Deluxe edition of ‘Damn The Torpedoes’ shows off its worth

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Damn The Torpedoes (Deluxe Edition)
Backstreet/Geffen/uME (B0014739-02)
Grade: ****

By Gillian G. Gaar

“Damn The Torpedoes,” originally released in 1979, was Tom Petty’s breakthrough, his first album to reach the Top 10 and go platinum, as well as spinning off two Top 20 singles. It shares a musical kinship with the bright power pop being produced at the time by groups like Cheap Trick and the Knack. But there’s also a blues influence, and, of course, Petty’s own raspy vocals, which gives the music its edge. And while the record has its share of straight forward love songs (“Here Comes My Girl”), it’s the darker songs that provide the bite, especially in relationships-not-quite-going-right songs like “Shadow of a Doubt,” and the deceptively upbeat “Century City,” inspired by Petty’s own legal troubles at the time.

At just over 35 minutes, the album’s on the short side. The deluxe edition’s second disc features two previously unreleased tracks from the sessions, “Nowhere” and “Surrender”; clearly lesser songs, you see why they didn’t make the final cut, but they’re a great inclusion for collectors. The B-sides “Casa Dega” and “It’s Rainin’ Again” are also included (there’s also a demo version of the former), along with a handful of live cuts from a 1980 London show, including a great cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Somethin’ Else.”

There’s certainly enough here to induce fans of the album to pick up this latest release.


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