There is no denying that Tom Petty is still one of rock’s best-known performers. “Damn The Torpedoes”, eir third album, was released in 1979 and prominently featured such rock radio standards as “Refugee” and “Don’t Do Me Like That”. Over thirty year out from its initial release, and the album is still getting substantial play. The long life exhibited by this release has brought Interscope to release a substantially upgraded version of the title. Whether it is in the 2 CD format or the audiophile-friendly 180-gram LP version, “Damn The Torpedoes” has never sounded so sweet.
The original album tracks are cleaned up and given a proper 2010 polish, ensuring an increase in the album’s richness without losing the soul that made it such a winner. After “Louisiana Rain” finishes up, listeners will be treated to a set of Petty tracks that are (or were) incredibly rare. This means that there are demo versions of a number of tracks from the album (the aforementioned “Don’t Do Me Like That” and “Refugee” have demo or early versions). Furthermore, new songs like “Nowhere” and “Surrender” make this second disc into something approximating a new album. Even the album’s cover (a spirited version of Eddie Cochran’s “Somethin’ Else”) adds a considerable about of fullness to this bonus feature.
While I must admit that I am not too familiar with the reissue status of Petty’s other albums, I would like to see eir other titles done up in the same way. Geffen / Interscope has done a tremendous job with cleaning up the original release and providing listeners with more than enough extra material. This is done at a tremendously approachable price (Amazon currently has the release for a shade above $20) and in the formats that listeners want (digital, CD, LP). Much is said about the woes of the music industry; I still content that these problems would be much less pronounced if every subsequent release was given this type of love.
Top Tracks: Refugee, Shadow of a Doubt (A Complex Kid)
Tom Petty – Damn The Torpedoes (2 CD Set) / 2010 Geffen / 18 Tracks / http://www.interscope.com / http://www.tompetty.com