Playlist #36 – Tom Petty

Happy New Year, folks! And happy snow week here in Northern Virginia, where we were supposed to start back to school on Monday and still haven’t (and won’t before Friday at the earliest, though I’m pretty sure we’re just out all week). This week’s playlist is all Tom Petty, all the time, and I tried to find songs that maybe folks aren’t as familiar with.

  1. “Walls (Second Version)”: Sure, the original version that comes at the beginning of the She’s the One soundtrack is amazing. One of my favorite Petty songs ever. But this one has a certain something to it, a certain wistfulness and bittersweet quality that’s hard to pin down, and I love it.
  2. “Louisiana Rain”: Damn the Torpedoes is my favorite Tom Petty album (well, or maybe Wallflowers. Don’t ask me to play favorites with my children!). This song, which closes out the album, is a pretty good argument for why it’s one of the best albums in rock’n’roll history. You’ve got a bit of Petty’s Florida twang in the vocals, the amazing guitar and keyboard parts, and the whole thing is just so heartfelt and heartbreaking (see what I did there?).
  3. “A Thing About You”: This is a dangerous song to drive to, as I’ve frequently looked down at the speedometer while listening and found myself doing nearly 90 MPH. It just gets the blood pumping.
  4. “Swingin'”: I didn’t really care much for Echo when it came out back in ’99, but that has transformed into a deep and abiding love. This song also features the best pun I’ve ever heard in the line, “And she went down swingin’/like Glenn Miller.”
  5. “Crawling Back To You”: “I’m so tired of feelin’ tired/as sure as night will follow day/Most things I worry ’bout/never happen anyway.” I would eat my own liver to write a verse that good.
  6. “Like a Diamond”: We could easily have a discussion about how The Last DJ is hands-down the worst of Petty’s albums, but there are still a couple of bright spots: this song, and “Dreamville,” specifically. And the title song is pretty fun, too.
  7. “It’ll All Work Out”: More songs need mandolin in them. Just sayin’.
  8. “Southern Accents”: Okay, I’m not usually big on the whole southern philosophy of the Lost Cause and the noble rebels and all that, but there’s something about this song that sits well with me. It’s beautiful and sad and I kinda love it.
  9. “Poor House”: Okay, a bit of a cheat, as this is a Traveling Wilburys song, but Tom takes the lead vocals and it’s just too much damn fun.
  10. “Built To Last”: A beautiful song off of Into the Great Wide Open. I don’t feel like the album cuts from that one get as much love as they deserve.

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