Archive for Damn the Torpedoes

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- Southern Accents

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2018 by 80smetalman

My first thought when the “Southern Accents” album from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers first came to my attention in early 1985 was that they hadn’t gone into obscurity. It turns out that their 1981 and 82 albums had totally passed me by. I blame being in the service at the time. The second thought I had came via the video on MTV for the first single, “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and that was that Tom Petty had sold out and gone commercial, especially since he plays The Mad Hatter in the video which has an “Alice in Wonderland” theme. The further fact that Tom co-wrote the song with Dave Stewart from The Eurythmics only cemented that belief further. Thankfully, I am glad that I was completely wrong on both accounts.

I think my motivation behind me belief was that I was still remembering the band for their excellent “Damn the Torpedoes” album and expected the single to sound somewhat like “Refugee” or “Don’t Do Me Like That.” “Don’t Come Around Here No More” doesn’t sound like either and although I’m more open to it these days, at the time, I was looking for power chords. So listening to it recently with a more open mind, I am able to deliver a more favourable report on “Southern Accents.”

Let’s start with the not so positive: “Southern Accents” doesn’t topple “Damn the Torpedoes” from the top spot in my mind. Does that make it a bad album? Certainly not! There is many a good jam to be had on it. The first two songs, especially the opener, “Rebel,” really cook. Then again, Mike Campbell plays his best guitar solo on the second song. The irony here is that Petty also co-wrote that one with Stewart and likewise another great song, “Make It Better (Forget About Me.)” So, it’s been thirty years in coming but I must apologize and withdraw my accusation that Dave Stewart was trying to turn Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers into an 80s synth pop band. He wasn’t in any way.

Other tracks on “Southern Accents” go further in highlighting the band’s diversity and talent. The title track is a decent ballad and I like the Southern rock leanings of “Spike.” However, my vote for hidden gem has to be “Dogs on the Run” because it’s the song which reminds me of my favourite album the most. That song alone is proof that the band didn’t sell out in 1985. “Mary’ New Car” does come a close second.

Track Listing:

  1. Rebel
  2. It Ain’t Nothin’ to Me
  3. Don’t Come Around Here No More
  4. Southern Accents
  5. Make it Better (Forget About Me)
  6. Spike
  7. Dogs on the Run
  8. Mary’s New Car
  9. The Best of Everything

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty- lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards, percussion

Mike Campbell- lead guitar, backing vocals, Dobro, keyboards

Benmont Tench- piano, keyboards, vibraphone

Stan Lynch- drums, percussion, backing vocals

Howie Epstein- bass, vocals

If I was so wrong about the “Southern Accents” album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in 1985, I wonder how many other albums I was wrong about. Don Henley for one. Still, I was a different person back then and the lack of heavy metal played on the radio and MTV back in early 1985 only poured fuel on those feelings. This is a great album!

Next post: Eric Clapton- Behind the Sun

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Great Rock Albums of 1979: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- Damn the Torpedoes

Posted in 1978, 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 13, 2012 by 80smetalman

damnthetorp

When I first heard the first single from this great album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Don’t Do Me Like That,” I was convinced that whoever called this band “punk” back in 1978 was a complete and utter moron whose idea of hard rock was probably Hall and Oates. “Damn the Torpedoes” proved to me that they were a good tight rocking outfit, not that there’s anything wrong with punk because there isn’t. I just found the album very enjoyable.

It is true that “Don’t Do Me Like That” was the song that first properly turned my head to this band and this album but “Damn the Torpedoes” does contain my all time favourite song by these guys, “Refugee.” As always, the album isn’t just down to the singles although I do like their third single from this album, “Here Comes My Girl.” There some killer tracks on here as well like “Century City” and “What You Doin’ In My Life” to name just two. All of them have that trademark that made Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers famous.

Track Listing:

1. Refugee

2. Here Comes My Girl

3. Even the Losers

4. Shadow of a Doubt

5. Century City

6. Don’t Do Me Like That

7. You Tell Me

8. What You Doin’ In My Life

9. Louisiana

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty- guitar, lead vocals, harmonica

Mike Campbell- lead and slide guitars, keyboards, accordion

Benmont Tench- piano, organ, harmonium, vocals

Ron Blair- bass

Stan Lynch- drums, vocals

I have always been of the mind that as a unit, the Heartbreakers have been severely underrated as a band. It is true that Tom Petty is the front man and you can’t take anything away from his talents, but the rest of the band seems to have been largely ignored and that to me is a shame. Have a listen to this classic album and you’ll see what I mean. 

Next post: My favourite Christmas album

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