Wednesday 10pm: Feature LP: Tom Petty – Wildflowers (1994)

Wildflowers is the second solo studio album by American musician Tom Petty, released on November 1, 1994. The album was the first released by Petty after signing a contract with Warner Bros. Records (where he had recorded as part of the Traveling Wilburys) and the first of three albums produced by Rick Rubin. The album was certified 3x platinum in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Three singles were released from the album between 1994 and 1995, the most successful of which, “You Don’t Know How It Feels”, reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Album Rock Tracks chart for one week.

The album features all members of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, with the exception of drummer Stan Lynch. Steve Ferrone plays drums on Wildflowers and would join the band officially the following year. However, the album was not credited to the Heartbreakers because, in Petty’s words, “Rick (Rubin) and I both wanted more freedom than to be strapped into five guys.” Freedom notwithstanding, Petty chose to use most of his regular band as session players, demonstrating his comfort with that format. Rolling Stone placed Wildflowers at number 12 on their list of the best albums of the 1990s. Guitar World placed the album at number 49 in their “Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994” list.

In April 2015, when Petty’s back catalog was released in High-resolution audio, this was one of only two albums not included in the series (Songs and Music from “She’s the One” was the other one), but a hi-res version is available on Pono Music.

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Wednesday 9pm: Feature LP: Tom Petty – Full Moon Fever (1989)

Full Moon Fever is the debut solo studio album by Tom Petty, released on April 24, 1989 by MCA Records. It features contributions from members of his backing band the Heartbreakers, notably Mike Campbell, along with Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison (who died prior to its release), and George Harrison of the Traveling Wilburys. The record shows Petty exploring his musical roots with nods to his influences. The songwriting is mainly collaborations between Petty and Lynne, who was also a producer on the album. The album became a commercial and critical success peaking at No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and being certified 5× platinum in the United States and 6× platinum in Canada.

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Wednesday 8pm: Feature LP: Tom Petty – Into The Great Wide Open (1991)

Into the Great Wide Open is the eighth studio album by American rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, first released in 1991. The album was the band’s last with MCA Records. The album was the second Petty produced with Jeff Lynne after the success of Full Moon Fever.

The first single, “Learning to Fly”, became the band’s joint longest-running No. 1 single (along with “The Waiting” from 1981’s Hard Promises) on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, spending six weeks at the top spot. The second single, “Out in the Cold”, also made No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock chart, albeit for two weeks.

The music video for the title song starred Johnny Depp, who had moved to Los Angeles as a teenager to seek rock stardom, along with Gabrielle Anwar, Faye Dunaway, Matt LeBlanc, Terence Trent D’Arby and Chynna Phillips.

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Tuesday 9:20pm: Feature LP: Tom Petty – Southern Accents (1985)

Southern Accents is the sixth album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released on March 26, 1985, through MCA Records.

The album’s lead single, “Don’t Come Around Here No More”, co-written by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Its music video featured Alice in Wonderland imagery. “Southern Accents” was later covered by Johnny Cash for his Unchained album in 1996, on which members of the Heartbreakers play.

The recording sessions saw some tension between the band members, as each had a different vision for the album. Originally conceived as a concept album, the theme of “Southern Accents” became somewhat murky with the inclusion of three songs co-written by Stewart, and three other songs originally planned for the album left off. Songs cut from the track list include “Trailer”, “Big Boss Man”, “Crackin’ Up”, “The Image of Me” and “The Apartment Song”. These can be found on Playback, a box set released 10 years later that included familiar songs with outtakes, B-sides and other rarities. “Trailer” was released in May 2016 by another band led by Petty, Mudcrutch, on their album 2.

While mixing the opening track “Rebels” Petty became frustrated and punched a wall, severely breaking his left hand. Subsequent surgery on his hand left him with several pins, wires and screws to hold his hand together.

The album cover features an 1865 painting by Winslow Homer titled The Veteran in a New Field.

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Tuesday 8:45pm: Feature LP – Tom Petty – Long After Dark (1982)

Long After Dark is the fifth album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released in November 1982 on Backstreet Records. Notable for the major MTV hit “You Got Lucky”, the album was also the first to feature the late Howie Epstein on bass and harmony vocals. Epstein’s vocals are evident throughout the album, most notably on “Change of Heart”. From this point on Epstein’s vocals became an integral part of the Heartbreakers’ sound.

Two other singles from the album were released, “Change of Heart” and “Straight into Darkness,” with the former joining “You Got Lucky” in the Billboard top 40. “Keeping Me Alive” was one of the outtakes from the sessions for the album. A Petty favorite, “Keeping Me Alive” was eventually released on Petty’s 1995 box set compilation Playback.

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Monday 9pm: Feature LP – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Damn The Torpedoes (1979)

Damn the Torpedoes is the RIAA Triple Platinum-certified third album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released in late 1979. This was the first of three Petty albums originally released by the Backstreet Records label, distributed by MCA Records. It built on the commercial success and critical acclaim of his two previous albums and reached #2 on the Billboard album chart.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 313 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

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