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Tom Petty Says New Album Recalls Classic Sounds

Tom Petty
Samir Hussein, Getty Images

Tom Petty promises that fans with find a touch of both the old and new in his upcoming followup to 2010’s Mojo. He spoke to Rolling Stone about the still untitled set, which marks his 13th studio album with the Heartbreakers. Petty explained, “We’re nearly done with it. I always say this, but I’m tremendously excited about this one. . . We have raised the bar a bit. It’s morphed into songs we could’ve written for (1994’s solo set) Wildflowers or (1979’s) Damn The Torpedoes. I think people are going to like it!”

He spoke about the ease of the current sessions, which he says are extremely laid back and economical: “Lately, I just roll in, play the song on guitar, and they just fall in and we work it out. Usually the first few takes are the best.”

Tom Petty admits that his main mission when hitting the studio is that he and the Heartbreakers make honest, original, and authentic music: [“We just wanted to make an album. It sounds like a novel idea, but just where it’s all human beings playing the music, y’know? Where guys actually play a drum and play the guitar and sing with each other and all stand there together and do it. And that’s really what I know best and enjoy the most.”] SOUNDCUE (:19 OC: . . . enjoy the most)

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”

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