I was once at the dentist office and they had music playing in the patients rooms. It was normal pop/rock stuff, and at one point a Tom Petty song starts playing. I wish I could remember which one it was but nonetheless, that doesn’t matter. But the one hygienist says to the other “You know, I used to really like Tom Petty and then I realized all of his music sounds the same.” I kind of laughed to myself about this. They’re not necessarily wrong, but then again there’s a reason Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers were one of the most recognized groups to ever exist. And until recently, I had actually pushed Tom Petty into the back of my mind and the bottom of all of my Spotify playlists and actually haven’t heard any of his songs in a really long time. So today, I decided to sit down and listen to Damn The Torpedoes in its entirety, and I can’t believe I forgot about so much wonderful music.
Each song on Damn The Torpedoes is interesting in its own way, with many simple layers and a distinct vibe for each one, whether it be rock, country rock, rockabilly or pop. It’s dynamic in the sense that each song really doesn’t sound the same but they are all centered around Tom Petty’s distinct easy going rock sound. His music was down to earth but immaculately produced, and he felt very personable to the average listener. Whereas lots of other groups were very intricate in their songwriting, guitar parts or even stage presence, Tom and his band were as normal as can be, and I say that in the best way possible. They never looked like they were trying too hard. That’s exactly why I like this live performance of “Here Comes My Girl”, because while other artists can be considered flashy and over the top, saturating their music and visuals in excess, Tom was the opposite. And don’t get me wrong; I love a good light show, special effects, backdrops and the like. But Tom and his band were very special in the sense that they didn’t need any of that, and were still able to put on a fun, entertaining show, even with some of the more relaxed songs. They also sound incredible live which is another huge accomplishment in itself. I’m disappointed that I unfortunately never got a chance to see them in person but having these live performances to look back on is the next best thing.