Into The Great Wide Open

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

MCA Records, 1991



Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' 1991 release Into The Great Wide Open most definitely has the group performing in a more pop-oriented fashion. Songs like "Learning To Fly" and "King's Highway" definitely have the pop-rock sound that easily could get played on either AM or FM radio stations.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The title track's guitars has an 80s-George Harrison sound, ( Cloud Nine) and it's a wonder that it wasn't Harrison himself who performed the guitar work on this song (actually it was Heartbreakers' Mike Campbell, I believe). Petty teamed up with Harrison, along with Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison to form The Traveling Wilburys in the 1980s, shortly before Orbison's death in 1988. And, of this supergroup lineup, only Jeff Lynne is a participant on Into The Great Wide Open, as he plays guitars, keyboards, vocals and bass.

"Two Gunslingers" is also pop-oriented, and features another rock giant, Roger McGuinn of The Byrds on chorus vocals. "The Dark Of The Sun" not only is pop, but it also has a sound that would be heard in Alternative rock acts throughout the end of the 1990s. "All Or Nothin'" has a more rock edge, and could be compared to a harder-edge tune by Neil Young.

"All The Wrong Reasons"' main lyrics are awfully close to Petty's "Free Fallin'," heard on his solo release from 1989, Full Moon Fever. "Too Good To Be True" has your head boppin' as this song is rockin', likewise "Out In The Cold," another good rocker.

"You And I Will Meet Again" is a bit mellow, as it returns to the pop-rock style. "Makin' Some Noise" is an absolutely great rocker, with a great rock guitar sound, as heard in John (Cougar) Mellencamp's "Authority Song". "Built To Last" has a 1950s-early 1960s beat (like Sam Cooke's "Chain Gang"), yet it still has the late Eighties/Nineties sound. The wah-wah guitar licks are cool, and this song is great to end the album.

Into The Great Wide Open is truly an excellent album. It combines pop and rock, and quite frankly, this album is never tiring. Each song is great, and is a must for those who are interested in Petty's music.

Rating: A

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