A Look Back Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Debut 40 Years Later

11/11/2016
.
Tom Petty

(Radio.com) Forty years ago this week, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their self-titled debut album. It wasn't a huge hit at the time, but it contained two of his biggest classics, and a deep track that has sadly been mostly forgotten by all but the most die-hard fans. Here, we look back at the album that started it all for one of America's most enduring bands.

First, there was the album cover: Tom Petty looking a bit defiant, a bit nonchalant. Was he part of the Ramones' school of stripped down rock? Or part of a new generation of southern-rock bands, following the path of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band? Was he "new wave?" He kind of looked like all of the above. His face told the story: "I don't give a s where you categorize me." As he explained in the title of one of the album's strongest tracks, he was about "Anything That's Rock and Roll." That's the attitude he'd carry with him over the next four decades. He'd laugh, or sneer, at the music industry's latest trends, while consistently selling out arenas, decade after decade.

The album kicked off with "Rockin' Around (With You)," introducing itself with an updated rockbilly beat, but sneering group vocals, "Whyyyyyyyyyy be lonely/Whyyyyyyyy be blue?" It was a perfect combination of American rock and roll, filtered through the lens of the British invasion, with just a hint of punk flavor.

Petty's first top 40 hit came with "Breakdown," a song that documents a painful breakup. It transcended Petty's influences and announced a unique new talent to rock radio. Because his voice was so distinctive and he was difficult to pin down stylistically, he never really seemed to be a part of any movement, and was able to appeal to fans of punk and new wave as well as the more straight-ahead rockers. Read more here.

Radio.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

advertisement

Tom Petty Music, DVDs, Books and more

Tom Petty T-shirts and Posters

More Tom Petty News

Share this article
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pin it Share on Reddit email this article


Related Stories


Tom Petty Fans Celebrate His Birthday With Vampire Walk

Jason Aldean Releases Tom Petty Cover For Las Vegas Victims

Jason Aldean Releases Tom Petty Cover For Las Vegas Victims

Tom Petty Fans Celebrate His Birthday With Vampire Walk

Jason Aldean Releases Tom Petty Cover For Las Vegas Victims

Elvis Costello And Bonnie Raitt Remember Tom Petty

Tom Petty Laid To Rest In Private Service In Pacific Palisades

Chris Stapleton Covers Tom Petty's 'Learning to Fly'

Tom Petty Has Five Albums Return To Charts Following Death

Tom Petty Honored By 90,000 Florida Gators Fans


More Stories for Tom Petty

Tom Petty Music


advertisement



Follow Us:

Contact Us - Privacy - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2017 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved.

Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.