Tom Petty’s ‘Full Moon Fever’ Launched Him To A New Technology


Over a decade in the past, I used to be lucky sufficient to interview Tom Petty; it was 2002, and he was selling his new album The Final DJ. I informed him that I would seen his tour just a few months prior when it hit my native amphitheater.

I famous that within the parking zone, there have been so many faculty and even excessive school-aged followers, one may need thought it was a Dave Matthews Band or Pearl Jam present. The viewers was notably youthful than what you’ll have seen at exhibits by his friends Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp and Bob Seger throughout that period. Why, I requested him, did he suppose that he was capable of pull such a younger crowd?

“As a result of we do not strive to attraction to them,” he mentioned with that drawl via his iconic grin.

“And,” he added, “as a result of we do not cost as a lot.”

Each of these issues had been true. However I would add a 3rd motive for his success with youthful youngsters: Full Moon Fever, launched 13 years earlier (and thirty years in the past in the present day) was that uncommon gem of an album that legitimately turns a legacy artist on to a brand new viewers.

In the event you learn a whole lot of interviews with artists who’ve a decade (or extra) underneath their belts, they will typically declare that their newest album resonates with newer, youthful, followers. Generally it is not true. Generally it’s. However few albums have made an older artist appear younger once more as Full Moon Fever did.

In comparison with his friends, Petty appeared much more comfy with the principal avenue to attraction to the youth within the ’80s: MTV. Positive, his friends made movies, however they typically felt perfunctory. There gave the impression to be a pleasure to Petty’s movies: the songs had been nice, positive, however the movies had been enjoyable to observe. “You Acquired Fortunate” from 1982’s Lengthy After Darkish took Tom and the Heartbreakers (enjoying post-apocalyptic land-locked pirates) to a Blade Runner-like world… the place they discover a tent on the aspect of the highway. What do they do within the tent? They work out easy methods to hotwire the jukebox, watch historic sci-fi films, entry archival Chuck Berry footage and Tom Petty efficiency movies. And — importantly for the technology who had obsessed over Atari and Intellivision — they performed video video games.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – You Acquired Fortunate [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

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However the “You Acquired Fortunate” video was downright down-to-earth in comparison with their subsequent large clip, which got here on their subsequent album, 1985’s Southern Accents. “Do not Come Round Right here No Extra” teamed them with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, one of many hottest new wave bands of the period. And the video dumped all of them right into a psychedelic rock and roll model of Alice In Wonderland.

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Do not Come Round Right here No Extra (Official Music Video)

Music video by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers performing Do not Come Round Right here No Extra. (C) 1985 Geffen Information #TomPetty #DontComeAroundHereNoMore #Vevo

Even 1987’s Let Me Up (I’ve Had Sufficient), Petty’s first album of the ’80s that did not hit the highest ten, managed to yield the inescapable and immediately iconic  “Jammin’ Me.”

Having turned on youthful followers through his ingenious movies, he then labored on a mission that appealed to older music lovers when he joined the Touring Wilburys, that includes George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Electrical Gentle Orchestra’s Jeff Lynne. Right here, he was the younger man. Surprisingly, “Deal with With Care” was a success single and video. Their album, Vol. 1 hit #three on the album charts and went triple platinum. He took that momentum — and bandmate Jeff Lynne — with him when he began work on Full Moon Fever. By 1989, doing a solo album with the man from ELO (Harrison and Orbison additionally guested on the album) wasn’t actually a system to remain present with the MTV crowd.

And but, it is like Petty mentioned to me a decade later: he wasn’t bending over backwards to pander to youthful audiences, however the songs on Full Moon Fever had been so undeniably nice, and yeah, he had enjoyable movies for a few of them. Our first glimpse of the album was his laid-back anthem, “I Will not Again Down.” Within the video, Petty is backed by three of the blokes on the tune: his right-hand man within the Heartbreakers, guitarist Mike Campbell, together with Wilburys Lynne and Harrison. And on the drums? Ringo Starr! Yeah, he had the half of the Beatles as his backing band.

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – I Will not Again Down (Official Music VIdeo)

Music video by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers performing I Will not Again Down. (C) 1989 Geffen Information #TomPetty #IWontBackDown #Vevo #Rock #OfficialMusicVideo #TomPettyAndTheHeartbreakers

Although it was largely a efficiency video, watching Tom Petty simply being Tom Petty (in a prime hat) was enjoyable, and Ringo’s clowning round virtually stole the present.

It was a prime 20 hit, and that appeared like an enormous success for a man 13 years into his profession. However the subsequent single would get even larger: “Free Fallin'” was a smash.

Tom Petty Free Fallin’ (Official Music Video)

Music video by Tom Petty performing Free Fallin’. (C) 1989 UMG Recordings, Inc. #TomPetty #FreeFallin #Vevo #Rock

The lyrics had been imprecise – had been there actually many teenage ladies in ’89 who had been “Loopy ’bout Elvis” (that is Presley, not Costello)? Most likely not, nevertheless it sounded cool when Tom sang about it. Within the video, Tom is narrating, watching youthful skate boarders. By no means as soon as does he hit the halfpipe. He wasn’t attempting to be “down” with the youngsters, he was merely recognizing a brand new youth tradition that he wasn’t part of (though afterward the album, he poked enjoyable at goths on “Zombie Zoo”). All the things about “Free Fallin'” labored: the tune hit #7 on the pop charts, his highest charting single ever. Being a pop hit did not take away the tune’s “cool issue” although: later that yr, Petty and the Heartbreakers carried out the tune on the MTV Video Music Awards with Axl Rose.

These songs can be sufficient to qualify any album as a traditional. However Full Moon Fever additionally yielded one in all his most rockin’ songs in “Runnin’ Down A Dream” (a tune which named dropped Del Shannon, featured one in all Mike Campbell’s finest riffs and one in all his finest solos, and sported a cool and underrated animated music video).  Then there was “Yer So Unhealthy,” a traditional singalong jam. And the album goes even deeper than that. All twelve songs are good. How superior are they? So superior that Tom reduce one in all his nice misplaced jams from the album, “Ready For Tonight.”

Ready For Tonight

Supplied to YouTube by Reprise Ready For Tonight · Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers No one’s Kids â„— 2015 Shoreline Gold LLC underneath license to Reprise Information. Engineer: Andy Udoff Background Vocals: Debbi Peterson Mixer, Percussion: George Drakoulias Mixer: Jim Scott Masterer: Joe Gastwirt Background Vocals: Michael Steele Bass, Producer: Mike Campbell Lead Guitar: Mike Campbell Background Vocals: Susanna Hoffs Guitar, Producer, Vocals: Tom Petty Background Vocals: Vicki Peterson Author: Tom Petty Auto-generated by YouTube.

The ladies you hear singing with Tom are Susanna Hoffs, Vicki and Debbie Peterson and Michael Steele, aka the Bangles, one of many hottest bands on the earth on the time. One can solely think about how aggravated the report label may need been, realizing that their artist was on a tune with the drive behind “Manic Monday,” “Stroll Like An Egyptian,” “In Your Room” and “Everlasting Flame,” among the greatest hits of the second half of the ’80s.  And it was an incredible tune, as well! Even Rolling Stone agrees, inserting it on their checklist of Petty’s 50 finest songs ever.

All of these years in the past, once I interviewed Petty, I had so many questions, and solely 45 minutes or so. I wished to ask about “Ready For Tonight” and why it did not make the album (he’d lastly launch it in 1995 on the Playback field set). However I ran out of time. I think about he may need mentioned that having the Bangles on his report may need regarded like he was attempting too exhausting.  It is a tune that any of his friends (or influences or disciples) would have killed to get on their album. And if you have not heard it, congratulations: now you get to expertise a terrific Tom Petty tune for the primary time. In the meantime, Full Moon Fever‘s twelve songs (plus the message “Consideration CD Listeners”) stands because the uncommon good album, and it might be his most interesting second.


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