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Best of Tom Petty from Rolling Stone Readers

Tom Petty
Samir Hussein, Getty Images

A new Rolling Stone Reader’s Poll voted Tom Petty’s 1994 solo collection, Wildflowers, the best album of his career. Coming in Number Two in the Top 10 list was Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ 1979′s Damn The Torpedoes, and rounding out the Top Three was Petty’s solo debut, 1989′s Full Moon Fever. It’s interesting to note that latter-day Heartbreakers collections, such as 1999′s Echo, and 2010′s Mojo made the list, but 1978′s You’re Gonna Get It!, which featured such early classics as “I Need To Know” and “Listen To Her Heart” was shut out of the final 10.

2005 saw the release of then book, Conversations With Tom Petty, a Q&A compiled by music journalist Paul Zollo. Petty told us that working with Zollo on the project made him to go back finally listen to his own albums: “I rarely, very rarely, listen to my own work. I listen to it on the radio, but I don’t really ever get ‘em out and play ‘em. I had to sit and listen to the work and get it out so I could talk intelligently about it. It really made me kind of happy hearing all the stuff. I felt like we’ve done a pretty consistent job over the years.”

The Top Ten Best Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers albums, according to the Rolling Stone Reader’s Poll:

1. Wildflowers (1994) — Key Tracks: “Wildflowers,” “You Don’t Know How It Feels,” “You Wreck Me,” and “It’s Good to Be King”

2. Damn The Torpedoes (1979) — Key Tracks: “Refugee,” “Here Comes My Girl,” “Even The Losers,” and “Don’t Do Me Like That”

3. Full Moon Fever (1989) — Key Tracks: “I Won’t Back Down,” “Runnin’ Down A Dream,” and “Free Fallin’”

4. Southern Accents (1985) — Key Tracks: “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” “Make It Better (Forget About Me),” and “Rebels”

5. Hard Promises (1981) — Key Tracks: “The Waiting,” “A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me)” “Insider” (with Stevie Nicks)

6. Echo (1999) — Key Tracks: “Free Girl Now,” “Swingin’,” and “Room At The Top”

7. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers (1976) — Key Tracks: “American Girl,” “Breakdown,” and “Anything That’s Rock N’ Roll”

8. Into The Great Wide Open (1991) — Key Tracks: “Into The Great Wide Open,” “Learning To Fly,” and “Kings Highway”

9. Mojo (2010) — Key Tracks: “Good Enough,” “First Flash Of Freedom,” and “Jefferson Jericho Blues”

10. Long After Dark (1982) — Key Tracks: “You Got Lucky,” “One Story Town,” and “Change Of Heart”

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers tour dates (subject to change):
May 16 – Evansville, IN – Ford Center
May 17, 18, 19 – Gulf Shores, AL – Hangout Music Festival (Show Date TBA)
May 20, 21, 23, 25, 26 – New York, NY – Beacon Theatre
June 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda
June 15 – Noblesville, IN – Klipsch Music Center
June 16 – Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival at Bonnaroo Music Festival Grounds
June 18 – London, ON – Budweiser Gardens
June 20 – Pittsburgh, PA – Consol Energy Center
June 21-23 – Dover, DE – Firefly Music Festival (Show Date TBA)
June 23 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center
June 28 – Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest at Marcus Amphitheater
June 29 – Minneapolis, MN – Target Center

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