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Hoodoo Man

Happy Birthday to Pack up the plantation!

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"What an ugly baby!"

Seriously, for an album that shaped much of my early fascination with this band and therefor is part of the "lore" in my world, this release hasnt aged that well. The film of course is an important document from the time, but it's not my favorite, I must admit. The LP even less so. Nevertheless, happy birthday! It is a LIVE record after all. Something TPATH should've done a lot more.

Wait what.. was there an original 1985 realese on CD?? I thought maybe they didn't go digital until 1987.. interesting..

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Yeah, I didn't like how the different formats had different songs on them.  How were you supposed to get everything?  But I fell in love with "Stories We Could Tell" from that record, and a bunch of others too - "Little Bit O' Soul", "Rock  & Roll Star", "Needles & Pins", "Don't Bring Me Down".   I always loved the covers they played.

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1 hour ago, Jay said:

This was my first Tom Petty live video and I loved it at the time, but it's way overblown looking at it now.

Hate the horns.

I have much the same mixed feelings about the PUTP video and audio releases.  The good is that it was the first officially released live recording/video by TPATH, so it was the first opportunity for many people to hear what they could do live.  And frankly it was a long time coming, since this was a good 8 years or so into the band doing live shows.  So that's great, "live Petty". 

The bad though - there's so much bad.  I wouldn't have minded the horns if this were the band's 3rd or 4th live release, but as a first release it just seemed wrong for it to be the only one to include the horns, after all those tours with just the 5 member (or 6 member with Phil Jones) band.  Also the female singer-dancers, while understandably included mainly for "Don't Come Around Here No More", were annoyingly given too much screen time, as if they too were permanent members of the band.  And then cutting away from the live performance to show the "Alice in Wonderland" video during DCAHNM was a bad editing choice. 

And is it just me, or does TP look kind of pale-green in a lot of the video?  Apparently these two shows (edited together) were at the end of a long tour, the band may have been tired, but the lighting also seems a bit off, giving TP's complexion a strange hue. 

Then there was the audio, which was mostly taken from the 1985 tour, but not entirely from it.  Those "not from 1985" songs were interesting and well performed, but made the release seem a bit odd in terms of consistency.   Also this release started the annoying trend of including a high percentage of cover songs instead of TP-authored songs.  So this one had 5 cover songs, of 15/16 total.  That's just too high a percentage IMO, eventually topped I think by the percentage of covers on the Chicago Soundstage DVD.  But at least that one reflected the actual setlist played, rather than being selected from here and there.      

Thanks to the internet, there are so many great professionally recorded videos and audios that could have been released prior to PUTP.  Such as Rockpalast, Old Grey Whistle Test, and the New Year's Eve show in the 1970's; Rock Goes To College, Us Festival (Devore), and Dortmund in the early 1980's.  But nooo, they wait until the SA tour to finally give the fans a live release.  It was still great that they finally released one, so definitely something to celebrate on that note.   But frankly I was much happier with their second official video concert "Take The Highway", just the band, no horns or dancers, very well filmed and edited.   

 

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2 minutes ago, martin03345 said:

The end cover of "Route 66" is still an amazing banger. Love the guitar sound on that version. It's their definitive version of it

True - that's one of their best cover songs and a great closer.   Though I think they also did many great versions of it in the 1970's; my favorite might be the one at the end of Rockpalast 1977 with the "arrow" (Flying V) guitars, if I remember correctly.    A shame they didn't include this song on the audio version of PUTP. 

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11 minutes ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

 I wouldn't have minded the horns if this were the band's 3rd or 4th live release, but as a first release it just seemed wrong for it to be the only one to include the horns, after all those tours with just the 5 member (or 6 member with Phil Jones) band.  Also the female singer-dancers, while understandably included mainly for "Don't Come Around Here No More", were annoyingly given too much screen time, as if they too were permanent members of the band.  

Also this release started the annoying trend of including a high percentage of cover songs instead of TP-authored songs.  So this one had 5 cover songs, of 15/16 total.  That's just too high a percentage IMO.      

Maybe they didn't consider that the horns and the female singers weren't a permanent addition, at least to the touring version of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. They may have come to the same conclusion that we did though - the Heartbreakers aren't a horn band.  And we never saw the horns again. Background singers makes sense though.  Even more so after Howie was gone.  RIP.

Regarding the covers - yeah, there were a lot here.  I count 7 out of 22 songs - nearly a third of the total number of tracks.  I understand the argument of too many covers, though I don't necessarily agree with it.

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20 minutes ago, TomFest said:

Maybe they didn't consider that the horns and the female singers weren't a permanent addition, at least to the touring version of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. They may have come to the same conclusion that we did though - the Heartbreakers aren't a horn band.  And we never saw the horns again. Background singers makes sense though.  Even more so after Howie was gone.  RIP.

Thankfully the horns and female singers didn't continue to tour with them after 1985.  But I had always assumed that they were always intended as strictly a one-time addition to supplement the horn-inclusive Southern Accents songs such as Rebels, It Ain't Nothin To Me, Make It Better, The Best of Everything.  

Then again, the horns did play on a few other songs such as Refugee - I like hearing them on Refugee for a change of pace, but I wouldn't have been happy if the only live version of Refugee had horns.  As to the female singers, those too supplemented a few SA songs, and vocally they aren't intrusive.  My problem is that the dancers were featured far too much in the video portion, as if they were co-equals with the band.  But that was more a function of the video editing process than the actual stage show, where the singers were not so prominently seen from a typical seat in the audience.   

As far as any thought of the horns and female singer-dancers joining for future tours, I don't think so.  The cost would have been high to pay these extra performers tour after tour, and despite what we might think, cost does come into the equation.   As an extreme example, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer did a tour using a large group of classical musicians - and apparently lost money on every show, due to the extra cost.  And in the case of TPATH, for the times they performed "Rebels" after 1985, they usually had Benmont play synth-horns instead of real horns.  Not quite as good that way, but understandable.      

 

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Like many here sometimes I love this live one though sometimes I point to "flaws". 

Covers! Love 'em! They're new songs (to me) when I first heard as I live not in a flyover state but a flyover country, so hell yeah, yes please. Imho these covers are nice homage to their roots. What's not to like about a bit of variety? (No, please, don't answer originals versus covers. Here you get both kinds of music - originals AND covers;-) ) 

Planet Suit - so cool & awesome. Is it still in R&R Hall of Fame museum? 

Breakdown - Tom playing with the singing crowd. This & the audio - "you're gonna put me out of my job."

Also, geek points, opening with the footage of driving slowly by & seeing people lining up... I count that as a cover in itself of other live concerts & especially The Last Waltz (equally glorious but flawed, with too much focus on some & not enough on others).

 

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Pale green complexion? Never noticed. Err, seems to have an itchy nose though :-) Lighting could be better, especially during Breakdown where there's a lot of dark shadows just when he's being so funny with crowd. Ah, if only could use camera magic wand of our current technology. 😉

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6 hours ago, TomFest said:

Yeah, I didn't like how the different formats had different songs on them.  How were you supposed to get everything?  But I fell in love with "Stories We Could Tell" from that record, and a bunch of others too - "Little Bit O' Soul", "Rock  & Roll Star", "Needles & Pins", "Don't Bring Me Down".   I always loved the covers they played.

This drives me a little nuts too!  I did not realize they had done A little bit of soul on the vinyl. Must be vinyl as I had the CD and cassette and still have the VHS and CD... :)  wait a minute.. I have the LP and dont see that on there... Where was that one?  no longer have a VHS player but plan to watch the video above soon... 

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2 hours ago, Mr Timba said:

I did not know the song "A little bit of soul" until I heard Tom's cover.

The first thing that came to my mind when I heard that riff for the very first time... Oh my god Tom is covering an spanish song!

 

OMG that riff!! Those synthesizers!!  🤣:wub:😂  Muy bueno!  Mas y mas y mas! ;) 

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