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Rank your favorite Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers albums in order of preference!!!

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To be honest I don't know exactly what I want to mean. What goes on my brain is not clear!

I've never understand the reason for the "onseself double tracking" (sorry, I don't know how to say this in technical terms, I'm quite ignorant). Maybe for this reason I think in Howie singing these lines. (It could be Howie's voice?).

This idea came to my mind not so long ago while hearing this track with headphones. And those ending lines shocked me, a new unexpected and unwanted meaning.

"I'll collect my pay and soon I"ll be far away from here."

Maybe this idea only works in my mind.

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22 minutes ago, Mr Timba said:

Maybe for this reason I think in Howie singing these lines. (It could be Howie's voice?).

Possibly. I don't think so though.. doubt it. Sounds like Tom to me. But it is pretty cool how they add that extra dimension just for that tiny part of the melody/lyrics. A great observation! 

Although it's really just for the first words on each line ("I can't explain" and "I'll collect my pay" respectively) that the "second" voice - the "low harmony", if you will - really stands out, isn't it? On the second parts of those stanzas ("what goes on in my brain..." and  "and soon be far away.." resepctively, have just the normal harmonies, right?   

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Maybe their country version of Damage You've Done is a bootleg recorded during an impromptu gig - maybe their tour bus lost a tire outside Bob's Country Bunker? ("Oh we got both kinds. We got Country and Western.")

I steepled my fingers, frowned in concentration & listened carefully through headphones to One More Day, One More Night. And yes, now I hear the detail in their harmony, including the two Tom voices! Thanks!  

Edit - but in doing so, I left out a key ingredient in something I've been cooking.  Aaaaaaaaaggggggghhhhhhhh. Damage indeed!  

Edit #2 - well well well looks like saved it in time... it's turning out just fine, much to my surprise!

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3 hours ago, Shelter said:

Possibly. I don't think so though.. doubt it. Sounds like Tom to me. But it is pretty cool how they add that extra dimension just for that tiny part of the melody/lyrics. A great observation! 

Although it's really just for the first words on each line ("I can't explain" and "I'll collect my pay" respectively) that the "second" voice - the "low harmony", if you will - really stands out, isn't it? On the second parts of those stanzas ("what goes on in my brain..." and  "and soon be far away.." resepctively, have just the normal harmonies, right? 

I'm not at home, I can't listen the song right now, but I think you are right. Yes, probably what I call a "second voice" is a low harmony (I don't know anything about harmonies!). What is clear is that detail. A little detail which adds a lot of beauty and sadness at the same time. Just my thoughts.

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3 hours ago, Big Blue Sky said:

Maybe their country version of Damage You've Done is a bootleg recorded during an impromptu gig - maybe their tour bus lost a tire outside Bob's Country Bunker? ("Oh we got both kinds. We got Country and Western.")

I steepled my fingers, frowned in concentration & listened carefully through headphones to One More Day, One More Night. And yes, now I hear the detail in their harmony, including the two Tom voices! Thanks!  

Edit - but in doing so, I left out a key ingredient in something I've been cooking.  Aaaaaaaaaggggggghhhhhhhh. Damage indeed!  

Edit #2 - well well well looks like saved it in time... it's turning out just fine, much to my surprise!

they have both kinds of music at Bobs! Country and Western! 

Personally I love how they have done multiple versions of that song with one of my favorites being the alternate take with Tom's 'coaching' during the song from AAT. 

I have a hard time sorting out favorite albums or a specific ranking of the full catalog. DTT and Wildflowers are tops for me, but depending on the mood and such I really like just about every album except Mojo.  As a fan of Chicago blues I would think a blues album by one of my all-time favorite bands would have resonated with me better, but in all honesty its darn near a forgotten album for me and it took Tom's passing for me to revisit it and find a few diamonds in the rough that I had overlooked. 

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On September 5, 2019 at 1:56 PM, Shelter said:

Personally, I never saw much credit to such statements. I'm sure by LAD sessions Tom had just about had it with the Iovine world. I can buy that. But in terms of material, sound, vision and vibe LAD is clearly moving ahead from HP.

Maybe it wasn't something Tom could properly express and at this point, info and interviews are a jumble but I'm fairly sure he thought they were just staying in place with the album and/or it was something more tailored for the band, more of a rocking affair they wanted than the introspective, moodier HP. I don't know how it's reported he felt towards Iovine at that point but regarding LAD moving ahead...hmm. 

 

On September 5, 2019 at 1:56 PM, Shelter said:

with LAD they created something much darker,  nocturnal, claustrophobic and slightly urban. There are minor overlap perhaps, but generally, to my mind any idea of repetition there would come from the recording experience, rather than from the material character or end result.

I never thought of LAD in those terms but I can see why you'd think that. Those elements of the record to me, are a bit outshone by the more energetic or optimistic takes, like Change of Heart, Finding Out, and the optimistic core of Straight into Darkness, though I guess that's a mix isn't it? And the thoughtful, wistful Wasted Life.

 But to me, that's a bit to the side from the question or understanding why Tom said what he did about LAD after HP; seems to me he undervalued what he and the band did with that record, as if writing a bunch of brighter (in sound not necessarily lyrics) songs was somehow less worthy than progressing into new territory whatever that would be, or stretching the limits of what his rock-n-roll band could do. Again, I don't think people view TPATH as an experimental band and rightly so, but they did progress, their sound mutating over the years as discussed earlier and in other topics.

 In the end, it's a good thing he had that drive to keep the band going, etc. But releasing an album of more or less uptempo songs, or ones with more energy, with the pop-jangel and crunchy chords of Change of Heart, well...I think it's good regardless of whether or not they had progressed in Tom's mind. So while I think your points are valid as to show them still moving forward with LAD from HP despite Tom's comments, I could see why he made them, as perhaps he viewed it as just another album of largely short punchy and jangly rock songs...been there, done that.

Thinking a bit more on this and your points, "...darker,  nocturnal, claustrophobic and slightly urban..." and the songs where those feelings are most prominent, does make it seem that perhaps Tom underestimated this album on two fronts, that there's nothing wrong with another album of short, uptempo rock/pop/jangle songs especially when there this good and fit together so well and that as you note, the songs and album overall have more of a mixing of shade than perhaps what one first takes away from it. And it's the mixing of the two, the harsh bite of You Got Lucky's lyrics, the "strong carry on" in Straight throughout that help make this such a good record for them and that it's all largely done within the pop-rock format.

 

On September 5, 2019 at 1:56 PM, Shelter said:

And I don't see much credit to that comparison either.

Ah, but you left off the key point: "then HE was a return to that style of album but with years of experience" I guess I didn't want to belabor it (unlike the set list issue) and since I go on about it on its own topic (link not included) but it's not so much as suddenly it's 1977 again for the band, but rather Tom steered this album towards making a rock-n-roll record in a way they hadn't done in years. Of course, after nearly forty years together it wasn't going to be DTTT (Damn The Torpedoes Two) or Longer After Dark (get your mind out of the gutter) but what the seasoned band would come up with having that as some overall goal, see below:

On September 5, 2019 at 1:56 PM, Shelter said:

If anything, some of HE's heavier moments feel like revisiting Mojo (speaking of "staying in place") while other rather typical catchy Pettyisms brings classic TP songwriting of later 80s or early 90s to mind.

True enough and I attribute that to songs that survived the initial culling when Tom/the band decided songs were too Mojo like. I don't think it's a bad thing though as tempo, energy and brevity rework the blues or "blues" style of Mojo into something different. The three songs leaning most towards Mojo to my ears are Burnt out Town, Power Drunk and Shadow People, but PD, like I said has more energy, brevity and that contrasting part in the middle and outro that to me, differentiate it from the Mojo tracks in feel. Shadow People one could claim, has a lot in common with maybe Good Enough or First Flash in terms of length and style but again, the simple marching riff of SP again, makes it feel of a different space than Good Enough. Esoteric enough? 

 I should add that aside from Burnt Out Town the songs I mention have some lingering feelings or atmosphere associated with Mojo but go in more interesting and different directions and at least Town has a rollicking beat to it, keeping it more in sync with HE than their previous record. Is it staying in place? I think it's more the lingering energy or perhaps what the most gravitated to at that point in their career, midtempo bluesy numbers and that Tom's desire to make a rock album had them cut the songs that were more in line with Mojo, while others, like the one mentioned above survived because while they had blues-elements, were still more in line with HE and it's rock-n-roll feeling.

On September 5, 2019 at 1:56 PM, Shelter said:

Listening to HE, to me, brings two questions to mind. Where is Ben?? Where are the harmony vocals?? Two things they made good use of, to the greatest effect, in the 70s and 80s, by the way.

For me it was less them duplicating or even attempting to duplicate the 70s and 80s but more what they could do in 2013 (?) as a band in terms of making a more rockin' album, perhaps much how they tried this with Come On Down To My House, not as competition with Nirvana but just feeling the urge to do something with more of an edge and a faster tempo than they had in a while. Except decades later they went all in as it were with an album instead of a song, but one that stretched them still.

As to your points about Ben and harmony vocals, I don't know, sure the former is there but not prominent but I don't think that's a bad thing for one album out of their whole career; he was always about being in the right place amongst the guitars. Next listen I give the record I'll see if I can pick up more of what he's doing (or not doing). I think Two Gunslingers pointed to the lack of Ben as one of his disappointments with the record.

cheers

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12 hours ago, Mr Timba said:

Maybe a 10 song album it would be a better album. Cut off some "rocking numbers" and cut off the acoustic numbers, putting the focus only on the darknest numbers and on the "twilight zone" numbers (in terms of sound and in terms of lyrics). 

Maybe yeah. I don't think I'd have liked it anymore but I'd respect going all in on a darker record.

12 hours ago, Mr Timba said:

"Rhino Skin" is one of a kind, and it is not a depressing song. "Room at the top". It is a really strong and shoking song. The live performances were amazing. "One more day, one more night" is a gem. A great performance, the vocals, the band. The harmony vocals are wonderful, and apart from the harmonies...

I like Rhino Skin a lot, same with Room At the Top. The outro solo of One more Day is pretty darn good.

 

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3 hours ago, Hoodoo Man said:

As a fan of Chicago blues I would think a blues album by one of my all-time favorite bands would have resonated with me better, but in all honesty its darn near a forgotten album for me and it took Tom's passing for me to revisit it and find a few diamonds in the rough that I had overlooked. 

Which ones are they?

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1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Esoteric enough

I suppose so.. haha! 

Just that to me HE, much like Mojo, is a much more mixed bag than generally accepted. The "back to the roots" perspective, not so much from you as from the band themselves and the label, is generally over stated. I see a few minor tints and that's it. I would further suggest it's a lot mellower and "same old temper" as always, than you might like to think. But yeah.. There are a slightly heavier average alright. It's just not a new paradigm by me. A little more straight up - fair enough.

1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Next listen I give the record I'll see if I can pick up more of what he's doing

Good luck with that!

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22 minutes ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Which ones are they?

No reason to cry is what brought me back to the album.  I should have know it, Let yourself go and Something good coming all resonate with me now, US 41 as well. The album has grown on me some, but its not high on my ranking list as a whole... 

First Flash of Freedom seems like a bad cover song and I hated when they played it live and imho Good enough was not good enough and should have been dropped from the album. Something sort of dirge like to the opening riff that I don't enjoy which is rare for me with Mike's playing the middle of the song is ok but its whiny sounding somehow and I find myself skipping the track.

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1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

optimistic

That's LAD to you? 

You need to listen again. Or I do... Energi sure.. in tempo and attack.. but really, have you listened to the sound and the lyrics of these songs. I don't hear as much driving bright pop here as you seems too.. Just cause they cranked up the volume and reverb and speed some, got heavy into the grooved, sure don't make em "optomistic" to me. To me LAD is obsessive, desperate, dark and resentful.. No? Change of Heart and Straight Into Darkness as jolly pop songs? What? There are hope and love on LAD, sure.. but seriously, you find it more optomistic and happy(?) and less introvert than HP? Seriously? How interesting. This is geiger counter reading to me..!

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7 minutes ago, Shelter said:

Change of Heart and Straight Into Darkness as jolly pop songs?

Jolly pop! Ha ha ha. I wouldn't go that far but the following can be read as overcoming, enduring long enough to overcome, learning from one's mistakes, the healing power of love, etc. Sure these sentiments can be overlooked or viewed as meant to be taken sarcastically but to me they were more about optimism, more of a positive energy especially when paired with some of the crunchy pop rock of the music.

From Deliver Me: I was born with something down inside of me
And it's carried me over, delivered me
Yeah delivered me, I'm standing at your gate
Just out of reach of the hands of fate

Change of Heart: I'll get over you It won't take long/Whoa yeah, oh boy/Looks like we finally found the turning point/
Looks like it's time for me to kiss it goodbye
 

Finding out: I don't think pain is so romantic/It took a little time for me to stand up and shout
But honey I'm coming 'round, I'm finding out/I have to thank you baby-honey I must confess
You have pulled me from this river of loneliness

To me, the lines about the "strong carry on" is the "the optimistic core of Straight into Darkness."

And here: Wasted Life: 

You gotta stand and fight
So when you're lonely and you feel let down
You can call me I'll come around
And treat you nice
Don't have a wasted life
I love you too much - uh, uh, uh, don't have a wasted life

---A far cry from You Got Lucky. 

but like I said, there's mix of moods and feelings but overall, from the music and some of the lyrics I get more of an UP feeling than down; thoug not to the level of FMF but still pretty good considering this was following the introspective HP.

My take on it anyway.

cheers

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35 minutes ago, Hoodoo Man said:

No reason to cry is what brought me back to the album.  I should have know it, Let yourself go and Something good coming all resonate with me now, US 41 as well.

I don't care for No Reason but the other songs are good, I think Something Good Coming is one of Tom's best songs actually.

36 minutes ago, Hoodoo Man said:

First Flash of Freedom seems like a bad cover song and I hated when they played it live and imho Good enough was not good enough and should have been dropped from the album. Something sort of dirge like to the opening riff that I don't enjoy which is rare for me with Mike's playing the middle of the song is ok but its whiny sounding somehow and I find myself skipping the track.

I understand. For me, it's a floating kind of groovy song; I enjoy the way it repeats itself while Mike solos, feels like you're settling in for a long journey but I could see why if it's not connecting with you and the riff to your ears is awful then it's just a dirge.

cheers

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Interesting discussion about LAD. I don't know how to rank LAD in my personal ranking. It was never an album that I have played constantly. It was a victim of my "first opinion about", probably a wrong opinion. That was my first opinion: It is a weak album... so my LAD was condemned to be covered with dust on the shelf. Sins of my youth!. How I was able to play constantly "Let me up" and not LAD? This is a mistery. Nowadays, Let me Up is without a doubt in the lowest position of my personal rank.

Althought my first opinion about the whole album could be wrong, there is one thing that remains as true for me: Straight into Darkness is one of the finest songs Tom ever wrote. The lyrics and the music. The alt take/alt mix included in the AT box is awesome. Sounds different, I prefer this kind of sound. The bass line is more audible, (what a bass!)  that bass, that piano, the guitar, the drums... And  those lyrics... Not a happy song, not pop, for sure. ;)

Probably LAD is not one of my favourite albums, but Straight into darkness is one of the better songs by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. 

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9 hours ago, Mr Timba said:

It was never an album that I have played constantly. It was a victim of my "first opinion about", probably a wrong opinion. That was my first opinion: It is a weak album.

 I don't think it's wrong opinion; you just didn't care for it, which is your right. 

Sometimes music grows on me or it takes a little while to see what they were going for, other times I just don't like something even if I give it multiple listens. Discussing it can be interesting but just enjoy what you like, if LAD collects dust, that's fine too.

Oh yeah, Straight Into Darkness is one of his best, musically and lyrically. I think I'll go and listen to the alternate take, especially if the bass is more prominent.

cheers

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On 9/6/2019 at 8:42 PM, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

I never thought of LAD in those terms

It really fascinates me that you don't seem to understand my "reading" of this album. I know we both love it, but it seems we do for almost opposite reasons. Or at least we seem to take very different things from it. 

 

22 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Sure these sentiments can be overlooked or viewed as meant to be taken sarcastically but to me they were more about optimism

Yeah, no..  sarcasm's not at all where I'm at with this. Not to go too deep into this, but it just seems to me that there is a lot of.. strained.. optimism, so to speak. (Think about it. Who' s heart changed first there, really, and what are the actual choices for the weak one and the strong one in this particular one story town setting?! ) These characters  roam the dead zone between disapointment and acceptance, between about-to-give-up and determined-to-fight for love, at best, or else for what..relief? (Single lines don't tell the story as well as does the whole context, let alone the context with sound...)

Even the lyrically brighter moments (sure, there are some) seem to rest heavily on ambvivalent background. Free from, delivered from.. (This may again be due to my 'second language' issues mentioned, but it all just seems so intense and obvious to me, that it's hard trying to reverse it.)

Besides. Anyhow. Again.. those vibes, sounds, the slightly dark sonic moods.. I mean, try to fit some Kylie Minouge lyrics onto Beethoven's 5th and I think you'll find a surprising shadow gathering among the careless love and sunshine, if you get the idea..

The sum of it, to me antway, is LAD as an enerized and fantastic rock album of raw emotion, love, loneliness and desperation. As should be. It's frightfully real at times.

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9 minutes ago, Shelter said:

It really fascinates me that you don't seem to understand my "reading" of this album.

Oh, something's not clear in our communication here. I can understand why you take what you do from the album, to me while the lyrics and music evoke positive feelings for me, I can see how you listen to the same album and emerge with a different experience. Again, I think there is a good mix of he upbeat and the downbeat on this record as well, and thought I got that across.

Well, more later when I've the opportunity.

cheers

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11 hours ago, Mr Timba said:

Interesting discussion about LAD. I don't know how to rank LAD in my personal ranking. It was never an album that I have played constantly. It was a victim of my "first opinion about", probably a wrong opinion.

I always loved the LAD album, but I had it on vinyl only for many years, and I think it sounded a lot better that way than on the first CD mastering.  Plus the front and back artwork were both terrific on the LP, which added to the feel of it. 

I never thought the LP sounded "cold", but the first CD mastering did sound cold, thin, brittle.  Anyone whose first introduction to LAD being with the first CD - probably not the case with you, but I don't know - wouldn't be experiencing the same as the LP.  The second (early 2000's) mastering of LAD was a lot better, still not as warm as the LP but more acceptable.  

There's also the Side 1, Side 2 factor for the LP.  I thought the first side of the LP was fantastic, and even that side didn't have the best song, which was "Straight Into Darkness".    At any rate I do think the format experienced is a factor in judging LAD.  I'd love to hear it in Blu-Ray on very good equipment, but I don't know if TP's plans to remaster everything for Blu-Ray will happen.  Thus far I think they've only done DTT, Mojo, and HE in Blu-ray, plus the Live Anthology and maybe a Mudcrutch album or two.     

 

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51 minutes ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Oh, something's not clear in our communication here.

Yes, perhaps I put that wrong. I see you say you understand my take. It doesn't seem like you do see the stuff I elaborate a few details on in my previous post. And that's fine of course. Yet you claim you get me, so.. I guess it's me not getting your "bright" understanding then, perhaps.. haha 

53 minutes ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

he lyrics and music evoke positive feelings for me

Yeah, that part. Exactly. That being your overall take is spooky to me. (See my previous comments). Although I respect it, of course. I just didn't think it possible, I guess. It actually adds a slightly absurd yet interesting angle to my own feelings about widespread despair and multilayered 'existentialism' within the album. Haha.. So many things to inform ones reactions, aren't there. Pax.

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 I figure I could keep to generalities but I already have and what's the point of that, or turn this into a homework assignment and that's no fun, so I'll split the difference here. Though maybe it'll seem like homework to those sufferi...uhh...reading through it.

8 hours ago, Shelter said:

Not to go too deep into this, but it just seems to me that there is a lot of.. strained.. optimism, so to speak. (Think about it. Who' s heart changed first there, really, and what are the actual choices for the weak one and the strong one in this particular one story town setting?! )

Threaded throughout Change of Heart is loss, even heartbreak and true, the change of heart could refer to the woman whose emotions have irrevocably shifted towards Tom. In which case, the title and song's focus is loss, hearbreak and his eventual acceptance of those feelings. Pretty grim, right? Part of life sure but not its most pleasant part. Yet, couldn't the title also refer to his own awakening? The revelation that she was using him, is followed by key lines:

I'll get over you
It won't take long

Sure it may be wishful thinking about getting over her let alone the time frame for doing so, but even if it's braggadacio in the face of despair, that alone is optimistic to me, in that it points to improvement in the long term. 

Looks like we finally found the turning point
Oh me, oh my
Looks like it's time for me to kiss it goodbye
Yeah kiss it goodbye

If this isn't sarcastic, then it is a bitter realization perhaps but again, pointing towards eventual growth.

Now maybe to you that doesn't seem positive or it's someone dusting themsleves off after their home has collapsed around them, thinking, well...not so bad as they stand in the wreckage of everything they own.

 But the song isn't just the lyrics alone but the music.

And Change of Heart is pop-rock perfection. The guitars crunch and chime, there's bounciness to the rhythm and true, one could think  it's sugar around the bitter pill but to me the instruments are generating the lighter postiive feeling connected to key lyrics, generating my take on them above. 

Now mixing upbeat, happy sounding music with grim lyrics is someting songwriters have done before, but I don't get that feeling at all here.

However, I also think it shows how good this album is and this song in particular, that the title could both refer to the failure or ending of love but it could at the same time refer to his change of heart, his acceptance, that moment of revelation or a moment of clarity from which nothing is the same, seems like the whole song is building towards that, she was once the sun and now is a weapon. And wouldn't that be a worthwhile artistic goal, huh? Where different people can hear the same song and feel differently...

 

8 hours ago, Shelter said:

These characters  roam the dead zone between disapointment and acceptance, between about-to-give-up and determined-to-fight for love, at best, or else for what..relief? (Single lines don't tell the story as well as does the whole context, let alone the context with sound...)

I like how you worded this and there's no denying the grim landscape traversed, I just think even when they do so, some better land is in sight and in some songs, actually reached, or at least they have achieved enough of a personal epiphany to keep moving out of whaever "dead zone" they existed in.

I do however, put more weight on single lines within context of songs as see below:

There's no denying the darkness of Straight into well...Darkness. Yes.

But look at that line..."the strong carry on" and their placement in the music, at the tail end of the quiet part leading into the chorus.

Now granted the chorus is grim but the music in that moment is cathartic and to me again, even if the narrator or character in the song, I'll just say Tom for simplicity's sake isn't one of the strong and is just lamenting where he's at, that this isn't meant as a moment of realization...again I feel even realizing that some do carry on despite their despair, even if he isn't one of them, is optimistic, it's struggling to stay afloat while drwoning, it's not surrendeirng even in fht face of hoepleslness.

I realize this sounds like a huge stretch, taffy pulled and extended till it's just a thin line but I still think it's a valid interpretation of the song.

It's easy to ignore or underrate compared to the rest of the song's lyrics but it's placed at a moment of prominence, of focus in the song.

 Years from now Tom would be more direct, see I Won't Back Down (and hesitant to do so per interviews) but perhaps here he was if not hiding optimisim amongst the dark still not making it completley obvious either.  But it's there nonetheless, to me anyway.

Now before everyone passes out and drools across their electronic device from this seemingly endless explanation, I'll tsep back from specific songs and look at the album whole.

Deliver Me and Change of Heart lead into the conclusion of Side A, a definite focal point since this is pre-Cd and so as I quoted Finding Out earlier, I think both lyrics and music point towards some wisdom gained, the pain isn't romantic part as well as the "took a little time" and pulled from the river of loneliness moments while the energy of the song matches the determination in lyrics and the vocals.

It closes out Sida A on one heck of an UP note.

What about Between Two Worlds and there's Same Old You and Straight into Darkness on Side B?  If Finding Out is this big revelation, why then is it placed where it was and not at the end of the album?

Aren't these songs refuting anything learned?

Could be. Sure.

It could be too that the ordering of the album was based on what musically worked together, I don't know. And the idea of a hidden concept album could be bollocks! These are songs dealing with both sides of love and heartache, there's no narrative hiding here, no theme beyond what each listener brings to it. Could be that too.

But still, I  get an optimistic feeling from the album, I'm not ignoring the darker side as well; that's what these songs are, or deal with in one way or another, and if not darkness with Between Two Worlds, certainly confusion, certainly the point between disappointment and acceptance you mention, heck, this song is literally about that midpoint.

 I'd go even further and say that One Story Town doesn't sound like a fun place to be either though the music is and You Got Lucky is a a bit of a nasty song lyriwise, a narcissist's ballad. So ther's plenty of darkness besides Darkness as you might word, that's my Shelter impression for you. Please donate tomatoes instead of throwing them at me.

So how does the whole ablum end?

Wistful musically but man, what a sweet sentiment and like i said before, quite the distance from You Got Lucky.

It's wisdom, optismism, hope...sweetness not couched within pop-rock or the frantic energy of Finding Out but in a peaceful calm way, as if whatever was learned throughout the record, both good and bad has finally setlled into some measure of peace. Even if it's just a random collection of songs dealing with love etc. I think the lyrics and music generate more of an Up feeling than a down one.

I did a little diggig and found what I'd wrote about this record years back on here:

This seems like a concept album in its own way, the record spending its time in reaction to hearbreak (no pun intended!). being braggadocious in its loss, dealing with it, being the one to let go, drowning in its wake, learning from it and transcending. All with short poppy, catchy rock songs while still perfecting their sound that dominates up until Full Moon Fever.

I still think it's the same, a concept album in theme if not all out, Tom bouncing back and forth between wisdom and heartache, despair and hope. To me, the latter outshines the former. That's my take on it anyway.

Before we're done I'll have to retitle every topic, won't I?

cheers

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Oh, I didn't mean to make this a homework assignment. Any questions were merely rhetorical and - I thought- just illustraded my points. Nevertheless, well done. Thanks for sharing all that! Very interesting. Seem dark enough for me. Haha.

No doubts there are positive lines, moments of hope. Even one or two semi-bright moments soundwise. Incredible dynamics in all that, but yeah.. to me it's the overall emotional struggles, the overall sound that create the album vibe. It's too powerful to overlook or translate into something else.

5 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

upbeat, happy sounding music

Again, to further explain myself, I don't hear this at all. COH is great driving rock, sure. But it sounds menacing to me, and like so much of LAD slightly claustrophobic. Obviously we differ here. That is all good. 

As for Straight Into Darkness.. just to mess with your mind a bit.. The usual chorus go "We went straight into darkness".. But then the "we went" part goes.. and I get chills from the open, uncertain effect of "The weak ones fall, the strong carry on straight into darkness..." The unknown. Not good or bad. Or on to the eternal struggle? That to me is an open ending, from which you make and take what you want. Beautiful detail that makes ALL the difference.

Dark or happy, LAD's an incredibly album. Perhaps their most intense, musically and emotionellt. Perhaps this we can agree on?

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3 hours ago, Shelter said:

Oh, I didn't mean to make this a homework assignment. A

It's all right, I heard the teacher grades on a curve.

3 hours ago, Shelter said:

Again, to further explain myself, I don't hear this at all. COH is great driving rock, sure. But it sounds menacing to me, and like so much of LAD slightly claustrophobic. Obviously we differ here.

Interesting. I suppose this is how you felt reading my overall impression of LAD and its positive emotional impact. For me, COH is one of the brightest songs musically, I never once got a sense of menace from it, though that could be more lyrics than music. I wonder if anyone else feels as you do about this song or album here at the 'Farm.

4 hours ago, Shelter said:

I get chills from the open, uncertain effect of "The weak ones fall, the strong carry on straight into darkness..." The unknown. Not good or bad. Or on to the eternal struggle? That to me is an open ending, from which you make and take what you want.

I like that.

4 hours ago, Shelter said:

Dark or happy, LAD's......Perhaps their most intense, musically and emotionellt. Perhaps this we can agree on?

It's a definite top five TPATH album for me, up there with FMF, HE and DTT, I guess it's top four, ah at last, a return to ranking. In some ways it's a more diverse version of DTT  despite however Tom, per interviews, viewed it. And could very well be #3 for me depending on mood.

That Mike played a bit of Between Two Worlds in one of his bathroom jams just seems evidence of its quality relative to their other records. Who'd think that song would suddenly appear even in an off-the-cuff truncated version.

And while You Got Lucky was the big hit, Straight into Darkness was performed quite a bit considering how often deep cuts, non-singles would be neglected.

On a slight tangent I sometimes think of A Woman in Love/Straight into  Darkness and Criminal Kind/Same Old You as almost mirrors of each other, or at least another interesting angle on roughly the same topic.

Finding Out is a triumphant rock song and one of their finest, sure, and like you said, Straight into Darkness could very well be its open-ended counterpart.  

5 hours ago, Shelter said:

Perhaps this we can agree on?

Sounds good to me.

cheers

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The LAD album does focus on a lot of struggles with romantic relationships: failing relationships, dwelling on the past, success, optimism for something better.   Though that's true with a lot of Petty songs - and of a lot of songs regardless of author - the LAD album had the working title "Between Two Worlds" before they settled on LAD (presumably taking that line from "Straight Into Darkness").  So that "struggle" was apparently meant to be a theme for the album.   

I don't know if I'd call "Change of Heart" menacing.  It's a bright sounding song, but the relationship there is clearly over.  The one clearly positive song is "Finding Out", though earlier on it's ambiguous where it is going with some great lyrics such as "I don't think pain is so romantic".  

By the way, "Change of Heart" has the line "Looks like we finally found the turning point".  Yet there was another song intended for possible inclusion called "Turning Point", which is on the Playback boxed set.  Obviously that's something that was on TP's mind for this album.  "Turning Point" didn't really fit the musical style of LAD, and lyrically it might be a little too much like "Finding Out" - relating challenges and depression but ultimately the turning point is for the better.  Unlike the turning point in "Change of Heart" where things went for the worse.

Also by the way - I don't know if LAD was influential on Bruce Springsteen, but it might have been when he compiled his "Tunnel of Love" album.  Stylistically TOL is nothing like LAD, but as far as lyrical content they cover similar issues.  And we know that Springsteen liked "Straight Into Darkness" so he must have been listening to LAD.  Although I'm a much bigger Petty fan than Springsteen fan, I do like a lot of Springsteen's work, and TOL is an excellent album - so if LAD influenced that album, I'm happy for that outcome.     

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