After gaining local popularity in Gainesville, Florida with his band Mudcrutch, Tom Petty hooked up with The Heartbreakers (Mike Campbell, guitar; Benmont Tench, keyboards; Stan Lynch, drums; Ron Blair, bass), went to L.A., signed to Leon Russell s Shelter Records, and cut Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, the debut album released in 1976. Although Petty, as the primary singer and songwriter (and a solid rhythm guitarist), deserved top billing, The Heartbreakers (at the time causing some confusion as ex New York Dolls Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan in tandem with Television s Richard Hell were calling their new group the same name) were a great band in their own right, Campbell and Tench (also fine songwriters) in particular being much sought after session players.
Anyway, Petty and co. were unique in 1976 in that they didn t really have an image beyond being a really good 60s influenced (The Beatles and The Byrds most obviously) rock n roll band; while trends such as punk and new wave came and went, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers have always done their own thing. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers was a solid debut album that, like much of their consistently strong output, is primarily remembered for its singles: Breakdown , American Girl and Anything That s Rock N Roll .
The group supported Nils Lofgren in Europe during the summer of 1977 but returned to the US for the fall and played a number of shows as headliners including the gig presented on this CD, on Long Island, New York at the famous My Father s Place venue on 29th November. Largely pulling tracks form their debut and sophomore albums (You re Going To Get It would come out in May 1978) they also covered two 1960s classics in the form of Shout and Route 66 , alongside an early version of a song that wouldn t receive its studio album debut until the release of Southern Accents in 1985, the wonderfully titled Petty/Campbell composition Dogs on the Run .
What this fine show, broadcast as it was on WMIR FM New York, illustrates nicely and to full effect is that while Tom and the Boys were largely influenced by the music of the previous decade they were not immune to the energy and dynamism of the punk and new wave genres then making waves in the UK, Europe and in New York, and this show reveals a unit as tight and punchy as any then knocking em dead at CBGB s or at London s Vortex club. Two bonus cuts included on this CD, also from a 1977 radio broadcast, but recorded earlier in the year at LA s Record Plant, are equally vital and make for a fine collection of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers live in the year of their emergence on the music scene.
|1. I Need To Know 2:37|
|2. American Girl 4:24|
|3. Fooled Again (I Don't Like It)5:50|
|4. Breakdown 5:06|
|5. Listen to Her Heart 3:50|
|6. Strangered in the Night 4:22|
|7. Anything That's Rock 'n' Roll 3:41|
|8. Dogs on the Run 10:12|
|9. Shout 6:30|
|10. Route 66 3:50|
|11. Surrender 3:17|
|12. Jaguar & Thunderbird 2:24|