Tom Petty

An American Treasure (Reprise / WB)

Top 10 Box Sets of 2018

Compiled by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers co-captains Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench along with their late bandleader's widow Dana and daughter Adria, An American Treasure is hardly your standard regulation best-of. The deluxe 4-CD version offers an alternate Petty timeline composed of deep cuts, obscurities, and live and alternate takes. Yes, early hits "Breakdown" and "Listen to Her Heart" are present – as live takes recorded for 1977 FM broadcasts. "Here Comes My Girl"? Yep; same Damn the Torpedoes sessions, different take.

All of which may possibly constitute exactly the sort of posthumous tribute this most atypical Florida man deserves.

There's gem outtakes such as the 1974 pre-Heartbreakers Mudcrutch demo "Lost in Your Eyes," 1976's "Surrender" (not Cheap Trick's anthem), and a 1987 version of Roger McGuinn collaboration "King of the Hill." Everything herein demonstrates how Petty and his Heartbreakers eschewed pompous, boring Seventies/Eighties rock orthodoxy with tools obtained from 1965: Stonesy raunch, Dylanesque lyricism, and Byrdsian 12-strings.

And with the solo career he enjoyed from 1989 onward, Petty began reimagining how to use those tools. The music remained classic rock with the "& roll" restored. Comparatively, the surrounding tunes on the radio were pandering nonsense.

An American Treasure demonstrates everything we're missing with Tom Petty's absence. The loss is profound.

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Tom Petty
A Drunken Poet's Dream
Petty: The Biography
Gator comes clean

Scott Jordan, Dec. 11, 2015

Box Sets
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
The Live Anthology (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Dec. 11, 2009

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Reddening West
Deltas (Record Review)

Hannah Wisterman, Dec. 14, 2018

Texas Platters
Aaron Stephens
Focus (Record Review)

Clara Wang, Dec. 14, 2018

More by Tim Stegall
Sniper 66 Conceptualize Austin's First Serial Killer
Sniper 66 Conceptualize Austin's First Serial Killer
The street-punk vets tell the tale of the Servant Girl Annihilator

Nov. 23, 2018

Texas Platters
The Crack Pipes
Fake Eyelashes (Record Review)

Nov. 9, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Tom Petty, Gift Guide 2018

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle