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.
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.
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.
[Continuing my countdown of favorite Tom Petty albums, in honor of the late, great musician.]
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.