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MaryJanes2ndLastDance

Words on the band transition after Let Me Up

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I've been reading a lot from the petty archives lately (thanks again to that site!) and found this which may shed some light as to why things were so bad following Let Me Up and into Full Moon Fever. Or more detail anyway.

https://www.thepettyarchives.com/archives/newspapers/1980s/1987-04-17-gainesvillesun

Both Lynch and Tench say this is the first album that all the band members have been completely satisfied with before it's released. They think it's an honest record, true to Petty and Campbell's vision of an all-band effort, circa 1987. 

"I like that stuff," Tench comments. "I think it's funny. There isn't anybody who's any good who's funny any more. Bruce is great; he's not funny. U2's a good band; they aren't funny. The hell with 'em."

(The LP's cover, a favorite among the band members, is a composite face -- screaming -- made up of pieces of each of their own mugs. . They all think that it's a great picture, too.)

 So the question of 'Are we gonna tour?' is really 'Are we pro-band this year?' They've decided that they are.

---It sounds as if the band is truly happy, no outside producers, they even liked that awful cover image...and the album is considered a flop, teh tour doesn't do so good relative to others.

https://www.thepettyarchives.com/archives/magazines/1990s/1991-08-08-rollingstone

By the time of Petty and the Heartbreakers' last effort together, 1987's underrated Let Me Up (I've Had Enough), sales were slipping, and there were more and more empty seats when the group hit the arenas. "We played a lot of shows where they'd put a curtain up to hide the fact that there was only a two-third house," says Campbell. "But we played like we had a full house and then worried about it when we got back to the hotel."

Then I found this live clip. Go to 3:41.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ

 

----That's an odd performance, and I don't think I've ever seen that (and I've seen a lot of TPATH clips). What do you make of it? Could it be another reason for the later solo moments?

---I don't blame the band for feeling the way they did.  Here was an album, pretty much undiluted Heartbreakers, even down to some songs (at least one) emerging from a jam. Suddenly Tom is working on a new record with only Mike. And then it goes on to be one of his greatest if not greatest to some, album he ever made. It's been discussed (I think) about how possibly the solo spotlights on the ITGWO tour were Tom being generous to his bandmates, letting them know not only were they valuable but treasured. 

So they have a band album they enjoyed, even liked a hideous album cover and were stuck having to use a curtain (see above) to disguise the smaller audience.

With Full Moon Fever a lot of things changed and perhaps signaled the beginning of the end of the original group or for Stan's involvement.

I don't know if much else was written or expressed by the band about Let Me Up after its initial go round, and what they make of it after so many years. It certainly feels like a forgotten record to a degree, Southern Accents, despite whatever one thinks of the songs, has some impact if only for its failed concept album attempt and Tom chastising the Confederate flag. What's even stranger about Let Me Up is it had, to a degree, a hit single in Jammin Me with a video. 

Anyway, I don't blame the band for being afraid Tom was going to break it all up with his first solo album and mammoth success and I do feel badly, to a degree for them, in that an album they were truly excited about and one without Jimmy Iovine/Stan conflict, that was just them, did so badly in relation to their other records of the time and being in the shadow of what was to come.

Thoughts?

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