Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - 1985-08-06 - Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles, CA

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
August 6, 1985
Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles, CA 

FM Broadcast recording, very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

After the breakthrough success of Damn the Torpedoes (1979), there was much anticipation for what Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers would do next, with fans eagerly awaiting their next album. And this inadvertently lead to another battle between Petty and his record label, as MCA planned to invoke what they referred to as "Superstar pricing", meaning they were going to charge a dollar more for Petty's next album than all other albums ($9.98 vs. $8.98), a practice which they had just implemented, with Steely Dan's Gaucho being the 1st to carry the increased price. Well, of course, Petty would not stand for this, which he considered gouging the public with his own album because MCA knew it would be popular. So, when the record company would not honor his request to stop this, he went to the press and public, raising the issue and asking for their voices and support in opposing this before agreeing to release the album. Once again, MCA backed down and released the album at regular price, another victory for Petty on behalf of his fans (Petty has also fought to keep ticket prices down for his shows, amid other stands). That album, Hard Promises (1981), went platinum and peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts, with the biggest hit from it being 'The Waiting'. The album also featured Tom's first collaboration with Stevie Nicks, who contributed harmony vocals on 'Insider'.
In 1982, bassist Ron Blair quit the group, and he was replaced by Howie Epstein. Howie's distinctive harmony vocals would become an integral part of The Heartbreakers sound and were quite evident on their next album, Long After Dark (1982), another success, which featured the hits 'You Got Lucky' and 'Change of Heart'. But tensions flaired within the band in preparing their next album, which initially was planned to be a concept album exploring living and growing up in the South. But, partway through the making of the album, Tom started collaborating and hanging out with Dave Stewart (of the Eurythmics), writing and producing some new songs, with a very different sound and feel. The rest of the band was somewhat resentful of this, as they were left out of the creative process for these new tracks and didn't like the more studio-oriented effects direction it was going. It was also during the making of this album that Petty, after a frustrating mixing session, punched the wall, severely breaking his left hand, and sidelining him for months. In the end, the album that was released, Southern Accents (1985) contained 3 songs from the Petty-Stewart sessions, and only some of the 'South'-themed tracks originally intended for the album (Several discarded tracks, including 'Trailer', 'Big Boss Man', 'Cracking Up', 'Image of Me', and 'Apartment Song', were eventually released in the box set retrospective collection Playback in 1995). But the album, although a bit disjointed with the different styles and themed tracks, was again a major success, with 'Rebels' and the Petty-Stewart track 'Don't Come Around Here No More' becoming major hits. Also, this was at the time when MTV was at its peak and videos were not only important marketing tools but also artistic creations, and the innovative and creative video for 'Don't Come Around Here No More' which featured Petty as a MadHatter-type character calmly tormenting 'Alice' in a Wonderland setting, became one of the more memorable MTV videos of all time. So, by the time of the 1985 Southern Accents Tour the band was at an all-time high in popularity, and the tour was quite memorable, and would result in the band's first live album, Pack Up the Plantation: Live! (1986), originally released as a double LP album, but later condensed (with the removal of 2 songs) to a single CD. The bulk of the songs featured on that live album were recorded at the Wiltern Theater in L.A. on 8/7/85 (although only a part of the show was included). That summer the band also performed at Live Aid, the huge all-day international benefit concert for famine relief that was brodcast in its entirety on MTV (picture above is from Live Aid). But, here today, we have the full show from the first night of the Wiltern theater dates (8/6/17), which was broadcast live on the radio. The setlist features several new songs from Southern Accents, some from each of Hard Promises and Long After Dark, as well as some older gems. I have also added (as bonus tracks) some songs from an excellent recording of an earlier show (1982-12-04 - Utrecht) to feature a few more songs specifically from Hard Promises and Long After Dark to catch us up on those. 

Tracklist:
01 American Girl                                       
02 You Got Lucky                                     
03 It Ain't Nothin' To Me                              
04 Don't Do Me Like That                               
05 The Waiting                             
06 I Need To Know                                      
07 Don't Come Around Here No More                      
08 Spike                                              
09 Southern Accents                                  
10 Rebels                                              
11 Breakdown                                           
12 Refugee                                             
13 A Little Bit O' Soul                                
14 So You Want To Be A Rock & Roll Star                
15 Make It Better (Forget About Me)                    
16 Route 66
Bonus Tracks (1982-12-04 - Utrecht, Netherlands SBD)
17 A Thing About You
18 Straight Into Darkness
19 A Woman in Love
20 Kings Road
21 Change of Heart

Tom Petty - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica
Mike Campbell  - lead guitar
Benmont Tench - keyboards, backing vocals
Howie Epstein - bass,  backing vocals
Stan Lynch - drums, backing vocals
      with
Soul Lips Horns:

Jimmy Zavala - saxes, harmonica
Lee Thornburg - trumpets, flugelhorn
Nick Lane - trombones, euphonium
       and
The Rebelettes:

Pat Peterson - backing vocals, percussion
Caroll Sue Hill - backing vocals, percussion

FLAC - Tom Petty_1985-08-06_Wiltern-L.A._FLAC.rar

mp3 - Tom Petty_1985-08-06_Wiltern-L.A._mp3.part1.rar
          Tom Petty_1985-08-06_Wiltern-L.A._mp3.part2.rar

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - 1979-11-19 - Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
November 19, 1979
Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA

Audience recording, very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Continuing with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers story: After their first album was finally getting some attention in the US, their 2nd album (You're Gonna Get It - 1978) sailed up the album charts, peaking at #23 (on the strength of 2 successful singles, 'I Need to Know' and 'Listen to Her Heart' and strong AOR radio play), and the band looked to be well on their way. Yet, despite a string of hits, they were still struggling. Like many bands starting out and eager for a record deal, Petty had signed a contract that paid them very poorly, and even worse, he had signed away all of his songwriting and publishing rights (He has said that at the time, he thought 'publishing' only referred to sheet music sales). So, the band was dismayed to find that despite their hit records, they were still in debt to the record company, and would be in debt for some time. So, in 1978, when their label Shelter announced that it had been sold (along with their contract) from ABC records to MCA, Petty was outraged to be sold "like we were groceries, or frozen pork", but thought he may have a way out of the contract. Because he was not consulted prior to the sale, Petty claimed they violated his contract, and therefore the contract was void, and he was free to pursue other deals. The band was working on their 3rd album at the time (which Petty was now financing himself) and he refused to turn any of the recordings over to MCA. Of course, MCA said "No Way", and in early 1979 sued Petty for breach of contract, and prevented him from negotiating with other labels, releasing any music, or even performing live. Petty responded by declaring bankruptcy, hoping to void his contract. MCA fought back hard, as they didn't want this to set a precedent, leading to other artists declaring bankruptcy to get out of their contract. They told him he could not fight them legally, saying he had to accept their deal and "Just shut up and play your music". But Petty stood firm, he knew his latest album was the best music he had ever made, he just didn't know if it ever would be released. He told them "I'll sell peanuts before I give in to you", and "You can't make the music yourself". Petty appealed to a judge to allow him to perform to pay his legal bills, and the band embarked on a short, hastily-arranged "Lawsuit Tour".  Eventually, MCA backed down, and agreed to set-up a new subsidiary label for Petty, Backstreet Records (with a much better royalty deal, as well as return of Petty's publishing rights). Thus, Petty's third album was finally released in October, 1979, and titled Damn the Torpedoes, in reference to the struggles. And it was an instant success, catapulting the band from cult band to Major Star status. Four singles became instant classics ('Refugee', 'Don't Do Me Like That', 'Even the Losers', and 'Here Comes My Girl'), and the album reached #2 (only held back from #1 by Pink Floyd's The Wall) and went triple Platinum.
Here is a show from early on in the Damn the Torpedoes Tour, in Boston. The tour kicked off with an appearance on Saturday Night Live, then some New York dates, then on to this show in Boston. No more supporting act spots, they were in-demand headliners now, putting on great full-length concert shows. This was the start of Petty and the Band becoming Superstars. The setlist featured 5-6 new songs from 'Torpedoes' (varied by date) added to their already strong set of original rockers and covers. Added on to this show is a few additional songs from radio broadcasts of their London shows in early 1980 as bonus tracks.    

Tracklist:
01. Shadow Of A Doubt
02. Anything That's Rock 'N' Roll
03. Fooled Again
04. Here Comes My Girl
05. Even The Losers
06. Wild One Forever
07. I Need To Know
08. Don't Do Me Like That
09. Cry To Me
10. Luna
11. Refugee
12. Listen To Her Heart
13. American Girl
14. Breakdown
15. Too Much Ain't Enough
16. Shout
17. Don't Bring Me Down
18. Any Way You Want It
19. Strangered In The Night
20. I Fought The Law
Bonus Tracks (1980-03-07 - London):
21. Century City (Mp3-only)
22. When the Time Comes (Mp3-only)
23. Somethin' Else (KBFH)

FLAC - Tom Petty_1979-11-19_Boston_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Tom Petty_1979-11-19_Boston_mp3.part1.rar
Tom Petty_1979-11-19_Boston_mp3.part2.rar

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - 1977-04-23 - The Record Plant, Sausalito, CA (plus bonus tracks)

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
April 23rd, 1977
The Record Plant, Sausalito, CA

FM Broadcast recording (1986 WXRT re-broadcast), excellent quality
Plus bonus tracks from:
Nov. 11, 1977
Capitol Records studio A, Hollywood, CA

FM Broadcast recording (KWST L.A.), excellent quality (From JEMS archives)

Although I've previously featured various Tom Petty shows from throughout his career (primarily from either his very early days or more recent shows), I have not featured his full career in chronological live shows as I have for several other featured artists. So, given his recent passing (R.I.P. Tom), it seems long past time to feature more from his concert career.
I have already chronicled his early days in Gainesville, FL with Mudcrutch, and how The Heartbreakers first came about, as well as how they were not successful right away. The first Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers album was released in November 1976, with 'Breakdown' released as a single in January 1977 (which suffered a quick death). 'American Girl' was subsequently issued as a single in February 1977, as the band was preparing to go out on their first major tour (as a support act). Unfortunately, 'American Girl' also failed to chart in the US, but they were getting some attention in the UK, and released 'Anything That's Rock & Roll' there in April where it scored the band's first top 40 UK hit, and 'American Girl' also later cracked the top 40 in the UK. Although the band was not getting much airplay in the US, they were starting to garner attention from their live shows, which included a couple early radio broadcasts, and appearances at Pinkpop and Rockpalast in Europe. Slowly, after their success in the UK and europe, they started getting some respect in the US as well, and when 'Breakdown' was rereleased in the US in early 1978, it finally did just crack the charts (Interestingly, however, 'American Girl' was never a hit in the US), and the album did eventually go gold. Here is a great radio broadcast show from those early days of the Heartbreakers, recorded at The Record Plant studios in Sausalito CA with a small audience in April 1977, near the beginning of their 1977 tour. It's a great-sounding recording, featuring, in addition to several songs from their first album, some nice covers, and a couple brand new songs, including future hits 'I Need to Know' and 'Listen to Her Heart', which would be on their 2nd album (You're Gonna Get It), and which would not be released until 1978. This set also includes the live-only rocker 'Dog on the Run', which was never recorded or released on any album (not to be confused with 'Dogs on the Run' from Southern Accents, which is a totally different song). It is played as an extended jam here, was played often in these early days, but never again after that, so that is an additional treat for those that have never heard it. Also, it's interesting that 'Breakdown' was not included in this performance (or at least not the broadcast tracks). Perhaps it was briefly dropped after it's failure as a single, as at the time 'American Girl' was being promoted as 'the single' (just interesting because it became such a standard for the band - can you even find any other shows that did not include it?). Also, since this a rather short radio show I have added a few tracks from another excellent radio broadcast from later in 1977, their show from Capitol Records studios, Hollywood, on November 11, 1977 (and which did include 'Breakdown' and UK hit 'Anything That's Rock & Roll', as well as a couple more nice covers. Great stuff from the early days of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.
 
Tracklist:
01 - Surrender
02 - Jaguar & Thunderbird (Chuck Berry cover)
03 - Band intros >
04 - American Girl
05 - Al Kooper intro >
06 - Fooled Again (I Don't Like It)
07 - Luna
08 - Listen To Her Heart
09 - I Need To Know
10 - Strangered In The Night
11 - Dog On The Run (Can't Get Close to You)
12 - Route 66 (Nat King Cole cover)
Bonus tracks (11-11-77 - Hollywood):
13 - Breakdown
14 - Don't Bring Me Down (Animals cover)
15 - Anything That's Rock & Roll
16 - Shout (Isley Bros. cover)

THE BAND
Tom Petty - lead vocals, guitar, harmonica
Mike Campbell - lead guitar
Benmont Tench - keyboards, backing vocals
Ron Blair - bass, backing vocals
Stan Lynch - drums, backing vocals

FLAC - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers_1977-04-23_RecordPlant-Plus_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers_1977-04-23_RecordPlant-Plus_mp3.part1.rar
          Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers_1977-04-23_RecordPlant-Plus_mp3.part2.rar
 


Monday, October 9, 2017

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers - 2017-09-22 - Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
2017-09-22
Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA

Tom's Penultimate Performance (Next to last show ever by Tom Petty - R.I.P., 10/2/17)
Audience recording, very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

I've just been devastated by the shocking news of Tom Petty's death this week. And coming in the wake of so much tragedy and devastation over the past couple months, with earthquakes, hurricanes, terrorists, Trump, and the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, as well as last month's death of Walter Becker, this was just too much to take. And although we certainly have to come to grips with the inevitable deaths of aging rock stars (and there have been many in the last couple years), for me at least, this one hurts more than any of the others. First, it was just so shocking, in that, of all the aging rockers out there, Tom Petty was about the last one I would have thought might die. He was such a fighter, and survivor, and was just coming off a very successful and impressive tour. Second, we need Tom Petty; his music, his songwriting, his style, his voice, his personality, his attitude, his being. Him and his music was still so relevant and vital. He wasn't just a 'greatest hits' act, he was still making, creating great new music. His last album with the Heartbreakers, Hypnotic Eye (2014), was their best in many years, and his recent work with Mudcrutch (2008, 2016) was also great, broke new ground and presented a different side to his music. In other words, he was still at his peak. He was just as good, if not better, now as he was back in his early days, and The Heartbreakers were better than ever - just check them out on this last tour - amazing rock band. But probably more than anything else, this loss of Tom Petty seems to mean so much more because of just who Tom Petty was. Sure, he was a great rocker, great songwriter, musician, etc., but his death seems more personal, because you never think about Tom as a star, a legend, an icon (though he was all of those), because he just seemed like such a regular guy, someone that could be a close friend, a buddy. No ego, pretension or self-rightousness, didn't think much of celebrity or fame, he was just a guy playing his music, and he hoped you would like it too. And his songs were very personal, with strong emotions. He wrote songs of defiance. And as Bill Flanagan said the other day on CBS Sunday Morning "Tom Petty wrote songs for anyone who felt lonely or misunderstood. His message was simple and profound: 'You are not alone.'" Alot has already been said about Tom, and alot more will be said, and I have no eloquent words or thoughts to add. The emotions are just too raw to put into words right now. I've listened to alot of Tom's music this week, but none without getting choked up and teary. Thank You and God Bless You, Tom. We'll miss you.

Earlier this year, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers set out on an ambitious 40th Anniversary Tour. Tom had already decided that this would probably be their last big tour, but would still do smaller tours and performance dates. The final show was set for the Hollywood Bowl on September 21. Tickets sold-out so quickly that an additional show was added for Friday, Sept. 22. When that also sold-out in minutes, they agreed to add one more show on Monday, Sept. 25th. That show would be the last performance ever for Tom Petty, as he died of cardiac arrest one week later, on Monday, October 2nd. The show presented here is from 9/22/17, the next to last show ever performed by Tom Petty. So, check this out, as well as other Tom Petty shows (and there fortunately are many great Tom Petty shows available), as Tom Petty is one of those artists that was at his best in live shows. It's nice that they started these shows with the very first song from their first album, the wonderful, but nearly forgotten gem 'Rockin' Around With You'. It's also interesting that for this 40th Anniversary Tour setlist (and all the dates had virtually the same setlist with only minor variations), fully half of the songs Tom chose to play came from his solo albums (which actually also included back-up from all of the Heartbreakers), 5 from Wildflowers (1994), and 4 from Full Moon Fever (1989). Although both his solo albums and Heartbreakers albums are great and contain great songs, I always felt the few solo albums he did contained his most personal songs, less straight-forward Rock n Roll, but more gentle and more heart. So, it's interesting to see this final tour contain so many of these solo songs among the Heartbreakers hits.     

Tracklist:
01. Intro
02. Rockin' Around (With You)
03. Mary Jane's Last Dance
04. You Don't Know How It Feels
05. Forgotten Man
06. I Won't Back Down
07. Freefallin'
08. Into The Great Wide Open
09. Don't Come Around Here No More
10. -band introduction-
11. It's Good To Be King
12. Crawling Back To You
13. Wildflowers
14. Learning To Fly
15. Yer So Bad
16. I Should Have Known It
17. Refugee
18. Runnin' Down A Dream
19. You Wreck Me
20. American Girl

Band:
Tom Petty - Lead vocals, guitars
Mike Campbell - Lead Guitar
Benmont Tench - Keyboard, vocals
Ron Blair - Bass Guitar, backing vocals
Scott Thurston - rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Steve Ferrone - Drums, percussion
Patti Webb - background singers
Charlie Webb - background singers

FLAC - Tom Petty_2017-09-22_Hollywood_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Tom Petty_2017-09-22_Hollywood_mp3.part1.rar
          Tom Petty_2017-09-22_Hollywood_mp3.part2.rar