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

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.


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 Died From Accidental Overdose

Rock Legend Tom Petty Confirmed Dead At 66 2017 In Review

New TV Special To Remember Tom Petty, Chuck Berry, Glen Campbell

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

More Stories for Tom Petty

Tom Petty Music


News Reports
Day in Rock:
Tool's Maynard James Keenan Updates Fans On New Album- Marilyn Manson Has Bizarre Onstage Meltdown- Metallica Release Birthday Tribute To Cliff Burton- Muse- more

The Smashing Pumpkins Announce Reunion Tour- Corey Taylor Reveals Timeline For New Slipknot Album- Metallica To Receive Polar Music Prize- Muse Release 'Thought Contagion'- more

Led Zeppelin To Release 'Different' Archival Recordings- Photo Of Metallica's James Hetfield As Cop In Ted Bundy Movie- Iron Maiden Take Action Against Counterfeiters- more

Judas Priest Legend Battling Parkinson's Disease- Metallica's James Hetfield Lands Key Role In Ted Bundy Movie- Ozzy Osbourne Wants To Make New Album After Final Tour- more

Page Too:
Drake's Generous Money Giveaway All Part Of 'God's Plan'- Troy Gentry's Widow Sues Over Husband's Death- The Chainsmokers Release 'You Owe Me' Video- Demi Lovato Unplugs- more

Meek Mill Files Appeal Alleging Unreliable Police Testimony- Kendrick Lamar, The Killers Lead NBA All-Star Weekend- Frank Ocean- more

Ed Sheeran and Eminem Release 'River' Video- Kanye West Returns To Instagram With Special Message- Kodak Black Releases R&B Album 'Heartbreak Kodak'- Remy Ma- more

Elton John Making New 'Lion King' Music With Beyonce- Willie Nelson Fighting Back After Battling Flu- Victoria Beckham Addresses Spice Girls Reunion Speculation- more


Follow Us:

Contact Us - Privacy - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2018 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.