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

 

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 8, 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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