Lex – the pic didn’t come thru. Anyway, I would say “not crap.” I particularly like Petty’s early ’80s records, if I remember correctly. “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” and “Refugee” stand out in my memory, as does that tune with the futuristic video, “You Got Lucky, Babe” (or whatever the real title is). That said, I’ve never bought any of his work. A friend of mine once described Petty as a good songwriter with a lazy streak. I think I agree with that assessment. I don’t change the station when “Free Fallin'” or “Last Dance With Mary Jane” comes on. I kinda like “Runnin’ Down a Dream.”
Tom Petty is a hard one. He has some good tunes out there, however, his voice, for some reason, sort of unsettles my stomach. I have no idea why, but it bugs me, and I do usually turn the station when he comes on. But I recognize his contributions. Also, he and fellow heart-breakers are pretty awesome as a rockabilly backup band on Johnny Cash’s Unchained album. So, not crap…
Patrick, here’s a stab at the bonus points-lou reed, bob dylan, tom petty, and ….elvis costello?
An unequivocal not crap. At least up through Full Moon Fever (I’m a little more ambivalent about most of his work in the 90s). But his tunes have great melodies, fantastic hooks, you can sing along to them, and, most significantly, his 80s work sounds like unpretentious rock ‘n roll, bar band style. A Tom Petty’s Greatest Hits album is a necessity, in my book, for a cross-country road trip.
No, Jason, that’s Will’s dad on the right.
Not crap, but I want to highlight that not crap doesn’t necessarily imply much enthusiasm. He played mainstream rock in the eighties and didn’t sound like a total hoser, so the dude deserves some credit.
Definitely not crappo. Sophistos and meatheads alike may tip their cap to Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison and that classy tradition of rock and roll (for instance, that horrible yuppie wine tent song about Elvis on Neil Young’s Prairie Wind, ugh) but TP carries it on. Impeccably crafted tunes within reasonable limits about basic human stuff, album after album. He’s the Cal Ripken of rock/pop.
I do wish the Jeff Lynne era had ended at Full Moon Fever. How does he make the background vox sound like stacks of lacquered Necco wafers? Is it 400 compressed tracks of…Jeff Lynne?