Top 9 Forgotten Gems by Tom Petty

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

As a tribute to the late great Tom Petty (1950-2017), we’ve got a list of some of the artist’s lesser known quality tracks. NOTE: We’ve also included a bonus Top 9 List of Petty’s greatest hit songs below.

#9. “Something in the Air”

“Something in the Air” is a cover of the Thunderclap Newman classic, which Petty made his own without losing the edge from the original sixties classic. The song appeared on the 1993 Greatest Hits compilation.

Listen to “Something in the Air”:


#8. “Crystal River”

This song appeared on the self-titled debut Mudcrutch album in 2008. A fantastic jam full of dreamy, drifting guitars, this is an ode to Petty’s Florida roots. It flows like the river for which it is named.

Listen to “Crystal River”:

 


#7. “Walls (Circus)”

This underrated gem from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers appeared on the She’s the One soundtrack in 1996 and is a beautiful waltz accented by mandolin with poetic lyrics.

Listen to “Walls”:


#6. “Surrender”

This live classic didn’t make it on to the 1979 Damn the Torpedoes album originally but it was added to the digitally remastered CD. It is a perfect example of Petty’s knack for combining an upbeat melody with more somber lyrics about a love that won’t commit/surrender.

Listen to “Surrender”:


#5. “Louisiana Rain”

The last song on Damn the Torpedoes, this classically structured southern rock song with heavy country accents was not released as a single but is a testament to Petty’s depth as a songwriter and lyricist.

Listen to “Louisiana Rain”:

Album review of Damn the Torpedoes by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers


#4. “Rebels”

This song from Southern Accents is rumored to be the song that Petty got so emotionally worked up about that he broke his hand punching a wall in frustration. This may be why the vocal on this song is so emotional and powerful.

Listen to “Rebels”:

Album review of Southern Accents by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers


#3. “Change of Heart”

This song from 1982’s Long After Dark has a huge guitar sound and an anthem like feel. The sound production is slicker than most Petty songs as if it is intended to fill a stadium.

Listen to “Change of Heart”:


#2. “Wildflowers”

The title song from Petty’s second solo album in 1994 blooms like the flowers in its name beginning with acoustic guitar and a subdued vocal that blossoms into a fully orchestrated song.

Listen to “Wildflowers”:


#1. “Saving Grace”

Topping our list is a song that has all the classic bluesy elements with a perfectly executed blues riff, blues rhythm and signature Petty lyrics that stick in your head and hit you in the heart. The song was the opening track from Petty’s final solo album, Highway Companion in 2006.

Listen to “Saving Grace”:


Tom Petty’s Top 9 Greatest Hits

Tom Petty
As a bonus, here’s our list of the more popular tunes by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

  1. “The Waiting” (1981)
  2. “Breakdown” (1976)
  3. “Here Comes My Girl” (1979)
  4. “You Got Lucky” (1982)
  5. “Runnin’ Down a Dream” (1989)
  6. “Don’t Come Around Here” (1985)
  7. “Refugee” (1979)
  8. “Free Falling” (1989)
  9. “Into the Great Wide Open” (1991)

 

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