With a career in music that most artists could only dream of, Tom Petty released an incredible 10 albums throughout his life; each at least certified gold and each brimming with timeless hits.
Having fronted Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and co-founded the supergroup, The Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison, Tom Petty will go down in history as one of the greats.
Selling out arenas worldwide up until the day he died, the Florida-native’s music never soured. In the wake of the devastating news that stunned the world last night, let’s relive some of the singer’s greatest and most iconic hits.
‘American Girl’ (1977)
Kicking off the list is Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers instantly recognisable classic, ‘American Girl‘. Packed with energy from the get-go, ‘American Girl‘ possesses a triumphant power making the listener feel like anything is possible.
‘Free Fallin” (1989)
This drive down a sunset-bathed highway track is possibly one of Petty’s most iconic offerings. Taken from his debut solo album, Full Moon Fever, ‘Free Fallin‘ was written and recorded in just two single days but has lasted a lifetime. ‘Free Fallin‘ remains the singer’s longest-charting track and featured in the Tom Cruise-starring film, Jerry Maguire.
‘I Won’t Back Down’ (1989)
‘I Won’t Back Down‘ is a lesson in stoicism. Petty’s Full Moon Fever song is reassuring and empowering and gives the listener the will stand their ground even when the going gets tough. “Well I know what’s right / I got just one life / In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around / But I’ll stand my ground“.
‘Yer So Bad’ (1990)
The last on the list from the Florida-native’s Full Moon Fever is ‘Yer So Bad‘. A timeless classic which flutters between moody and joyful. Diving headfirst into the track with “My sister got lucky / Married a yuppie / Took him for all he was worth”, ‘Yer So Bad‘ is an unforgettable sing-along.
‘Learning to Fly’ (1991)
‘Learning to Fly‘ from Petty’s Into the Great Wide Open consists of just four guitar chords and somehow sustains the ability to induce both smiles and tears without the listener ever knowing why. One of his many collaborations with ELO‘s Jeff Lynne, ‘Learning to Fly‘ became one of Petty’s greatest hits of all time. The track spent six weeks at number one with a music video starring Johnny Depp.