The Live Anthology is a multiple-disc set of recordings drawn from thirty years of live performances. The collection brings together material from 1978-2007 culled from hundreds of hours of live concert recordings covering... more » every era of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' tours and represents the best tracks as chosen by producers Tom Petty, Mike Campbell and Ryan Ulyate.
The producers made no fixes or overdubs, letting the newly mixed original recordings showcase the invention, spontaneity, craft, and the musicianship that has made Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers among the most celebrated live performers of their time. Along with powerful interpretations of their own classic hits and originals, The Live Anthology features the band tackling some of their best-loved cover material, from classics to obscure beauties to unexpected adaptations. The theme from Goldfinger, the Zombies' 'I Want You Back Again,' the Grateful Dead's 'Friend of the Devil,' early Fleetwood Mac's 'Oh Well,' Booker T. and the MGs' 'Green Onions,' James Brown's 'Good, Good Lovin' and many more. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers travel wide, paying their musical debts through song and showing just how confidently the band moves across genres and over time.« less
The Live Anthology is a multiple-disc set of recordings drawn from thirty years of live performances. The collection brings together material from 1978-2007 culled from hundreds of hours of live concert recordings covering every era of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' tours and represents the best tracks as chosen by producers Tom Petty, Mike Campbell and Ryan Ulyate.
The producers made no fixes or overdubs, letting the newly mixed original recordings showcase the invention, spontaneity, craft, and the musicianship that has made Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers among the most celebrated live performers of their time. Along with powerful interpretations of their own classic hits and originals, The Live Anthology features the band tackling some of their best-loved cover material, from classics to obscure beauties to unexpected adaptations. The theme from Goldfinger, the Zombies' 'I Want You Back Again,' the Grateful Dead's 'Friend of the Devil,' early Fleetwood Mac's 'Oh Well,' Booker T. and the MGs' 'Green Onions,' James Brown's 'Good, Good Lovin' and many more. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers travel wide, paying their musical debts through song and showing just how confidently the band moves across genres and over time.
"Four discs-66,55,53,53 minutes each approximately. The discs are in individual cardboard holders,which are slipped into an open side of the cardboard box. The booklet lists venues,dates,and who played on the individual tracks. There is an introduction written by Petty about the making of this box set. The sound (newly mixed),from various venues across 30 years,is uniformly good. The retro style packaging is perfectly in keeping with Petty's approach to music-when a well made and assembled vinyl album made a true r&r statement for an entire (including Petty) generation of listeners.
In this day and age of over-priced "deluxe" releases/re-releases,even of admittedly great r&r,this collection stands apart. Not only are all the tracks heard here chosen by Petty,guitarist Mike Campbell,and their producer,the tracks cover 30 years of TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS in concert. Great music,nice packaging,and a low price make this worth owning. Petty and his band are one of the few groups still playing music that matters. Listen to any track on this collection,and you'll have all the proof you need,no matter if the song is well known,or a live rarity. Their musical sound and approach have changed little over 30 years. Their combination of influences of Dylan/BYRDS,and rootsy garage rock,combined with a bit of the British Invasion sound,have served as the foundation for their sound from the beginning. And that's what gives their music backbone. On these tracks the band effortlessly switches across musical styles,from originals to covers,all with that sound they've played from the beginning.
All the tracks on this set are on an equal footing,from ballads to all out rockers. Long time listeners of the band will need little proof of the great music here. If for some reason you aren't to familiar with the band,and want a lot of their greatest songs ("Breakdown","Refugee","American Girl",etc.),along with some great covers (THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN's "Something In The Air",BOOKER T. AND THE M.G.'S "Green Onions",just two examples),with the added electricity of a live performance-this is it. With hundreds of hours of live material to choose from,distilled down to four discs,a lot of musical ground is covered. Arguably some listeners will wish a certain song was included (personally I would like to hear more Dylan/BYRDS covers),but overall,this is an outstanding overview from one of the few long time bands that still matters.
For anyone who wants to hear music that is important,but more importantly,exciting and visceral,and that guarantees a good time,this is the set to get. Still,listening to this great music makes you wonder-what more great music is still left on the reels? But this collection goes a long way in satisfying that craving (like mine) for a generous overview of TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS doing what they do best-performing great r&r in front of an audience. With that inimitable sound the band has built on all these years,you get the feeling that this band believes in the power and redemption of basic r&r. This set is even better than the 2 CD set released by Immortal,taken from a concert in 2003,in Chicago.
Do your head a favor and purchase this wonderful collection soon. And then sit back and listen to some music from one of the few long time bands that can still rock and roll."
Too Much Ain't Enough
Donovan | 11/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As told in the liner notes, this set was distilled from 3,509 tracks from 169 shows spanning the band's history. I got the collectors edition of this set which is available from the Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers web site (or from Best Buy) for $99, and includes all tracks in this standard 4-CD edition, plus:
* A fifth disc with the following tracks 1) Think About Me 2) Down South 3) I Need To Know 4) Billy The Kid 5) I'd Like To Love You Baby 6) Image Of Me 7) Born In Chicago 8) Like A Diamond 9) The Last DJ 10) No Second Thoughts 11) Ballad Of Easy Rider 12) Don't Come Around Here No More 13) Too Much Ain't Enough 14) County Farm
* A blu-ray disc with all 61 tracks in crazy high fidelity audio quality
* Two DVDs - one of the "400 Days" documentary focused on the 1995 studio sessions and tour for the Wildflowers album, and one of the NYE 1978 Santa Monica show
* Vinyl reproduction of a 1976 live set with four tracks
* A bigger "liner notes" book, and some reproduced backstage passes on a sheet of cloth
So is the standard four-CD set offered here worth it? For under $20 (and less than one-fifth the cost of the deluxe version), you get 47 tracks amounting to about 4 hours of music.
For the key songs that made Petty and the band famous (Breakdown, American Girl, Refugee, The Waiting, Here Comes My Girl), this set delivers red-hot versions that rival the studio albums recorded mostly around the time the songs were new and the band had everything to prove. I've heard many live versions of these songs, and the ones included here do not disappoint.
Before the track list for this set was announced, I just hoped they would include angry, edgy vintage performances of songs like Straight Into Darkness and A Woman In Love (It's Not Me), and they did.
With those bases covered, the set proceeds to stretch out on tracks that reveal the musicianship of the Heartbreakers, in covers, extended renditions (It's Good To Be King: 12:15), and full-on improvisations (Lost Without You). At first glance, you might wonder how tracks like Melinda, Goldfinger, or Like A Diamond managed to edge out some of Petty's more celebrated songs, but the value is revealed on hearing - a great keyboard part or guitar solo, or just an instance when the band all fell in together beautifully. One gets the idea that a large part of the reason for this set (or at least its length) is to let Tom Petty share with the world some of the moments when he felt the Heartbreakers really shone bright.
That said, there are a number of well-known Petty songs that did NOT make it into this set. These include:
Rockin' Around (With You) Listen To Her Heart Don't Do Me Like That Something Big King's Road You Got Lucky Change of Heart Rebels Love Is A Long Road Face In The Crowd Yer So Bad Into The Great Wide Open You Wreck Me Cabin Down Below Walls
This set also carefully sidesteps live tracks that have already been released in other collections like the Playback box set (Psychotic Reaction, King's Highway), and doesn't touch Pack Up The Plantation (which I REALLY hope will be restored and re-released in its entirety as a DVD/CD combo - please?)
If any weakness could be found in this set, for me it would be the fact that I'd like to hear more of the older recordings. Many tracks in the set are post-2001, and the samples we get of tracks from 1981 (ie Nightwatchman) sound utterly fantastic. I'll probably find myself repeating those more often, and skipping tracks like I'm A Man, or Mystic Eyes.
Also, I'm surprised that more Fillmore tracks weren't included, like the epic version of Mary Jane's Last Dance (which rivals the shorter version included here), or the blazing cover of the Stones' It's All Over Now. And was there no viable recording of Hang On Sloopy?
And the final criticism - I feel bad saying this, but - Steve Ferrone's drumming (while technically very adept) just doesn't hit me in the heart like Stan Lynch's. Stan had a soulfulness that brought out the power and pathos of the songs. And the years when the band had both Stan and Howie, and those harmonies came through - it was unlike anything else. Fortunately you can hear them both on a number of these tracks.
All things considered, this is a beautiful gift to fans, offered at a pretty amazing price - whichever edition you choose."
BANG FOR YOUR BUCK!
Joseph D. Beullens | 11/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Petty has time and time again proven his loyalty to his fan base. Not only releasing great albums one after another but in these retrospective box sets. I became a huge Petty fan after a friend recommended the running down a dream box set that I bought new for $15 that included 4 discs! And now he puts out 4 disc box of live cuts, ones not filled with the greatest hits only but great album tracks and awesome renditions of some superb covers. The sound quality on this is amazing, I know there is a version with the music on a blu-ray but I can't imagine the tracks sounding any better. This is a home run for the die hards and the casual fans alike. Under $20 for all this music is outrageous. At least in the throw away age of digital music Petty and the heartbreakers are keeping the album format alive with these sweet offerings. One of the greatest live sets available."
Great boxset for an awesome price
Woolybugger | PA | 11/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What an awesome boxset. From start to finish there are many great tracks. Opening with "Nightwatchmen", a "Breakdown" which includes a short "Hit The Road Jack", covers of "I'm The Man", Thunderclap Newman's "Something In The Air" & the Dead's "Ripple". I can go on listing every song, but they are all excellent. The sound is crisp and the selections combine all of the hits with many other obscure tracks. Then the price....4 discs for this cheap. I recently bought the Rolling Stones "Get Your Ya' Ya's Out" 40th Anneversary box, and although good, all 4 discs cost more than double the Tom Petty box and all 4 discs are only half full of music (unlike the Petty box). Whether a diehard or a casual Tom Petty fan, this is a must have!"
Ding Pression | Saint Paul, MN | 11/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a total steal: four CDs for under 20 bucks. The sound is stellar and the track selection is excellent. I think I read somewhere that TP himself chose the tracks and the order; if my memory is right about that, then kudos to the man for doing such a great job. The tracks span a thirty-year period, but are mixed in a way that makes it sound like one concert.
It starts out sounding like a greatest hits assemblage, but then things take a very fast left turn into stranger territory, with covers both obscure and well known. Plus as I listened, I realized again just how many hit records this band has had, but more importantly, just how much good music they've produced over the years.
Listening to the different tracks recorded by different versions of the band gives you a sense of how some of the individual members affected the overall sound, but in the end, they ultimately wind up sounding like the Heartbreakers. Every tune crackles with life and vitality, and you get a sense of how broad the range is for this band, and you start thinking they can play pretty much any style they want.
I also agree with the people who say this is better than Pack Up The Plantation, which I thought was an okay live album but not fabulous. This is, and if you like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers even a little, you should get it and crank it up. Kudos, too, to whoever did the artwork and design: very nice retro look. I dig it."