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CrescentMoonFever

What are your top ten (or so) TP songs?

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You know, I was reading through one of the old threads here, ranking the TP/TPATH/Mudcrutch studio albums and got the idea to make this topic. Obviously judging an album is a lot different than judging specific songs, as by taking the tracks on their own they are no longer sullied/bolstered by how you feel about the flow of the album and the songs that surround it, and even better, you can factor in any version(s) of the song you've ever heard. I've always been an "album person" for the most part, but I think this is the most fair way to judge individual tracks, especially when he's changed many of them up live through the years.

So in making my top 10, I almost completely ignore album context and just factor in everything I love about the songs themselves. Another thing I realized in the ranking thread was that list looked even remotely similar, a major testament to TP and the bands' consistency. I thought this could be interesting, since I presume that songs lists would look even MORE different as a result. This was a tough list to put together and I'll probably feel differently a week from now, which is the best part. This will probably be way too long to read but I'm allergic to ranking without writeups.

10. Down South. Probably my favorite post-2000 Petty song slightly ahead of The Last DJ... this is a prime example of a song that radiates nostalgia ahead of anything else. Prefer the live versions but as far as I know they're all largely unchanged.

9. Keeping Me Alive. The fact that this one was never given a proper studio release on an album infuriates me more than any of the other lost "deep cuts", but I'm definitely glad that he didn't just sit on it forever and we can hear it now! I know Tom was talked out of it by Iovine and the album really suffered for it IMO, but as a single song, I find myself wanting to hear it as much as any other song from any artist.

8. Wildflowers. I guess I'm a sucker for the TP mid-tempo acoustic songs, wasn't expecting so many to be on my list. I'm probably alone in feeling like one of TP's simplest songs ever is actually the best song on that entire album, though it's so hard to pick. I prefer the live versions, but the studio version is probably my favorite of his in terms of his vocal performance.

7. The Dark of the Sun. I think this is the most underrated song in their entire library. I can't find ANY live versions and I do wonder if this song would get more of its due if he played it more often. It's kind of a hopeful, positive song and sort of gets lost in the shuffle with some of the other great songs off that album. 

6. Walls. On its surface it's a simple song, but yet powerfully awesome at the same time...  way more to it. This one represents Tom at close to his best as a lyricist, as far as I'm concerned. Love it live, love No. 3, love Circus, I'm glad they included both versions. I can listen to this song in any form and never grow bored of it. Like others on this list I absolutely feel like circumstance was the only thing keeping it from being a big hit.

5. Refugee. My favorite hard-rocking TP song ever made. You have to love the ultra-nasally early Petty days, and a big assist to Mike Campbell for coming up with this genius chord progression. This is one of those songs where I think you ask almost any fan of the Heartbreakers, and there's literally NOTHING they would change or that bothers them about this song. It's hard to pin down a "most important" song for a band which was so nonstop great as they were, but the biggest hit from their first big commercial success has to be up there.

4. Insider. Good thing he didn't give this one up! I know The Waiting is legendary and rightfully so, but this has always been the highlight of Hard Promises for me. SDMHA was probably better served as a Stevie Nicks song, and this one definitely was better as a TPATH song. She does a phenomenal job on the duet though. The pure pain in this song is palpable, and the band backs Tom up flawlessly. Possibly my favorite chorus of one of their songs.

3. Runnin' Down a Dream. For me, it's pretty simple. I think we can all agree this is one of the all-time great driving songs ever made, and 90% of the time I'm able to listen to music semi-attentively, it's when I'm on the road. It's another one that's impossible to nitpick in any way. Lyrically top notch and draws you right into the atmosphere, Campbell's awesome guitar work. Tom Petty songs notably never seem to feature many solos, which is something I'm happy about for the most part, but this was a welcome exception. If this song doesn't want to make you jump around like a complete idiot, then you don't have a pulse.

2. Free Fallin'Wanted to represent more albums but FMF was too good and took up two of my top three slots...I'm way biased towards this song as it was the first TP song I ever heard as a kid, and one of the first songs overall that I recall listening to. As someone who naturally seems to feel that less is more in regards to music, it's no surprise to me that I still love this one as much as I did when I first heard it come on my dad's record player in the early 90s. I don't love it as much in concert, but it's still one of those songs you wanna hear when you go see them.

1. Rebels. I've heard and understand all the criticisms. I just disagree with every single one. It's perfect. Wouldn't touch it, and while I will always be partial to the original (horns and all), I felt like I discovered a whole new layer to it when I heard it acoustic. 

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19 hours ago, CrescentMoonFever said:

Runnin' Down a Dream. For me, it's pretty simple. I think we can all agree this is one of the all-time great driving songs ever made,

 Yes!

19 hours ago, CrescentMoonFever said:

notably never seem to feature many solos, which is something I'm happy about for the most part, but this was a welcome exception.

 I think it's one of the best guitar solos in all of rock-n-roll and Mike's best. He's done some really memorable, perfectly tasteful ones but this is his masterpiece.

cheers

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4 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Right now I have a list of 33 songs, culling it down to 10...ha ha! Not so easy at the moment.

cheers

 

Happened to me too man. I went down all the albums and had a list of around 30 or so too, it was like splitting hairs trying to differentiate between them. 

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I can't say for sure this is my Top 10. Some are definite ones, like Runnin' and MJ and When the Time Comes but there were other very strong contenders that didn't make it.

Some thoughts on each of these another time...

When The Time Comes

Even The Losers

Finding Out

It Ain't Nothing To Me

Running Down A Dream

You and I Will Meet Again

Mary Jane

Driving Down to Georgia

Money Becomes King

Fault Lines

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An impossible question really, 30 of so maybe easier for me

 

1 and 2 are definate, the rest could easily swap around

 

10 Fault Lines

9 When The Time Comes

8 Running Down  A Dream

7 To Find A Friend

6 Yer So Bad

5 Rebels

4 The Last DJ

3 American Girl

2 Listen To Her Heart

1   Walls

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Oh, it's been a while since we did this, I believe. An always fun, yet impossible task.

Like some of you say, the list of favorites are usually at least 30 songs, or 40, so for 10, I'm not gonna even try to put these in any specific order. At least, here are ten songs that more often than not end up on my top ten TP list:

 

Waiting For Tonight

Straight Into Darkness

Luna

Surrender

Lost Children

The Wrong Thing To Do

Supernatural Radio

The Waiting

Something Big

The Trip To Pirate's Cove

Crystal River

 

That's 11?! Ok, then.. that's 11.

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This task is hard on me.. (OK a sneaky way to add in an extra song there ) leaving out the Mudcrutch output on this list to make it a bit easier! 

This list is based on the live performances that at one stage or another blew me away either in person at a show or on YouTube / official live Dvd releases.(the exception to that rule being Magnolia which is the album version I have in mind...a very intimate almost live vibe captured on that album version) I have long been of the opinion that it is as a live band that the Heartbreakers really showcase Tom''s songs to best effect...it's the live stuff that really captures the magic for me rather than the studio albums ..so as a stream of consciousness immediate list without over thinking things here's my list! ☺

Magnolia

Casa Dega

Too Much Ain't Enough 

Swingin 

Dog On The Run (the non album live version)

Shadow People

It'll All Work Out

Crawling Back To You

Nightwatch Man

Refugee 

 

 

 

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Seeing some other choices, and I'd think: Yep, that's a good one. Again, it ain't easy cutting this down to ten. I can't even say these are the ten best, only the ten best I could come up with right now:

When The Time Comes—I love everything about this song, from the chiming chords, the lyrics and the optimistic attitude.

Even The Losers——One of the best bridges they wrote, they have a lot of good bridges but this is one of my favorites, with some great imagery. It feels like a late night summer party song, two people interacting away from the group.

Finding Out——Catchy riff, great lyric: “I don’t think pain is so romantic.” Right.  Also: I couldn't understand, I was too weak to fight But I'm finding out, I'm finding outIt took a little time for me to stand up and shout But honey I'm coming 'round, I'm finding out.”

It Ain't Nothing To Me—-somewhere on this site I wrote an “ode” to this song, in brief, great riff, unusual and unique song structure with a great shift from verses to optimistic energy of love.

Running Down A Dream—Their best riff and solo.

You and I Will Meet Again—“A red winged hawk is circling…” is the start of one of Tom’s best lyrics. A great song, wonderful lyrics, with a powerful outro.

Mary Jane—The last major hit from the band and one of their best songs; it’s catchy with interesting lyrics and a perfect groove; Stan effortlessly moving the tune along at a good pace between midtempo ballad and all out rock song. The riff and the quick guitar riff between chorus and verse is excellent. The best live versions are the long epic jams from 95 and 03.

Driving Down to Georgia——Just an unexpected powerhouse of a song, really fast, neat middle part and crazy outro. It’s not often they go this crazy at the end of a song. I don’t need a studio version of this, the live tune is good as is.

Money Becomes King——One of their most unusual songs without any chorus, just Tom relating a story, the tone of his voice sounds like his heart is breaking (no pun intended).

Fault Lines —-What a fucking groove! Man, this song rocks, with an interesting metaphor and a colossal bass line. 

 

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55 minutes ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Money Becomes King——One of their most unusual songs without any chorus, just Tom relating a story, the tone of his voice sounds like his heart is breaking (no pun intended).

Fault Lines —-What a fucking groove! Man, this song rocks, with an interesting metaphor and a colossal bass line. 

these are 2 that would probably be on my top 10 for sure. MBK might be edged out by dreamville.

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No Particular Order: Have Love Will Travel (Live Anthology), Room at the Top (Storytellers Version), Square One (Live Anthology), Walls (High Grass Dogs, Filmore), Straight Into Darkness (Studio or Live), Crawling Back to You (Soundstage Version), You Got Lucky (studio), Flirting With Time (studio), A Woman in Love-It's Not Me (Live Anthology), Time to Move On (studio)... Ahh, the list goes on and on and on and on!
These are just some of my all time favorites. I would make the claim that "Walls" from High Grass Dogs is my favorite recording of any song ever... Stuns me every time.

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My dozen:

Waitinig For Tonight

Crawling Back To You

A Face In The Crowd

The Wild One. Forever

Trailer

Free Fallin'

It'll All Work Out

The Waiting

Straight Into Darkness

Walls

American Girl

Here Comes My Girl

 

 

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On 1/4/2017 at 10:53 AM, Thelonious said:

Long Way From Home & Lost In Your Eyes would be on the list as well, if they were Hearbreaker-Records.

I agree, and the song "Save Me" ... I LOVE that song. If it was a clear recording, it would probably have made my top ten. 
It looks like whoever had it on Youtube took it down. I should upload it. It's such a killer song. Great guitar...

I also wanted to point out that Crawling Back To You and Walls make almost everyone's list... <3 I love that. Haha!

EDIT: Nevermind, I found SAVE ME. I don't know why it didn't come up when I searched it on Youtube. I found it where I had posted it here back in 2013. 

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TOP 10

Too Much Ain't Enough
You Wreck Me
Even The Losers
Something Big
I Won't Back Down (acoustic / live version)
House in the Woods
Have Love Will Travel
Something Good Coming
No Second Thoughts
Keeping Me Alive

 

10 Covers (Tom Covering Songs and Others Covering Tom)

Jaguar and the Thunderbird (live 1977) (Chuck Berry)
Lost Highway (Hank Williams)
Something in The Air (Thunderclap Newman)
Don't Bring Me Down (live)(The Animals)
Image of Me (Conway  Twitty)

Ways to Be Wicked - Lone Justice)
The Waiting - Eddie Vedder w/TPHBs
I Wont Back Down - Pearl Jam
Hometown Blues - Rosanna Cash
Southern Accents  -Johnny Cash

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On ‎2017‎-‎01‎-‎06 at 7:24 AM, Liberty said:

I agree, and the song "Save Me" ... I LOVE that song. If it was a clear recording, it would probably have made my top ten. 
 

Yes! Actually, many of the buried, lost, left, or forgotten tracks down the years - the rare or one-off stuff, as it were - are among their very best, IMO. Save Me certainly is one of them - fantastic song - as is Long Way from Home, Don't Send Me Letters, Wild Eyes and Mystery of Love... to mention just a few. Then we have collaboration songs like King Of The Hill and studio recorded cover versions like Crackin' Up, Lost Highway, Stories We Could Tell, I'm Walking...       

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For sure! Stories We Could Tell is great... and I love King of the Hill.
I love a lot of TP's colab stuff from the 80s and 90s, and pretty much anything George Harrison and Jeff Lynne had anything to do with. FMF is definitely not one of my favorite TP albums even though it has a ton of singles, but I do love it. 
Actually, I heard this single from Bryan Adams's latest album and I thought, "holy s---t."
I looked it up online immediately and YEP... produced by Jeff Lynne.
You really can hear his influence whenever he works on something like Cloud 9, Full Moon Fever, etc...
I'm not complainin'. ;) 
 

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