An American Treasure
Reprise 2018
Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench and Ryan Ulyate

Disc one:
1. Surrender (Previously unreleased track from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers sessions—1976)
2. Listen To Her Heart (Live at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA—November 11, 1977)
3. Anything That’s Rock ‘N’ Roll (Live at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA—November 11, 1977)
4. When The Time Comes (Album track from You’re Gonna Get It!—May 2, 1978)
5. You’re Gonna Get It (Alternate version featuring strings from You’re Gonna Get It! sessions—1978)
6. Radio Promotion Spot 1977
7. Rockin’ Around (With You) (Album track from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers —November 9, 1976)
8. Fooled Again (I Don’t Like It) (Alternate version from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers—1976)
9. Breakdown (Live at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA—November 11, 1977)
10. The Wild One, Forever (Album track from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers—November 9, 1976)
11. No Second Thoughts (Album track from You’re Gonna Get It!—May 2, 1978)
12. Here Comes My Girl (Alternate version from Damn The Torpedoes sessions—1979)
13. What Are You Doing In My Life (Alternate version from Damn The Torpedoes sessions—1979)
14. Louisiana Rain (Alternate version from Damn The Torpedoes sessions—1979)
15. Lost In Your Eyes (Previously unreleased single from Mudcrutch sessions—1974)

Disc two:
1. Keep A Little Soul (Previously unreleased track from Long After Dark sessions—1982)
2. Even The Losers (Live at Rochester Community War Memorial, Rochester, NY—1989)
3. Keeping Me Alive (Previously unreleased track from Long After Dark sessions—1982)
4. Don’t Treat Me Like A Stranger (B-side to UK single of “I Won’t Back Down”—April, 1989)
5. The Apartment Song (Demo recording (with Stevie Nicks)—1984)
6. Concert Intro (Live introduction by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, The Forum, Inglewood, CA—June 28, 1981)
7. King’s Road (Live at The Forum, Inglewood, CA—June 28, 1981)
8. Clear The Aisles (Live concert announcement by Tom Petty, The Forum, Inglewood, CA—June 28, 1981)
9. A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me) (Live at The Forum, Inglewood, CA—June 28, 1981)
10. Straight Into Darkness (Alternate version from The Record Plant, Hollywood, CA—May 5, 1982)
11. You Can Still Change Your Mind (Album track from Hard Promises—May 5, 1981)
12. Rebels (Alternate version from Southern Accents sessions—1985)
13. Deliver Me (Alternate version from Long After Dark sessions—1982)
14. Alright For Now (Album track from Full Moon Fever—April 24, 1989)
15. The Damage You’ve Done (Alternate version from Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough) sessions—1987)
16. The Best Of Everything (Alternate version from Southern Accents sessions—March 26, 1985)
17. Walkin’ From The Fire (Previously unreleased track from Southern Accents sessions—March 1, 1984)
18. King Of The Hill (Early take with Roger McGuinn—November 23, 1987)

Disc three:
1. I Won’t Back Down (Live at The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA—February 4, 1997)
2. Gainesville (Previously unreleased track from Echo sessions—February 12, 1998)
3. You And I Will Meet Again (Album track from Into The Great Wide Open—July 2, 1991)
4. Into The Great Wide Open (Live at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena—November 24, 1991)
5. Two Gunslingers (Live at The Beacon Theatre, New York, NY—May 25, 2013)
6. Lonesome Dave (Previously unreleased track from Greatest Hits sessions—July 23, 1993)
7. To Find A Friend (Album track from Wildflowers—November 1, 1994)
8. Crawling Back To You (Album track from Wildflowers—November 1, 1994)
9. Wake Up Time (Previously unreleased track from early Wildflowers sessions—August 12, 1992)
10. Grew Up Fast (Album track from Songs and Music from “She’s the One”—August 6, 1996)
11. I Don’t Belong (Previously unreleased track from Echo sessions—December 3, 1998)
12. Accused Of Love (Album track from Echo—April 13, 1999)
13. Lonesome Sundown (Album track from Echo—April 13, 1999)
14. Don’t Fade On Me (Previously unreleased track from Wildflowers—sessions—April 20, 1994)

Disc four:
1. You And Me (Clubhouse version—November 9, 2007)
2. Have Love Will Travel (Album track from The Last DJ—October 8, 2002)
3. Money Becomes King (Album track from The Last DJ—October 8, 2002)
4. Bus To Tampa Bay (Previously unreleased track from Hypnotic Eye sessions—August 11, 2011)
5. Saving Grace (Live at Malibu Performing Arts Center, Malibu, CA—June 16, 2006)
6. Down South (Album track from Highway Companion—July 25, 2006)
7. Southern Accents (Live at Stephen C. O’Connell Center, Gainesville, FL—September 21, 2006)
8. Insider (Live with Stevie Nicks at O’Connell Center, Gainesville, FL—September 21, 2006)
9. Two Men Talking (Previously unreleased track from Hypnotic Eye sessions—November 16, 2012)
10. Fault Lines (Album track from Hypnotic Eye—July 29, 2014)
11. Sins Of My Youth (Early take from Hypnotic Eye sessions—November 12, 2012)
12. Good Enough (Alternate version from Mojo sessions—2012)
13. Something Good Coming (Album track from Mojo—July 15, 2010)
14. Save Your Water (Album track from Mudcrutch 2—May 20, 2016)
15. Like A Diamond (Alternate version from The Last DJ sessions—2002)
16. Hungry No More (Live at House of Blues, Boston, MA—June 15, 2016)


Tom Petty - Wildflowers and All the Rest Tom Petty
Wildflowers & All The Rest
Tom Petty - You Don't Know How It Feels Tom Petty
Waiting for Wildflowers
Grateful Dead bootlegs Remembering Tom Petty
Tom Petty - TD Garden TD Garden, Boston
July 21, 2017
Tom Petty - Highway Companion Tom Petty
Highway Companion
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Grateful Dead - Europe '72 Vol. 2 Fenway Park, Boston
Aug. 30, 2014
Tom Petty - Hypnotic Eye Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Hypnotic Eye
Tom Petty - Bonnaroo 2006 Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Bonnaroo 2006
Tom Petty - Wildflowers Tom Petty
Tom Petty - Hard Promises Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Hard Promises
Tom Petty - The Live Anthology Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
The Live Anthology

An American Treasure highlights the pure power of Tom Petty’s music


What do we want from music? Do we need it to pass the time or fill the gaps in conversation, or is it more?

For anyone reading this, it’s probably more. And for me, it’s the search for those moments when music hits with just the right weight, where a song sounds like the most important piece of art in the world while it airs out of a stereo. I had one listening to An American Treasure, a new box set celebrating Tom Petty’s life and work, and I still feel like I’m reeling a bit from it all.

Here it is with “Straight Into Darkness,” a live-in-the-studio rendition from 1982. It begins with a count-off of one, two, one two three four, and off it goes, deliberately winding its path through the ears and down to the soul. The lyrics are earnest and honest, the music had a punch and the voice is so real.

It wasn’t the first fantastic, knock-down moment on this set that I heard. But there was such a force behind the performance that I realized I was listening to something that I’d replay as long as I could. It was as good as anything I’d ever heard — not just by Petty, but truly anything. If it sounds like I’m overreaching, call it an aftereffect of over-enthusiasm. But that’s how it feels. And it’s how so many of his songs felt to so many people during his 40-year career.

It’s been a year since Tom Petty left us, just a few days after the conclusion of another stunning tour with the Heartbreakers. And the void has been acutely felt. Projects like a new album and a deluxe reading of his 1994 Wildflowers suddenly went up in the air. His family and band were left reeling. Fans began buying and playing his music with a renewed fervor, all in an effort to fill the space that he’d occupied so consistently, so effortlessly.

Here’s where An American Treasure helps that along. Following his entire career, the box set — compiled by his daughter Adria Petty, wife Dana Petty and bandmates Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench — sets out to trace a path through his life’s work without leaning on the radio songs that made him such a presence. His time in Mudcrutch is chronicled alongside sidetrips with Stevie Nicks and the Byrds’ Roger McGuinn, but his work with the Heartbreakers and solo of course make up the overwhelming bulk. The common thread is his songwriting, which the liner notes make sure to stress. Petty was most proud of his ability to write in a way that connected, and all the music here certainly meets that goal.

It starts immediately with “Surrender,” a song recorded for his first album that never made it but did become a live favorite. It’s likely not a coincidence that the box starts with this — to think that a song this strong couldn’t even crack the final tracklist for 1976’s Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers stresses just how strong all his material was. It also underscores the importance of opening up his vaults to the public. This is the first glance, and it starts out with a bang.

And there is no shortage of gems to be found. They can’t all be chronicled here, but there’s a jarring version of “You’re Gonna Get It” that was augmented with strings, and alternate take of “Fooled Again (I Don’t Like It)” which is even more snarling than its released counterpart. “Keeping Me Alive” was another song that should’ve found its way onto 1982’s Long After Dark but instead surfaces here, and it’s as good or better than anything that made the final album.

The live tracks are so strong, it’s easy to wonder how they didn’t crack 2009’s The Live Anthology. Particularly, a pair of tracks from disc two, including “King’s Road” and “A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me),” demonstrate how tight and raucous Petty and the Heartbreakers could be on any given night. These were not note-for-note retellings of the songs from the albums, they were living, breathing compositions that were played with equal parts skill and showmanship. And Petty’s personality shines through even between the songs, where a “Clear the Aisles” aside finds the frontman directing traffic and warning that bad behavior will mean the end of the night.

Even the familiar, previously released tracks have a bit of a new spin. “Grew Up Fast” from 1996’s She’s the One was always closer to the edge for a Petty track, but any trace of gloss is removed via this remastering job, leaving the guitars and drums bursting and frantic. All that edge really rears its head on the latter half of this set, when Petty stood most firmly in his standing and his beliefs.

From about 1994 until the end of his career, he stopped trying to please anyone but himself, and some of his greatest work was a result. He changed drummers and labels before Wildflowers, and outtakes from that record — an acoustic reading of “Don’t Fade On Me” with different lyrics, and a full-band stomp through “Wake Up Time” — show him confidently pursuing this new direction, utilizing the studio space and his Heartbreakers to its greatest potential.

How naturally skilled he became in his craft is readily apparent in those later years as well. “You And Me,” stripped back to just him on guitar and Benmont Tench on piano, shows just how expertly that song was composed. Not long after, an older track like “Southern Accents” is performed with much more grace and power than its studio counterpart, with about 20 years separating the recordings. And its penultimate track, an alternate version of “Like a Diamond,” plays as though it should’ve found a home on the Beatles’ Abbey Road. It’s somber but still hopeful, like so much of the best of Petty’s work.

And that’s the purpose of a collection like this. Group it with 1993’s Greatest Hits and The Live Anthology, and the trio could serve as a comprehensive and fully representative example of how great Petty was throughout his entire career. But it almost rises above those two prior anthologies. In its own way, it’s a love letter from Petty’s band and family back to him, but it also serves as an illustration of everything he did well, as concise and thorough as four discs can be. It works as an introduction as well as a gift for hardcore fans already in the know. For the faithful, there are any number of moments that will hit like a full-on revelation, and for anyone new to his work, there’s no shortage of the same. For an artist who worked as hard to be as welcoming and accessible to his audience as Tom Petty had, it’s all the more fitting.

E-mail Nick Tavares at