Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is an American band that’s been active since 1976. Tom Petty is the leader, founder, and genius behind one of the greatest bands of all time. Playback is a box set that proves how versatile and influential his music is. It’s the one album that any Tom Petty fan really needs. It’s a six-disc compilation. The first three discs are like an expanded greatest hits collection, featuring practically everything from “Breakdown” to “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.” The final three discs include alternate versions, B-sides, previously unreleased songs, demos, and early songs from Petty’s first band Mudcrutch.
It’s a very thorough box set that makes you appreciate Tom Petty more than you ever would have thought possible. Some of the tracks that he cut from other albums appear in this compilation for the first time. Some of those songs are simply incredible and deserve to be released as singles. “Trailer” is one of my favorite Petty songs of all time. It probably would be one of yours too if you ever heard it. It’s got that kind of rambling, jangling rock and roll sound to it. “Up In Mississippi Tonight” is an early track that deservers more attention as well. A couple of song showcase Petty’s dry wit like “Heartbreaker’s Beach Party” and “Moon Pie.” He’s not just a rocker, he’s got a wry sense of humor as well.
Playback would get a perfect rating but it was first released in 1995 so it excludes the second half of his career. They should make a sequel box set compilation called More Playback or Playback In The Saddle Again. Tom Petty is the shit. The Heartbreakers aren’t too shabby either. Get this album. Ask for it for Christmas or use your Hanukkah money to buy it. It’s worth it.
Critically Rated at 16/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young