Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers


Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers


Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers


  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers


Released May 1981
Genre Rock
Price 9.99 USD
Length 39:33
Number of discs 1
Label Backstreet/MCA Records


The Billboard Review
Originally reviewed for week ending 5/16/81

The long awaited followup to "Damn The Torpedoes" should firmly put Petty at the top of the rock heap. This LP bristles with passion, something that the competition never manages to convey with the exception of a few artists. This is what rock'n'roll should be--convincing, emotion laden vocals, blazing instrumentals, melody and above all a true sense and command of the rock language. Petty's influences are still noticeable, i.e. the Byrds, yet he's managed to integrate those styles into a truly unique brand of rock. "The Waiting," "A Woman In Love (It's Not Me)," "You Can Still Change Your Mind," and "Kings Road" convey power, romanticism and all the thrills that make rock still exciting. The Heartbreakers are in all their glory. Best cuts: Those mentioned, plus "Something Big," "Insider." 

Release Date: May 5, 1981

Certified Gold: July 14, 1981
Certified Platinum: August 10, 1981

Chart Info: #49 Top Pop Albums of 1981

Producer(s): Tom Petty, Jimmy Iovine

Additional Musicians
Phil Jones – percussion on all tracks
Stevie Nicks – harmony vocals on "Insider", background vocals on "You Can Still Change Your Mind"
Donald "Duck" Dunn – bass guitar on "A Woman in Love"
Sharon Celani – background vocals on "You Can Still Change Your Mind"
Alan "Bugs" Weidel – piano on "Nightwatchman"

Notes: Last album with Ron Blair

This was the second Tom Petty album on the Backstreet Records label. The album's release was delayed while Petty and his distributorMCA Records argued about the list price. The album was slated to be the next MCA release with the new list price of $9.98, following Steely Dan's Gaucho and the Olivia Newton-John/Electric Light Orchestra Xanadu soundtrack. This so-called "superstar pricing" was $1.00 more than the usual list price of $8.98. Petty voiced his objections to the price hike in the press and the issue became a popular cause among music fans. Non-delivery of the album or naming it Eight Ninety-Eight were considered, but eventually MCA decided against the price increase.

During the recording of the album John Lennon was scheduled to be in the same studio at the same time. Tom Petty was looking forward to meeting him when he came in. The meeting never occurred; unfortunately, John Lennon was murdered before he could ever make it into the studio. In order to pay tribute to one of their influences the band decided to etch "WE LOVE YOU JL" on the master copy of the album. To this day "WE LOVE YOU JL" is seen on every Hard Promises first issue US non-masterphile vinyl copy pressed. The album's title comes from a line in the chorus of "Insider."


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