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How was Full Moon Fever initially received by fans?

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1 hour ago, Shelter said:

And then what? Well, the girl drove off (next time I saw her, she was listening to The Rembrants) and I rode my bike right home to my dad's record collection to dig out Long After Dark, to restart my lifelong journey with Tom Petty properly.

Dang! So cool how a moment in time... an experience unrealized in the moment... can be a major building block of who we are today. 

Goose Bumps !! 

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Well, it's understandable that the Heartbreakers as well as some (all?) fans didn't like the album at the beginning.

1) Heartbreakers: Tom and the band sort of hit a low point in the mid eighties, creatively. Let Me Up was not very successful and neither was the tour behind it. Then all of a sudden Tom is working on great material and the Heartbreakers are not welcomed (except Mike). How would anybody react to that? You hear something and you know it's great, but it's different from what you've been doing and you're obviously not planned to be part of it... that's tough. I think when Howie came to the session when he could have recorded the bass for Free Fallin' and said he didn't like the song, he already felt like an outsider. Or an intruder. And Benmont got told what to play, Stan wasn't even invited... (even though they sure had their reasons for that)

2) Fans: I came to know and love Tom's music through ITGWO and Wildflowers. These are mellower albums with a focus on the acoustic guitar. Or layers of acoustic guitars. :lol: So Full Moon Fever was perfectly in the same vein (it came out earlier, but I discovered it later). I'm sometimes having a hard time with the band's bluesier side (as some Farmers might remember :D). So I did not like all of the earlier stuff when I first heard it and do still not like most of Mojo and Hypnotic Eye. I imagine when it's the other way round - you're a fan from the first or second album on, maybe since Damn The Torpedoes, and here comes Jeff Lynne through your speakers all of a sudden with lots of acoustics and layered Instrumentation - it's a similar feeling: What you loved about the band is put aside while Tom is flexing his singer/songwriter muscle. I can see why not everybody liked/likes that.

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On ‎01‎.‎11‎.‎2017 at 11:15 AM, Shelter said:

I for one can see how Stan would have suffered some, trying to stay alive creatively through some eras, had he stayed. Stan much more  so than say Ben (or Mike, who seemed to alwas to stay on the bright side ). And for me as a listener, I'm not sure I would have benefited much either, from hearing Stan on Wildflowers sessions, or on the lion parts of Echo or Last DJ. Very few songs there feels right for him and even fewer of the ideas on how to produce the stuff. He would be largely obsolete in that context. In the same way I also doubt I would have felt much difference, had it been Steve on ITGWO, for that matter. Stan is there, but he's not really there. All of it is a transitional era, where the drumming became as much a wallpaper as an integral instrument, is what I'm saying. That's how I hear it.

I think on FMF and ITGWO, you can hear Tom anticipating Steve. Blame Jeff Lynne for that, maybe. That's the aesthetic Tom was after, drumwise, and Stan did not fit the picture. Personal issues aside.

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My first copy of this was a cassette copy of the CD when it came out.  I liked it .  Played it quite a bit with headphones.   Lots of great songs on this CD , and one of my top 5 TP & HB CDs. 

Someone mentioned the Stan interviews .  I first saw them on the Disney Channel's " going home " series.   It came out around the time of the greatest hits CD. 

Great posts here.  On a side note his cover of the Byrd's tune added money into Gene Clark's bank account , which was good for Gene.  

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