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Hard Promises (Remastered) Original recording remastered

4.8 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, March 20, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2001 remastered reissue of excellent 1981 album featuring 'The Waiting' & 'Insider' (with Stevie Nicks).

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Tom Petty's love affair with the more pop-oriented output of the Byrds and Dylan at their mid-'60s prime continued to find an increasingly wide audience in the '80s--and damned if some people didn't persist in calling it "new wave." Go figure. If writing hook-laden, instantly memorable pop-rock songs was both a sign of genius and one of music's toughest feats, Hard Promises (and its FM evergreens, "The Waiting" and "A Woman in Love") confirmed that Petty was one skinny, little, hard-working prodigy. Picking up effortlessly where Damn the Torpedoes left off, Petty and the equally conscientious Heartbreakers took nothing about their newfound fame for granted, delivering their fourth strong effort in a row, this one increasingly seasoned with touches of their Southern roots. The title hints at the tough underbelly beneath the jangly veneer of Petty's ever-accessible songwriting, exemplified here by "Nightwatchman," "Something Big," and "The Criminal Kind." All tracks on this edition have been upgraded via digital remastering, and the album's original inner artwork and lyrics have also been restored. --Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 20, 2001)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B00005ABKC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,909 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is, without a doubt, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' finest moment! I can still remember the battle he had with the record company over the pricing of this album! Due to the rise in oil prices (a main ingredient used to press vinyl albums), the record companies raised the standard list-price of an album from $7.98 to $8.98. TP fought his record company, going as far as threatening to name this album "$7.98"! Finally, the record company relented and priced the album at $7.98, thus allowing "Hard Promises" to be released to the masses! In addition to the classics "The Waiting", "Woman In Love (It's Not Me)" and "A Thing About You", also included is arguably the best TP & THB recorded song: "Something Big". BUY THIS DISC NOW!!!!!
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Format: Audio CD
"Hard Promises," in my opinion, refers to the tough task TP&HBs had in following the greatness (artistic and commercial) of "Damn The Torpedoes." They completely made good on that "promise" with this record. I personally like "Hard" more than "Damn," which may only be because it received slightly less overkill/exposure when it was released. Both are absolutely outstanding. Back in the day when bands were allowed (by their record companies) to develop their sound over the course of a few albums, greatness was often born. That is the case here. "Damn" marked the beginning of their peak creativity, and "Hard" found them calmly enjoying the view from the top. Most bands quickly slide downhill after they peak, but TP&HBs mananged to remain there for this album and then slowly (very slowly) "descended." Over the years they've managed to hit other career peaks as well but never as naturally and confidently as on "Hard Promises."
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Format: Audio CD
Many folks cite "Damn the Torpedoes" as the best album Petty and his band have ever made, but for my money, it's this disc instead.
Why? I think it has more texture and a little more sophistication - plus the smart, tuneful hard rock songs Petty fans know and love. For every hard rocking "Woman In Love" - which moves in crescendos and fits and starts -there's also "Something Big," a moody, enigmatic tale fueled by Benmont Tench's organ. Other highlights include "The Insider," featuring Stevie Nicks, "A Thing About You" which barrels ahead and goes straight for the throat, and, of course, "The Waiting," which mixes the rock n roll with a little folk-rock sensibility.
If you love that last song, I'd suggest the live compilation, "Pack Up The Plantation," which contains a wonderful live version.
Song for song, I think this is the best of the "old" Petty albums - the ones that range from the group's debut to "Long After Dark." After that, the group - now with bassist Howie Epstein in tow - charged off in different musical directions, like the concept album "Southern Accents" or Petty's Wilburyish solo album, "Full Moon Fever." "Hard Promises" is the best of the old guard.
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Format: Audio CD
If you enjoy Tom Petty's music, you simply can't go wrong with "Hard Promises;" some might even contend that Petty and his band have never sounded better than on this album in 1981. The drab cover shot of Tom Petty in a record shop typifies his non-glamorous style, yet his music has held up solidly from the very beginnning. His tunes grab you with their tunefulness and hooks instantaneously, and his ability to make songwriting seem so effortless is unrivaled. Amazingly, no two Tom Petty songs usually ever sound that much alike, despite his unchanging style.
As for the actual songs on this great album, it's hard to go wrong with the leadoff 80's gem, "The Waiting," yet the album boasts even better songs. As usual, the lyrics are hard luck, the sound much brighter. "Nightwatchman," however, is a Tom Petty shot at humor and observation, a truly funny and astute song. His vocals sound great all over, yet particularly shine on "Something Big," where a tinge of typical Petty country-type sounds seep in. This album features its share of feel-good tunes as well, like on the bold sound of "Kings Road," where Petty flashes that classic jangly rock and roll that sounds perfect in the car as you're driving too fast on a beautiful day. "Kings Road" would sound awesome live, and actually is a precursor to future Petty classics off the album "Learning to Fly." "Letting You Go" is an endearing 60's style breakup song, containing bleak lyrics, yet featuring another feel-good type sound. The awesome "A Thing About You" keeps up the frollicking rock and roll pace, with an immensely catchy chorus and a rocking/honky tonk sound; check out Petty really letting loose on the guitars midway through.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Woman in Love" is absolutely my favorite Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers song and "The Waiting" is in my top five favorites by this band. The rest of the album is also pretty good. Southern rock - not too hard; not too soft; easy to listen to at any volume; made for listening to while having a bonfire and drinking beer. Damn the Torpedoes is another really good Tom Petty album.
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