Every week I seem to start this blog by saying something like “I’ll keep it short this week”, and then I don’t. Well, I’m going to try again… I have a cat walking on me, licking my face, and basically demanding my full attention.
A few days ago I came across an article in Rolling Stone detailing the upcoming release of a deluxe box set version of Tom Petty’s 1994 album “Wildflowers”. Read that article here.
The new version is titled “Wildflowers and All The Rest”, and I’m glad to see this classic get the treatment it deserves… the original album, a disc of songs written for the album when Petty originally wanted it to be a double disc release, plus home demos and live concert performances. Actually, there seems to be a bunch of different versions depending on how deep you want to dive, from a 2 CD collection for the fan on a budget, to the 9 album indie store vinyl exclusive for the Petty completist. Personally, I fall in the middle, and am leaning towards the 4 CD version. I recommend you do a little research and order your selection here.
Speaking of Tom Petty, I just learned that Heartbreaker guitarist Mike Campbell is fronting a group called the The Dirty Knobs. Their debut album “Wreckless Abandon” is scheduled for release on November 20th, with the title track out now as a single. It rocks just like you think it would… it could be on any classic rock station in the country if it wasn’t brand new.
Campbell and his bandmates have some gigs scheduled on the east coast in the fall of 2021, so now I have something to look forward to (if we’re all still alive and allowed to be in big groups of people by then). Here’s hoping. Check out the song “Wreckless Abandon” here.
One last thought on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers… back in the 90’s there was a commercially released VHS tape of TP & the HB’s in concert called “Take The Highway Live”. It captured a couple dates of the “Into The Great Wide Open” tour and I LOVED IT!!! Why isn’t it available on DVD or Blu-ray? I may still have that VHS tape in a box up in the attic, but no VCR to play it on. If I had a VCR can those still be hooked up to a modern day flat screen television? It’d be way easier if the Petty estate would just release it on a disc for me (and the “Pack Up The Plantation” show from 1985 too, as long as I’m asking). Pretty please.
Ya know what’s weird? When I started I wasn’t really planning on writing about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at all today. First, I was going to tell you about “Tea For The Tillerman²”, in which Yusef rerecords the songs from the album “Tea For The Tillerman”, the record he originally released under his former name Cat Stevens in 1970. Fifty years ago?!?!?!
His name may have changed, but his beautiful voice hasn’t. The arrangements may have changed some, but the power of the lyrics and music hasn’t. If you can say something is different and the same at the same time this is a perfect example. Many of the songs like “Father And Son”, “Where Do The Children Play”, and “Wild World” sound more relevant today than they did five decades ago.
Maybe you’re in the mood for something a little louder and rowdier than a 72 year old British, Muslim folk singer. I have just the thing for you. “Blue Hearts” is the new collection from Bob Mould… a 60 year old gay punk rocker from Minnesota. Maybe you know him from the seminal 80’s band Hüsker Dü, the 90’s group Sugar, or his large catalogue of solo work. Maybe you even know Bob as one of the writers for World Championship Wrestling in the late 90’s. Not enough people are familiar with Mr. Mould. If you’re a fan of Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters do yourself a favor and check this guy out.
I picked up a copy of “Blue Hearts” at the Archive this past Saturday. It’s raucous, angry, confrontational, and made for the times we live in. I’m just disappointed that the cd/record doesn’t come with lyrics in the sleeve because the words to songs like “American Crisis” deserve to be read, understood, and felt. Gee, I wonder what inspired this one. If this sounds like your cup of tea stop into RA for a copy, or order it here.
Hmmm… I just spent a lot of time recommending music to you made by older folks. I suggest that when going into Record Archive you may want to ask someone like Molly, Marta, or Ryan what the cool young people are listening to. You’ll still wind up with a wide variety of opinions and styles.
See, told you I couldn’t keep this short. Even the cat got tired of waiting for me and went to see who else she could bother. Maybe she wanted to go learn more about Cat Stevens. Stay safe, stay sane, and wear a mask. -Billy