Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Mary Jane's Last Dance

Song Review by

In many ways, when this song was recorded, it acted as a logical conclusion of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' style, ability, and influences. From the Byrds to the Rolling Stones, the band has combined influences with great style and their own originality and artistry. With "Mary Jane's Last Dance," they throw the modernist/rustic CSN&Y influence into the pot with great results. The simple, three-chord pattern is disarmingly similar to Neil Young/CSN&Y's "Ohio," and the rising, modulating chorus is also reminiscent of that classic. However, lyrically, Petty takes the song in a different direction, utilizing his ability as a storyteller to create an autobiographical tale through romance and the artistic process. A great electric guitar duel between Petty and Mike Campbell is certainly part of both the songwriting and arrangement process, and the whole affair succeeds admirably. Cut as a bonus track on the Greatest Hits CD of 1994, it was also included on the Through the Years anthology.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Greatest Hits 1993 Geffen / Interscope 4:29
No Image 1993 MCA 4:33
Playback 1995 MCA 4:33
Playback [Video/DVD] 1995 MCA
Anthology: Through the Years 2000 MCA 4:32
Road Trip Sing-Along Songs
Various Artists
Universal 4:30
Southern Accents in the Sunshine State Gossip 8:49