Long After Dark (1982)


 
1. A One Story Town 2. You Got Lucky 3. Deliver Me 4. Change of Heart 5. Finding Out 6. We Stand a Chance 7. Straight Into Darkness 8. The Same Old You 9. Between Two Worlds 10.A Wasted Life

 

This was one of Petty's most disappointing efforts. You could make the case that he never made a bad album, but this one comes as close as possible to that moniker. It sounds like he was just running out of ideas. Fortunately, there are a few of those ideas here that are still fresh and welcoming.

Consider the "hit" song You Got Lucky. This, in a way, was a pretty big departure from what Petty had done in the past. The song sounds a bit heavy, with the plodding synthesizer throughout, yet the hooks are so memorable, and Petty's rock and roll snarl is ever present to give the song the necessary brand and identity needed to make it a classic song (although it didn't really sell that well as a single, barely cracking the top 20). Then, there are a couple of other songs that stand out as memorable as well. Change of Heart is another song that should have received better airplay then it did and Finding Out is a bit of a nervous little rocker.

Most of the rest of the album just falls flat. There's rarely anything even remotely interesting, and it just sounds like Petty and his band are just going through the motions. Not surprisingly, the record wasn't warmly received upon release, and still remains probably the low point in an otherwise brilliant career.

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