The Joup Friday Album: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers “Damn the Torpedoes”

51a3EG7uUKLThis will be the first time I post something for the Joup Friday Album that I am not intimately familiar with. And yet, Damn the Torpedoes, especially the singles, has surrounded me to greater and lesser degrees for as long as I can remember. Refugee in particular I have memories of as a child; a wee lad of three of four, cuddled up at night with the powder blue AM/FM transistor radio that I always insisted on taking to bed with me. Refugee‘s sound made an impact on me – although obviously molded from what we now think of as traditional rock and roll influences Tom Petty and his band did things a little bit differently and really, in some ways helped guys like Elvis Costello and U2 update the popular rock music charts with elements other than tried-and-true 50’s style rock. Released in 1979, Damn the Torpedoes has obviously influenced a lot of what came immediately after it, so again, it’s always been slightly familiar to me. But intimate? No; Petty’s catalogue was always music I took for granted, was never something I sought out and consumed 100%. That changed recently, and when it did, I found that his late 70’s/early 80’s work still sounded fresh as hell to me, even through the wonderfully nostalgic and very much “of-its-time” 80s recording stamp it wears so well.

Tom Petty came back around on my radar in October when I found a CD copy of his 1993 album Into the Great Wide Open at a used music store in Dayton, Ohio. I’d gotten the album on cassette the year it was released and very quickly grew to recognize it as a work that easily transcended its singles, which were strong. Re-acquainting myself with Into the Great Wide Open now, easily fifteen years since I’d last heard it in its entirety (probably closer to *yikes* twenty) I found myself hungry to hear more deep cuts from Mr. Petty, and through the magic of youtube I immediately fell in love with the entirety of Damn the Torpedoes, even if I haven’t quite had the chance to get to know it as well as I would like yet. But that’s only a matter of time, because as we here at Joup always try to promote at the end of these little weekly soirees into music, if you like something you find online, you should go buy it. And that’s exactly what I plan to do with this one, an 18-year old rock and roll record that has most definitely stood the test of time.

Tag Tommy!

Shawn C Baker

Shawn C Baker

Shawn lives in Los Angeles where he co-hosts Drinking w/ Comics, writes screenplays and fiction and has been known to drink quite a bit of beer. Good beer.

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