My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: This self-titled debut album was recorded over two years from 1974 to 1976 (The early recordings would have been for Mudcrutch which lasted into 1975.). The album was released in November of 1976 and didn’t really make an impact in the US until over a year later when “Breakdown” went into the Top 40.
What I think: I’m a pretty big Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers fan, but not really an album guy for them for some reason. I really like Southern Accents and I like Petty’s first two solo albums, but other than that the Anthology really is enough for me. I just feel they don’t keep the momentum going through a full album and I think I feel the same about this one. Listening to this for the first time in a while, I was initually really inspired. The songs were short, tight, straight forward, but then on the second side things get muddy and stale and almost fizzle for me, that is of course until the last song “American Girl” which is one of my favorite songs ever. There has hardly been any better recordings that the last minute of that song. Those soaring harmonies, and that building guitar into that that simple guitar solo which inturn goes into that intense ending. It’s pure ear candy.
Other than that one the highlights are the haunting “The Wild One, Forever” and the first single “Anything That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll”. Also, kind of cool is the song “Mystery Man” which sounds like something Van Morrison would have written (though it’s in that stale section).
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? It starts out on fire, stumble into the third turn and REALLY redeems itself at the end. I’ll let it stand.
Rating (Out of 5) 3.5
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Amazon Rating(Out of 5):4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? NO (79/357)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 78%