Full Moon Fever (1989)


 
1. Free Fallin' 2. I Won't Back Down 3. Love is a Long Road 4. A Face in the Crowd 5. Runnin' Down a Dream 6. I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better 7. Yer So Bad 8. Depending on You 9. The Apartment Song 10.Alright for Now 11.A Mind with a Heart of It's Own 12.Zombie Zoo

 

This was the first Tom Petty album he did without the Heartbreakers, but as his recordings would soon show, that really was not much of a distinction - especially since many of the Heartbreakers would appear on his "solo" albums anyway. For whatever reason, Petty rolled the dice and it came up seven on this release. He teams up with his recent Traveling Wilbury mate Jeff Lynne who produced and co wrote many of the songs. Lynne's presence is welcome, and he manages to give this album a distinct "Jeff Lynne" feel.

Song wise - Petty goes for a variety of trinkets, and the whole album is the most unexpected, refreshing thing that he has done in a decade. Highlights include the first single I Won't Back Down featuring, in addition to Lynne, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, so the Wilbury theme of that group's first record (which was fairly recent) is still obvious. It could have passed for a Wilbury song. Not to fall into outright copycat mode, Petty gets a bit mushy on us (Alright for Now) as well as paying homage to Roger McGuinn on Feel a Whole Lot Better. Runnin' Down a Dream features him in a bit of his old-time southern rocker mode and Free Fallin' is probably his most easily accessible, likable song that he's ever released.

As the album progresses, it becomes a bit more country, acoustic and less rocking and/or electric. If this isn't your style, it never seems to matter since the songs never suffer in quality. Some would argue the album actually improves as the track listing progresses, and that would be valid even though the album's radio friendly songs/videos were all front loaded.

This album put Petty back on the map after his "slump" of the last few albums, and this was the first time his record had generated this much excitement since Damn the Torpedoes.

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