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TheSameOldDrew last won the day on June 29

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  1. Steve Hoffman forum has amazingly well-informed fans when it comes to TPATH. If I were to join another forum to talk about Tom & the band, that would be it. Reddit has a poor layout and a lack of well-informed contributors, IMO. And of course I again echo the sentiment in appreciation of Ryan, thanks so much for this forum.
  2. I hadn't really thought of HP as a dark and moody album, other than The Waiting. I see your point now, on some of the songs, though let's face it - TP's albums always had some dark and moody songs. Not extremely dark (like Pearl Jam, hah Jeremy) but kind of downbeat lyrically - there isn't a single Petty album that's nonstop sunshine and rainbows. I think a lot of Petty's lyrics for many of his "typical" songs are encapsulated in the song Straight Into Darkness, a rough ride in life offset with plenty of defiance and optimism. Maybe I'm taken with the fact that The Waiting is such a great song, and I like the jangly sound throughout HP, but I just haven't thought of it as overly dark or moody. But looking at the tracklist now, only The Waiting, King's Road, and A Thing About You, seem upbeat/non-moody. I might have thought so too. But I did give the DTT CD to a girlfriend, as an introduction to TPATH, and she hated it. Apparently she knew nothing about Tom Petty before that. I later found out that her taste in music ran to Barry Manilow and horn-laden soul-type songs. I guess I should have put on TPATH's Down The Line for her, but that's hardly what TP/TPATH is about. Yes I couldn't see that relationship working out either, and it didn't. But it made me think that maybe DTT wasn't a great introductory album for everyone - as you say, it depends on the person. I think FMF is the safest choice, if you don't know their taste ahead of time. Even though DTT is the album that made me a fan, just a few months after it came out (i.e. early 1980), and it's still my favorite in his/their album catalog. Ha ha, yes that literally made me laugh out loud when I read it. Not just a "lol" as in "that's funny" but a true out loud laugher. Please take back Eddie Vedder, give him some place to go! Off other people's stages, thank you.
  3. Those are the "big" albums for sure, in terms of popularity and career impact. However, I'm sure neither you or I would recommend WF as someone's first TP/TPATH album, due to it being highly polarizing even among TPATH fans ("best ever" or "meh, it's ok I guess"). Plus for the people who do truly love WF - if they heard it first, everything else would seem like a step down. GH I actually wouldn't recommend either, because people risk missing how deep most of the regular albums are in great songs, start to finish. I have read customer reviews where people will say "Greatest Hits" is all the Tom Petty you need. Or maybe they'll say "GH + WF is all you need". Obviously I couldn't disagree more, but some people might fall for that. Plus I like hearing the original songs in the context of the original album, unless it's something like Highway Companion which might benefit from some track order tweaking. DTT - maybe, but it's a pretty dense and intense album and the first track Refugee is kind of a hard rock song which isn't everyone's cup of tea stylistically. Which is not to say that TPATH fans don't all love Refugee (I think they do), but a first timer might hear that song and think TP/TPATH is all hard rock, and maybe not give the rest a fair chance. Which is another reason I could see Hard Promises being a good introductory album, it starts out with The Waiting which might be the closest thing to a "typical" TPATH career sound/style. And the rest of the album follows in similar fashion, yet it's varied enough to hold the listener's interest.
  4. I understand. I like an album that I can throw on and listen to from start to finish like Hypnotic Eye. Good thing the skip button was invented. For me, Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) works as an entire album, and does have "flow", at least musically. I didn't feel that way initially, but after multiple listenings, I feel the songs do work together, in the given track order. Lyrically it might be a little jarring to have the heartfelt How Many More Days, followed by Let Me Up (the title track). But to me the album "flows" even if it doesn't quite tell a story. It almost tells a story though, considering the beginning and ending songs.
  5. I think it was just a fun song thrown on there, I don't really know what the motivation was; but while I'm generally a fan of originals over covers I much prefer the original GH with Something rather than Stop Draggin'. The latter is a good song but is more of a Stevie Nicks song, I could see why they left it off. And while it is all right as a tune and fits the criteria of a big radio hit, I much prefer to listen to Something in the Air; there's a nice pun intended, breeziness to the tune that caps off the record on just the right note. I actually don't have the original GH album, I didn't see the point in buying it at the time it came out, and then when I got the boxed Playback set it had MJLD on it anyway. So I don't know how that album really flows, in its intended order. I think the motivation was that Tom wanted to be more inclusive in showing TPATH as a "band" after doing the solo FMF album mostly without them, other than Mike. Thus we had Stan singing lead on a song during each concert of the FMF and ITGWO tours, Ben playing Benmont's Boogie (and all the other various names Tom chose to give it, before each performance), and eventually Howie doing a co-vocal or mostly lead vocal, along with Tom on SITA, at the Gainesville 1993 Homecoming concert, as well as on the GH album. As to why they chose that particular cover song, maybe it was a phase of including pot-oriented songs to bring in a new fan base, who knows. Not that Tom or the existing fan base didn't include a lot of users, but there may have been some intent to expand it. As to Stop Draggin' My Heart Around, yes Stevie Nicks gets a bit more of the vocal than Tom, but it's a co-vocal (or duet). Also, SDMHA was written by Tom and Mike, and was backed solely (other than some female backing vocals) by TPATH circa 1981 (including Phil Jones on percussion), with the exception that Duck Dunn played bass on the track instead of Ron Blair. So it's pretty fully a TPATH song despite Stevie's prominent vocals. Plus Duck Dunn was kind of an honorary Heartbreaker even before SDMHA. I don't know - I still think Waiting For Tonight would give the perfect ending to FMF, with the "Goodnight My Love" backing vocals from The Bangles. But maybe the ordering of some other tracks would have to be changed, because Alright For Now as 3rd to last, and then WFT as last, might give the album too much of a sleepy feeling at the end. When I listen to the album now, I stop after A Mind With A Heart of Its Own, which gives it kind of an upbeat and somewhat silly ending. So maybe I see your point, but to me the problem would become where to put Alright For Now, if WFT had replaced ZZ as the final song.
  6. "Layers" is a good way to describe LMU vs. FMF. As you indicated, I'm not calling FMF "Heartbreakers Lite" due to a lack of rocking or lack of quality songs. FMF also has plenty of the great Mike Campbell guitar work. But to me it's missing the interesting layers that were on the TPATH albums that preceded it. And that's fine, it's a "Tom Petty" album, not a "Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers" album. Don't get me wrong, I love FMF and still enjoy listening to it once in a great while. I practically wore it out when it was new - it was the last TP/TPATH album I bought on vinyl, as we were all kind of forced to switch to CDs by the time ITGWO came out. I thought it was one of his/their best albums, and I still feel that way. When someone asks for a suggestion on which TP/TPATH album to hear first, I usually recommend FMF, even though it's not in my top 5 favorites. Reason being, the production is so clean, you can hear Petty's words very clearly, you can hear Mike's guitar very clearly. FMF is a very approachable album, yet it showcases the elements of Petty a great songwriter and singer, and Campbell as a great lead guitarist. But that's also what I meant by "Heartbreakers lite", it's not densely populated with the contributions of the rest of the band. It's a good album to "start here" and then add the others, IMO. My other choice for a "starter" TP/TPATH album would be Hard Promises, as to my thinking that one showcases a sound that is probably most "typical" for their entire history (before and after) and it's also just a great album full of great songs. On the other hand, I wouldn't recommend LMU as someone's first TP/TPATH album, even though I think it's awesome once your already a fan and give it a full chance. (Maybe this should be a topic on its own, what album would you recommend to someone first, maybe it's already been done). I love the Del Shannon Runaway connection on Runnin' Down A Dream. I didn't even realize until many years later that not only did Tom produce a couple of Del's records, and got Howie from Del's band, but all of the original TPATH performed Runaway with Del at that filmed New Year's Eve concert (1978/79). And of course that video was included on DVD in the deluxe Live Anthology box, though unfortunately it cut the Runaway performance (I'm guessing due to an inability to work out financial deal with Del's estate, which is really sad and a poor decision on his estate's part, if that's what happened). But when I heard RDAD now, I think not only of a guy singing in the car along with Del on the radio, but also of TPATH backing Del on that great 1970's performance of Runaway.
  7. I think Waiting For Tonight could have been on FMF at the end, instead of Zombie Zoo (yes I know, some people like Zombie Zoo; I don't like it and Tom Petty himself thought it was a mistake to put it on the album). That would have made a very strong album even stronger. As far as putting WFT on Greatest Hits, that might have been a good move and surely would have made the song better known than it is today. But I would also remove Something In The Air if WFT had been included. Sure Howie sings nicely on SITA, but people buy Tom Petty albums to hear songs written and sung by Tom Petty, not cover songs with Howie as the main vocalist. Also the GH album already was adding one song that hinted at marijuana use (MJLD), so did it really need to add two of them? The GH is better now with Stop Draggin' My Heart Around, IMO. s
  8. Absolutely, that is the common thread between the two bands. I don't think The Ramones intended to create a new category called "punk" but just wanted to cut through the excess of the bloated 70's songs and get back to the fast, short, catchy earlier rock and roll songs. TPATH wanted to do the same thing, though I would say they did it with more skill and taste. TP often talked about how he and the band wanted to "save" (and essentially revive) rock and roll. Which can be heard also in the cover songs the band played, especially in their early years. The Ramones were/are of major importance in putting the energy and fun back into rock and roll. Ramones studio records were a breath of fresh air for radio play. I'm just saying that as a live act, The Ramones got fatiguing very quickly, something that didn't happen with TPATH. It seems the Seattle Times reviewer had a similar experience in 1977.
  9. I actually haven't heard the early albums, so that's an interesting take. I did hear several of their songs on the (college) radio which sounded catchy and definitely a type of throwback sound to rock's earlier days, which was welcome. The only full Ramones album I've heard was the Phil Spector produced End of the Century. I thought that album was quite good from start to finish, and perhaps because Spector was involved it had some slower songs to vary the pace. Though it seems some punk purists didn't like the album for being too "pop". An obviously anti-drug song called Chinese Rock was particularly good, and ironically I think there was some banning of it on the radio because some thought it was pro-drug. The concert I saw was apparently in early 1981 (not 1979 as I previously stated) . I was quite disappointed with the actual performance, as were the friends I went with. It was actually held at the main auditorium of my college, so at least I had the experience of seeing The Ramones on the same stage where I had often attended Economics lectures. That part was actually pretty bizarre.
  10. Ha! Is that yours or just a popular folk saying I've never heard before? I like it either way. I wonder if Shelter was thinking of The Damage You've Done, Country Version where Tom sings "sure as there's feathers on a chicken". That's another thing I love about this album, if not for the original Damage You've Done, Tom's parody of it wouldn't be so hilarious. But it is.
  11. Ok since MJ2LD pointed me this way - again this is a very underrated TPATH album to me. It's subtle, other than Jammin' Me the songs don't really "grab" you immediately. I was quite disappointed when I first heard the album. But I see it as an album that "grows" on you, more enjoyable with each listen. There's a lot of "depth" to it too, a lot of times I heard things on subsequent listens that I didn't notice the first few times. LMU is quite different from FMF in that way, to me FMF sounds great immediately, but it's all up front; the more I listen to it the more I feel something is missing, like it's "Heartbreakers Lite" without the full body of the rest of their work. LMU is not nearly so immediately "grabby" as FMF, but as I played the two over the years, LMU became the album I wanted to hear again, more frequently. As to the specific songs, to me there's not a weak song on the album. And I do love the 80's-ish sound of songs like The Damage You've Done and Runaway Trains (which to me are the two best songs on the album). So what if they have some synthesized sounds? Should every song they do be a reflection of their 1970's production standards? They stretched out on the Southern Accents album, and they do so on LMU - I somewhat agree with Martin on that, though I wouldn't say that LMU goes further than SA in that regard. They both simply break from "the usual" on several songs. It'll All Work Out is another departure, very interesting son. Jammin' Me is a catchy rocker, and one of my favorite TPATH videos (though I'm not a big fan of videos in general). The once "relevant" but soon "dated" references now feel "nostalgic" to me. And as MJ2LD pointed out, this made a great opening song in 1999 (oddly enough it wasn't an opener on the 1987 tour). It's also a great opening track for an album, including the notes at the very beginning that sound a bit like machinery starting up. Ain't Love Strange is probably the most underrated song not just on this album, but in the entire TP/TPATH catalog. I agree with MJ2LD that it might have been a single. They'd probably have to make it longer to be a single, but on the album it doesn't seem too short. I say it's underrated in part because they never played it live, but it's interesting both musically and lyrically. All Mixed Up to me is another underrated gem. Very interesting, somewhat oblique lyrics. Oddly enough, one of my favorite other bands, The Cars, had a completely different song called All Mixed Up. That too is a great, somewhat underrated song with oblique lyrics (as was typical for The Cars to have essentially "impressionistic" lyrics). My Life/Your World is another creative song, breaking away from "the usual" mold, as was also done on SA. Very interesting lyrics, I didn't realize until recently that some of the lyrics were taken from a previously discarded song of the Southern Accents sessions. How Many More Days sounds a bit like a hastily written throwaway, but it's still great. There's an urgency to the song that fits its theme well. The backing instrumentation stays in your head. I also love the story that TP was actually creating some of the lyrics as he sang the take that they used for the album. I also love that this is the only completely "self produced" album by the band. It might not seem like the various parts of the album should fit together, and maybe they don't. But the more I listen to the album, the more I feel that each song is in the perfect running order and that it really does "work" very well as a piece. And finally, who doesn't like the oddball sounds between tracks such as Stan doing his "Hillbilly voice" (or whatever that is), "The singin' was good, I lahked the sangin". I think they are great, adding a touch of warmth to the album.
  12. Good point; maybe that's a skill, like an athlete. But musically I didn't feel he was showing any talent, or even contributing well to the band's sound. I later found out that Dee Dee (their bass player) usually played the guitar solos on the studio albums, rather than Johnny. On the live performance that I saw, they didn't bother to recreate those studio guitar solo sounds. I think the only soloing (i.e. non-strumming) Johnny did was on their cover version of "California Sun", which he could play credibly in the studio and live. But they didn't do that song when I heard them live (at least I don't think they did; hard to say what they did play). So maybe Johnny did have some of what I would consider talent, but IMO it wasn't in evidence that night. The warm up band was frankly much better, but they were a local 60's style rock covers band that I'd already seen twice previously.
  13. Great review, thanks for sharing. It's interesting that TPATH were viewed as a "punk" band at one point - presumably because they were new when so many new bands were punk, because some of Petty's early lyrics had a bit of punk sneer, and because of the cover art on the first album. But the reviewer clearly saw them for what they were, a great rock band with great songs from Petty. I agree with the reviewers take on The Ramones. Although The Ramones were hugely important to the early punk scene, and their studio records could sound pretty good/catchy, they were not a great live band IMO, not even a good one. I saw The Ramones live in 1979, and they were as the writer described, hard to understand the singing, one song after another that sounded the same, each performed in a very rudimentary way. Yes that's the definition of punk to some degree, but it was like they were doing the same song over and over and over. The guitarist Johnny had almost zero talent IMO, just thrashing out chords with no lead playing whatsoever. The bass player and drummer did have some talent, but overall it was just loud, sloppy, and stupid (and not in an enjoyable way). At one point someone in a weird "alien" type of costume (probably a roadie) carried a sign in front of the band that said "Gabba Gabba Hey", which I guess the audience was supposed to chant (they didn't). There was a "Ramones seal" behind the band that looked like the seal of the president of the USA. In leather jackets and torn jeans, they had a somewhat interesting stage image. But as live musicians they just didn't have it. I've watched some recorded performances of The Ramones since then, to see if they were just having an off night when i saw them - but they seemed essentially the same as I remembered. I would take a punk band like "X" over them any day, as they actually had talent. Or Blondie when in their punk phase (mid/late 70's), they had talent also. In both cases it was much more than just random noise. Nice also that the audience responded to TPATH's set more than that of The Ramones, even though The Ramones were the headliners and probably few in the Seattle area knew TPATH at that time (August 1977).
  14. Wow, very cool. According to Wikipedia. this was on an episode of the tv show "Dolly" and aired November 1, 1987. Presumably filmed somewhat before that, almost certainly in late October. The band had finished the Israel/Europe/UK 1987 "Temple in Flames" tour (w/Bob Dylan and Roger McGuinn) on October 17 that year, so this was probably just after that. Very interesting to see a bearded Stan, and Tom and Howie sharing a microphone. I've always liked the song Think About Me, and I feel that entire album (Let Me Up) is highly underrated - I ranked the album 5th (out of 16) in our poll, but the consensus only has it at 14th. The performance here is great to see despite a lack of picture sharpness (understandable for the time); the sound quality here is slightly lacking, and the band may be a bit tired (after a rigorous tour in September/October - they did 30 shows in 43 days, with a lot of travelling involved) or bored with performing only one song for an audience that didn't specifically come to see them. They've done more energetic performances of this song, but as always they give at least a very good performance of it, if not a great one.
  15. Interesting. "DollarDime" initiated the topic to see where people would rank the albums. I added the idea of using a numerical ranking system and then put people's choices into a spreadsheet, so that it would be easy to calculate the consensus rankings. Although my personal ranking is quite a bit different than the group consensus, I think the latest consensus (with 19 rankers) is the best thus far, as it seems to be an accurate representation of how Mudcrutch Farm member (and TPATH fans in general) feel about the albums. So I now feel that the numbering system worked as intended. As you mentioned, DTT, FMF, and WF are the "most important" albums for TP/TPATH, and we now see them as the top 3 in the consensus. By the way, is the "DollarDime" username based on the lyrics of Night Driver? That's what I've always assumed, and interesting choice. Even the lowest ranked album (by our consensus) has a lot of great songs, IMO, including that one. Again showing how great and prolific Petty, Campbell and the others were at creating songs and albums.
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