Back in 1976, studying the debut album of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, I wondered if the smirking, leatherjacketed, flaxen-haired guy on the cover was a budding punk-rocker (like Johnny Thunders and those other Heartbreakers) or a newfangled classic-rocker. Turns out Petty was both. The combination of his insistent vocals and forward-into-the-past songs with the exceptional talents of the Heartbreakers’ core — lead axman Mike Campbell (a true guitar god) and keyboardist Benmont Tench — has made for one of rock’s most golden catalogs.
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