Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Debut self-titled LP

Artist: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Genre: Rock
Title: Self-titled
Released: 1976
Label: Gone Gator Records distributed by MCA
Format: CD
Musicians: Tom Petty-vicals, guitars, keyboards, Mike Campbell-guitars, Ron Blair-electric bass & cello, Benmont Tench-piano, organ, Stan Lynch-drums
Producer:Denny Crodell
Recording and mixing engineer: Noah Shark
Mastering engineer: Ken Perry at Capitol
Digital remastering engineer: Joe Gastwirt at Ocean View Digital Mastering

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are an American rock band from Gainesville, Florida. In 1976, the band’s original lineup was as you see it above for this LP. The band has largely maintained this lineup, with a few exceptions. In 1981, Blair, who was tired of the touring lifestyle, left the band. Blair’s replacement, Howie Epstein, was with the band for the next twenty years. Blair returned to the Heartbreakers in 2002, the year before Epstein’s death. In 1994, Steve Ferrone replaced Lynch.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were on the forefront of the heartland rock movement, which arose in the late 1970s and 1980s. The genre eschews the synthesizer-based music and fashion elements being popularized in the 1980s, in favor of a straightforward classic rock sound and lyrics based on relatable, blue collar issues.   They still tour regularly and continue to record albums. Their most recent, Hypnotic Eye, was released on July 25, 2014.

You can read more about the band here: and here is the official website:

So on to the first TP & The Heartbreakers LP. First of all, I only have the CD version which for all intents and purposes is not the version to have. The vinyl is superior. I don’t know why I only have it on CD. However, let’s move on from there.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is the eponymous debut album by the band of the same name, released in 1976.
Initially following its release, the album received little attention in the United States. After nearly a year and many positive reviews, the album reached the U.S. charts, where it climbed to #55 in 1978 and eventually went Gold. The single “Breakdown” cracked the Top 40 in the U.S. and “American Girl” became an FM radio staple that can still be heard today.

This is not my favorite Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers LP. Much of it is just ok at best and I’ve heard Breakdown and American Girl one too many times.
In my opinion, the standout tracks on this LP are:
Hometown Blues
The Wild One, Forever – this song has a hint of another song by another artists in the early 80s, that I can’t put my finger on for some reason. It will come to me someday.
Luna – This is an interesting song in that it is somewhat a departure from the rest of the LP. It begins with organ & drums, about 1 minute in the vocals and rest of the band kick in.

SOUND: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars This is also based on the CD, the vinyl is better.
MUSIC: 5_Star_Rating_System_2_and_a_half_stars

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