Album review: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Into the Great Wide Open (1991)



By Steve Newton

It’s awful hard for me to pick out the best tunes on the latest release by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, ’cause I pretty well love ’em all. A masterful pop craftsman who lives by the KISS credo (Keep It Simple, Stupid), Petty weaves totally hummable tunes and colours everything with a down-to-earth, minstrel-like approach.

The guy really knows how to communicate.

Petty co-wrote most of the 12 songs on Into the Great Wide Open with his pal from the Travelling Wilburys, Jeff Lynne, who also co-produced the disc and added some guitar, bass, keyboards, and backing vocals. But Petty’s Heartbreakers perform most of the music, and as usual they’re spot on, delivering a one-take, live-in-the-studio feel.

Lead guitarist Mike Campbell shines throughout, especially when contributing goosebump-inducing slide to tunes like “All or Nothing” and the title track.

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