The Pride of Gainesville anthologized

Odds are pretty good – ok, it’s a given – that anyone running across a post on the great Tom Petty brings his or her assumptions and biases to the table.

And considering the length and breadth of his career, the majority of which has been spent supported by The Heartbreakers, it’s entirely understandable that folks have made their minds up regarding the quality and impact of the music Petty has been producing for over 30 years.

But, it’s rare to be given an opportunity to explore the catalog of musicians as talented as Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers through a live anthology, with hand-picked selections from shows over the years.  And that’s just what Petty and crew have put together with “The Live Anthology”

This is a fantastic opportunity to sample classic works and cover songs alike in a live setting that puts the songs into the context that best illustrates their staying power in a world of throwaway music.

Petty’s hometown Gainesville Sun provides an overview of the highlights of “The Live Anthology”, using Petty’s own liner notes to put the set into perspective. 

Sun entertainment editor Bill Dean notes that “Petty, guitarist Mike Campbell and fellow ‘Anthology’ producer Ryan Ulyate sifted through thousands of hours of tapes to find individual tracks that fit as enlightening pieces of a career-worthy whole.”  And it appears to be a tremendous success.

But, hey, maybe you have decided that Petty’s work is not really vital anymore – best reserved for classic rock radio and Super Bowl halftime shows.  Fair enough. 

But before disregarding this unique compilation or Petty’s standing as an American rock icon, consider checking out the Wall Street Journal’s fantastic Petty feature, “Rock God Or Mere Mortal?” before moving on to the next part of your day.

John Jurgensen of the WSJ comes up big with some great interviews to go along with a solid review of the Petty career and an impartial assessment of its importance within the rock world. 

Somehow, I’ve never thought of Petty as a pop star, but his streak of success in the hey-day of MTV music videos seems to have blinded some to the overall quality of his discography.

We’re on the cusp of its release through all of the usual retailers, but at the risk of turning this into an infomercial, just check out what the Best Buy “exclusive” version entails:

That is just simply a gift to the hardcore and on-the-fence alike.  Buy the package or not, but be sure to keep its existence in the back of your mind for now.  

And motivate yourself to get out to a Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers show the next time they are passing through your town (or any town within shouting distance). 

No matter what biases you come into that experience with, only the most jaded among us can leave a Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers concert without the utmost regard for what Petty means to the rock world.

In my humble opinion, Petty represents the best of what music should be – accessible, yet honest and emotive.  He’s not alone in his quest to deliver the goods, but has every reason to matter-of-factly state that “I don’t know that anyone’s out there waving the banner for us being the best rock and roll band there is. But we might be.”

Indeed, they might be.  And “The Live Anthology” is a fantastic opportunity to pause and reflect on a career whose final chapters have yet to be written.

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~ by acm213 on November 21, 2009.

One Response to “The Pride of Gainesville anthologized”

  1. ..]one another nice source on this issueis ,,..]

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