Hard Promises (1981)


 
1. The Waiting 2. A Woman in Love (It's Not Me) 3. Nightwatchman 4. Something Big 5. King's Road 6. Letting You Go 7. A Thing About You 8. Insider 9. The Criminal Kind 10.You Can Still Change Your Mind

 

I have to admit it - when I hear a song off of this album, I can't immediately distinguish if it came off this record, or its predecessor, Damn the Torpedos. These two albums sound so remarkably similar that it's a bit scary, Well, maybe not scary. After all, his former record was such a classic, and some would argue his best ever, so why not try to replicate it?

When you listen meticulously to these two albums side-by-side, you have to concede that this record isn't quite as strong as the last, but then - what is? Most fans will recognize and appreciate The Waiting and A Woman in Love (It's Not Me) from this album and immediately classify them as "favorites", and when one goes deeper in the track list, most of the songs are good to great - especially King's Road and Letting You Go, but all the "filler" is above average.

He would have Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks guest on a couple of tracks to help out on backing vocals, but to be honest, I don't find her that much of a welcome addition. Her voice comes across as a bit too overwhelming. When singing lead, that's one thing, but as a background singer, she tends to unintentionally dominate. It was also interesting to note the trivia behind the album. His record company, deciding he was now a hot shot, decided to escalate the price of this record (common for bigger selling artists) and Petty balked - beginning one of many of his battles with the industry. He would win the battle, but in some instances it could be argued that he lost the war. Not as strong as his last record, but still, a solid effort.

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