Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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Our Music Year No. 361: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, ‘Damn the Torpedoes’

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From page B5 | December 27, 2013 | Leave Comment

Artist: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Title: “Damn the Torpedoes”
Year: 1979
Format: Vinyl (Spotify)
Grade: A-

There are hits to burn on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 1979 slab, “Damn the Torpedoes,” with “Refugee,” “Here Comes My Girl,” “Even the Losers” and “Don’t Do Me Like That.”

Those tracks alone stand for nearly half of the record, but most of the rest of it holds its own.

“Century City” builds on a blues tempo and features a hooky chorus. “What Are You Doin’ in My Life” treads similar ground without Benmont Tench’s piano work adding a jovial flavor.

There aren’t really any ballads until the closer, “Louisiana Rain,” which is the weakest track in the pack.

With “Refugee,” “Here Comes My Girl” and “Even the Losers” to open the slab, side A works out to be a touch better than side B. While the change in quality is noticeable, it’s only because the three A-side singles are so memorable.

Petty faced frustration with recording labels at the time of “Damn the Torpedoes,” but he must have used it as fuel for the fire because “Damn the Torpedoes” is among his finest work.

Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or ndecicco@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco is the editor of the Tailwind and writes the pop culture blog/column For Those About to Rock. Before joining the DR staff in July 2007, DeCicco (pronounced Deh-CEE-Coh) worked at The Union in Grass Valley, Calif., and the Greeley Tribune in Greeley, Colo. A 2004 graduate of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, DeCicco spends his free time attending concerts, listening to music, going to movies, traveling and hiking.
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