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.
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.
In my #2 spot is Tom Petty’s first, and best, solo album.
#2 – Full Moon Fever (1989)
Though I was familiar with several of Tom Petty’s singles with The Heartbreakers, Full Moon Fever was the first full-length album of his I owned. It was also one of the first CDs I purchased for myself as I transitioned to that new digital format.
My top three Tom Petty albums are all so good in so many different ways that I can make a case for any one of them as #1.
These are also the three albums that show up in the top spots of just about every Tom Petty ranking I could find online. That’s because Petty has generally been more of a singles artist than an album artist, but also because these three albums are just that good.
Tom Petty released three solo albums over the course of his 40-year career, and on their face they don’t differ all that much from his work with The Heartbreakers. In fact, almost every band member appears on each of those three records.
But there must be something to the distinction because (spoiler alert) all three of those solo albums show up in my top five.