their career and owning pretty much everything they've done, this is the seminal album. I've heard this album in every format and re-issue. If you are a big fan, and own a Blu-Ray player/Audio System capable of playing the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio 96kHz/24bit, Buy It!!! I applaud Tom & Company for caring enough to give us such a great album, handled with care, and served up in the highest quality consumers can currently play. This is hearing what the masters sounded like and probably better after mastering with today's technology. After the mp3 generation,there are is still people that want to savor their music like fine wine. Cheers, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, now please could you give us Wildflowers next, just asking. Thank you.
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on November 10, 2010
I'll get right to the point. The sound of this classic album in DTS-HD Master Audio is superb! It's like hearing the album for the first time. 2 channel PCM sound is very good too. Disc has three listening modes. PCM Stereo, PCM 5.1, and DTS-HD Master 5.1. Lots of bonus material too. Thank you Tom Petty! Wonder why other artists are not following Tom Petty's lead in Blu Ray Audio?
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on January 15, 2011
Well I thought I'd try this format as an experiment to see if it's all it's cracked up to be. The sound is amazing! I never in my life have heard such dynamic range and detail coming out of my PSB speakers. It feels like you're right in the studio with the band. I'm serious, if you've got a good 5.1 surround system, you need to hear this. I love Tom Petty music to begin with. There are some great songs on here. I especially love "Here Comes My Girl" played loud. The drums sound amazing! Also, they did a nice job on the 5.1 mix unlike some of the early DVD-Audio discs. The rear surrounds are subtle, but there to add depth and atmosphere. Nice.

I went into Best Buy to see if they had this and ended up arguing with the know-nothing sales associate in the store that there is even such a thing as Blu-Ray Audio only!!! The jerk insisted I must be talking about a video disc. I'd like to take this disc back into the store and shove it into his face and say "See, I told you so!"

Anyway, it sounds amazing. Here's the problem. As good as these sound, this format will die. Just like SACD, all but dead and DVD-Audio, dead. You audiophiles out there know what I'm talking about. The public won't buy it. Too expensive, in a crappy MP3 shared or stolen music world which is unfortunate.

Highly recommended.
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Those who thought that Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers were punk or new wave when they started releasing albums in the late 1970s were missing the point. At a time when heavy metal and guitar rock was dominating the airwaves, this was a group that harkened back to the sounds of the British Invasion and embodied the spirit of the great American garage band. Petty wrote the songs that remind you of Bob Dylan and Neil Young, and the Heartbreakers provided the backing. The group recorded a couple of early albums with Shelter records and started off as bigger hits in England than in the U.S. and then Shelter got gobbled up by MCA, which did not sit well with Petty. There were the first of many legal tangles between the two and "Damn the Torpedoes" was the result of a settlement. Released on an MCA subsidiary, Backstreet, the title was clearly a shot across the bow of MCA and their fight would be continued.
Despite the legal wrangler and creative disputes, this 1979 album would be the definitive release for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, combining some old songs from his early days in L.A. playing with Mudcrutch with some new songs. It was certainly the group's breakthrough effort, both a critical and commercial success. The album made it to #2 on the Billboard charts on the basis of a trio of strong songs. The opening track, the Top 20 "Refugee," written by Petty and Mike Campell," shows the deft touch of producer Jimmy Iovine, who put Benmont Tench's organ playing up front with the vocals. The song contrasts nicely with another Petty-Campbell hit, the melancholy but melodic "Here Comes My Girl." Add to this the album's one Top 10 hit, "Don't Do Me Like That," another song of love and deception, with another great organ solo from Tench.
The common denominator on these songs is their basic simplicity. A Tom Petty song is almost always based on just a few chords. Musically, these are very tight songs, which speaks to the heart of their appeal, and credit must be paid to Iovine's role as producer on this album. Lyrically the dominating theme is one of the pain of relationships and the tone is almost relentlessly melancholy, like on "Even the Losers." Even a ballad like "Louisiana Rain" wallows in the sadness of pain. The result is one of the best rock albums of the 1970s and although Tom Petty came close to this level again with "Hard Promises," "Full Moon Fever," and "Wildflowers," this remains the album you find on the top of the mountain.
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Two discs 36, 30 minutes each approximately, a bit short on playing time. The sound, digitally remastered, is clean and fairly crisp without sounding harsh. The packaging is the same as most of the other "Deluxe Editions" that have been released. The booklet has previously unseen photos of the band and information on Petty and the music. This album is also available both as a single disc of the original album, and in a Blue-ray Audio edition.

"Damn The Torpedoes" is, arguably, the finest early album by Petty and his band. The songs "Don't Do Me Like That" and "Refugee", were all over the radio, in people's cars, and blasting out of people's living rooms. And then to have songs like "Here Comes My Girl" and "Even The Losers" on top of it-well, Petty and the band don't get much better. With Petty's, at times, Dylan-like vocal mannerisms and sound, that chiming electric 12 string filling in all the empty spaces, and Mike Campbell's straightforward rock 'n' roll guitar for added punch, their sound was tough. Not to mention the rhythm section-while holding everything together they simultaneously push things along, and make it seem effortless, this is a real rock 'n' roll band.

This album improved on their first two-the songs, some from Petty's former group MUDCRUTCH,, and some new, had a cohesiveness and a toughness that sounded both modern and looked back to the rootsy sound of Dylan/BYRDS/British Invasion/garage rock. Petty's writing was lean and seemingly simple, yet the lyrics ranged from tough rockers ("Refugee"), to ballads ("Louisianna Rain"), and everything in between. Besides the identifiable sound of the band, all these songs had passion-both in the lyrics and in the bands performance.

The nine "new" songs do help somewhat in painting a broader, deeper picture of Petty and his band during this time. Right here I have to admit that Stan Lynch is still my favorite "Heartbreakers" drummer, and the song "Surrender", recorded for the album but not used, has that certain drum sound only Lynch seemed to produce. The alternate of "Refugee" is nice but not anything really new (unless you're a collector), and the demo of B side single "Casa Dega" is nice to have but not essential to the overall sound and feel of the album. The three live tracks are good-speaking for myself I would like to hear more live recordings, both in the studio and in concert. The live tracks (from London in 1980) follow the originals fairly closely, but are great to have nonetheless, especially "Don't Do Me Like That".

As I wrote earlier, this is a pivotal TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS album. If not the bands greatest single work, it's certainly one of them. The remastered sound is good and the extra tracks are worthwhile. My only (selfish) complaint is that there's room on this edition for much more music, no doubt still languishing in the vault. But for those who know this album-you can't have to much of a good thing. If you haven't heard this album, this is a good look at what Petty and his band are all about-simple, straightforward, unadorned rock 'n' roll. Oh, yes, it still sounds good slightly loud. Enjoy.
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on August 4, 1999
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers third release, which has served as their commercial breakthrough, is also one of rock's most finely crafted albums. Damn the Torpedoes was recorded with the genius producer, Jimmy Iovine, in the midst one of Petty's most stressful ordeals - a heavy lawsuit with his new label MCA. Through the yearlong court battle, Petty did not only write some of rock's greatest tunes but recorded them with the utmost discipline to create his first, but not final, masterpiece. This is evident from the opener, "Refugee", which is now considered Petty and the Heartbreakers' ultimate classic. The fun does not stop there, however, as Petty and the Heartbreakers rip through the rest of Side 1 with such energy and rock and roll spirit that would put the Stones to shame. Side 2 starts off with Petty's first Top 10 and instant classic, "Don't Do Me Like That" as it gently flows into a more eclectic approach with hints of soul and rockabilly. The album ends with a little bit o' country in the form of another Petty classic, "Louisiana Rain", a perfect ending to one of rock's finest moments.
Other Petty classics: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1st album), Southern Accents, Full Moon Fever (Tom Petty solo), Wildflowers (Tom Petty solo), Echo.
-Nate Kirk
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on December 22, 2010
The album is awesome, I just wanted to put in my review of the DTS Loseless Audio, and wow, it is incredible. I have many DVD-A, SACD, and DTS recordings, and I have to admit this might be the best sounding audio disk yet. Every instrument is crisp, clean and the correct dynamic, the cymbols sound like someone is in the room hitting them. Perfect. The next wave in music? I hope so.
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on January 30, 2004
I was 13 years old when I first heard this album and I am nearly 39 now , hence for 2/3rds of my life, this album has been part of the essential soundtrack (along with of course 'Cheap Trick at Budokan'. It sounded phenominal in 1978; as relevant in its lyrics in 88; hadnt dated by 1998; and is gauranteed to still be in my CD player in 2008. Yes, sure there has been other albums, compilations of TP, his wanderings with Stevie Nicks, Travelling Wilburys, and Bob Dylan. Tom Petty however managed to do everything perfect on this album and all the songs are etched into my memory cells, every song passed the test of time, and every one a classic. This album is an ideal first album to buy of Tom Petty's given that all the songs are instantly likeable rock classics. Dont not be put off by the 'leather jacket and pink shirt look' on the cover, this was after all released in 1978. Perfect album for the youth to the youth at heart.
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