Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers / Tom Petty

Damn the Torpedoes/Southern Accents/Into the Great Wide Open

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This set combines three widely spaced Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers albums, 1979's breakthrough Damn the Torpedoes, 1985's ambitious Southern Accents, and 1991's Into the Great Wide Open, in a single package, and as such it charts an interesting creative arc for Petty. There are some classic songs here, like "Here Comes My Girl," "Don't Come Around Here No More" and the infectious, stomping "Makin' Some Noise," which spotlight Petty at his absolute best, a ragged, sneering rock and roller with a weary heart of gold. Most fans will already have each of these albums, but if not, this is an easy way to get all three. Universal later packaged a similar set in 2003, combining Damn the Torpedoes and Southern Accents with 1981's Hard Promises, which also charts an intriguing arc, but Petty & the Heartbreakers are so consistent, it's really just the same story starting and ending a little differently. This is one steady, dependable little band.

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