Song of the Day #5,040: ‘Wildflowers’ – Tom Petty

Continuing my look at 1994, first by counting down my own top ten albums of that year.

#1 – Wildflowers – Tom Petty

Naming my favorite album of 1994 was very easy. Wildflowers is one of Tom Petty’s best albums, and one of the best of the decade. It’s a wide-ranging blend of folk, blues and rock that shows Petty in peak songwriting form.

One of Petty’s three solo releases (though it features almost all of the Heartbreakers), Wildflowers sits just behind Full Moon Fever</em, tied with Damn the Torpedoes, as his second most successful album in terms of sales.

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Song of the Day #4,818: ‘Saving Grace’ – Tom Petty

After Tom Petty’s death, I did a countdown of my favorite Petty albums. 2006’s Highway Companion came in at #4.

Revisiting that list now, I was surprised at how high I placed this album. It certainly had no chance of cracking the top three (Damn the Torpedoes, Full Moon Fever and Wildflowers) but four is still a pretty lofty position given Petty’s legendary status.

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Song of the Day #4,521: ‘Something Could Happen’ – Tom Petty

When Tom Petty died three years ago at just 66, he seemed to have a lot more in the tank. In the ’10s, he had already released two strong albums with the Heartbreakers (Mojo and Hypnotic Eye) and one with his old band, Mudcrutch.

In a career that spanned 40 years, Petty released some incredible albums, and the greatest of them all was arguably 1994’s Wildflowers. That sprawling set skipped between genres, from country grunge to acoustic folk, and found Petty at his most emotionally raw and creatively open.

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Song of the Day #4,388: ‘You Don’t Know How It Feels (Home Recording)’ – Tom Petty

It’s been almost three years since the sad passing of rock legend Tom Petty. And it’s been 26 years since the release of his solo album Wildflowers, perhaps the best work of the man’s storied career.

Petty’s family plans to release a retrospective collection, perhaps as soon as this year, celebrating that great album. The release will include demos and early recordings pulled from the Wildflowers sessions.

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Song of the Day #3,747: ‘A Higher Place’ – Tom Petty

It’s bittersweet to see Tom Petty pop up as a Random Weekend selection, just a few days past the one-year anniversary of his death. ‘A Higher Place’ is an appropriate title, I suppose, even if the song is not about heaven but rather a flood.

This is Petty at his Byrds-ian best, all jangly guitars and sweet harmonies. ‘A Higher Place’ is a standout track on one of Petty’s most special albums, Wildflowers.

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