“…Tom Petty and his bar band defrilled classic rock: In 1979, he filed for bankruptcy; then Torpedoes took off, mostly because “Here Comes My Girl” seemed to keep the promises those like Jagger et al., forgot they’d made. Perfectly produced by future music-industry megamogul Jimmy Iovine, Torpedoes gave bright jangling Sixties rock a sheen that made pretty much everything else on AOR radio seem lumpy and stiff, while Petty’s obvious authenticity kept the music from ever seeming calculated or overly”
– Rolling Stone
I got this album on vinyl in January 1980, it is still my favourite Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers album.
Damn the Torpedoes is the third studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released on October 19, 1979. It built on the commercial success and critical acclaim of his two previous albums and reached #2 on the Billboard album chart. The album went on to become certified Triple Platinum.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 313 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and 315 in a 2012 revised list. It is at 231 on the 2020 list from Rolling Stone magazine. It’s climbing!
Great documentary on Damn The Torpedoes in The Classic Album series , Part 1:
..spectacular from start to finish.. Bob Dylan feels good about himself and his work, this night in Dortmund. You can hear it in his voice. It’s a unique, very wonderful Bob Dylan voice, special to this show. His presence this time is not a matter of being one with the protagonists of the songs or the persons being sung to. It’s a matter of his enthusiasm for the act of
singing, and for each of these songs that he gets to sing. An a subtle but measurable sense, this “Tangled Up in Blue” vocal is not like any other rendition.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist Volume 3: Mind Out Of Time 1986 And Beyond)
Dortmund, West Germany
15 September 1987
Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar) with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
Tom Petty (guitar)
Mike Campbell (guitar)
Benmont Tench (keyboards)
Howie Epstein (bass)
Stan Lynch (drums)
The Queens Of Rhythm: Carolyn Dennis, Queen Esther Marrow, Madelyn Quebec (backing vocals)
Tom Petty talks about how he wrote his songs, and even writes one on the spot (kind of)! This is episode 1 in season 4 of this classic TV-series. It shows us what a wonderful storyteller Tom Petty was, through his songs and in between. He was one of the nicest guys around, and a very talented songwriter. This VH1 episode gives us Tom Petty at the height of his powers performing to an intimate audience and explaining with humour the inspiration for his songs.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Live at Rockpalast
Hamburg Docks “The Docks”
This was only a couple of weeks after the release of the album Echo, an often overlooked and underrated album in the Petty discography. It’s a dark album, reflecting Petty’s life in this period. Tom Petty was initially unhappy with the record. According to biographer Warren Zanes, he struggled with a bad heroin habit at the time. Tom Petty’s feelings about the album could be related to what he was going through, rather than the musical content of the album. His failing marriage, difficult divorce, and the unsettled aftermath must have played a role. After the divorce, he lived a very isolated life for a while.
“At the time Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ debut was released in 1976, they were fresh enough to almost be considered punk. They weren’t as reckless or visionary as the Ramones, but they shared a similar love for pure ’60s rock and, for the Heartbreakers, that meant embracing the Byrds as much as the Stones. And that’s pretty much what this album is — tuneful jangle balanced by a tough garage swagger. At times, the attitude and the sound override the songwriting, but that’s alright, since the slight songs (“Anything That’s Rock ‘N’ Roll,” to pick a random example) are still infused with spirit and an appealing surface…” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine (Allmusic)
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is the debut album by the band of the same name, released on November 9, 1976 by Shelter Records.
Initially following its release, the album received little attention in the United States. Following a British tour, it climbed to number 24 on the UK albums chart and the single “Anything That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll” became a hit in the UK. After nearly a year and many positive reviews, the album reached the U.S. charts, where it peaked at number 55 in 1978 and eventually went Gold. The single “Breakdown” cracked the Top 40 in the U.S. and “American Girl” became an FM radio staple that can still be heard today.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Live 12.31.78 New Years Eve concert Santa Monica CA
This concert took place just before Damn The Torpedoes came out, and it is amazing. It was released as a part of The Live Anthology Box Set, and frankly it is the best of the whole set!
The Live Anthology is a live box set by American rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The box set was released by Reprise Records on November 23, 2009, in a number of formats, with the standard CD and download formats, composed of 48 tracks (on 4 discs).