Tom Petty Classic Albums: Damn the Torpedoes
The third album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released in 1979, has long been regarded as a classic—it demonstrates the musical and songwriting virtuosity of a great front man and his amazing backing band. A mix of rootsy American rock ‘n’ roll and the best of the British invasion, of jangling Byrds guitars and Stones-like rhythms, Damn the Torpedoes was the album that took Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers into the major league, and re-defined American rock.
This program tells the story behind the conception and recording of this great rock ‘n’ roll album and the dramatic transformation in the band’s career that took place following its release. Using interviews, musical demonstration, acoustic performance, and archive footage, and returning to the multi-tracks with the main protagonists, we discover how Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, Ron Blair, and Stan Lynch created their songs and sounds with the help of Co-Producer Jimmy Iovine and Engineer Shelly Yakus. Additional comments from key journalists and other notable producers and musicians help tell the story, and put the album into its rightful place in rock history.