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Tom Petty: Full Moon Fever

 A l b u m   D e t a i l s

Label: MCA Records
Released: 1989.04.29
Category: Pop/Rock
Producer(s): See Artists ...
Rating: *********. (9/10)
Media type: CD
Web address: www.tompetty.com
Appears with: Traveling Wilburys, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, George Harrison
Purchase date: 2001.03.19
Price in €: 9,99

 S o n g s ,   T r a c k s

[1] Free Fallin' (Lynne/Petty) - 4:14
[2] I Won't Back Down (Lynne/Petty) - 2:56
[3] Love Is a Long Road (Campbell/Petty) - 4:06
[4] A Face in the Crowd (Lynne/Petty) - 3:58
[5] Runnin' Down a Dream (Campbell/Lynne/Petty) - 4:23
[6] I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better (Clark) - 2:47
[7] Yer So Bad (Lynne/Petty) - 3:05
[8] Depending on You (Petty) - 2:47
[9] The Apartment Song (Petty) - 2:31
[10] Alright for Now (Petty) - 2:00
[11] A Mind With a Heart of It's Own (Lynne/Petty) - 3:29
[12] Zombie Zoo (Lynne/Petty) - 2:56

 A r t i s t s ,   P e r s o n n e l

Tom Petty - Acoustic-, Electric- &  12 String Guitar, Keyboards, Sound Effects, Tambourine, Vocals, Background Vocals, Handclapping, Producer
Mike Campbell - Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Keyboards, Producer, Engineer, Slide Guitar
Jim Keltner - Drums, Maraccas, Marimba, Tambourine
Benmont Tench - Piano
Howie Epstein - Background Vocals
Phil Jones - Percussion, Drums

George Harrison - Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Background Vocals
Jeff Lynne - Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Sound Effects, Background Vocals, Handclapping, Producer
Roy Orbison - Background Vocals

Bill Bottrell - Engineer
Dennis Kirk - Engineer
Don Smith - Engineer
Alan Weidel - Handclapping, Assistant Engineer
Kelsey Campbell - Sound Effects, Voices
Del Shannon - Sound Effects
Aaron Rapoport - Photography
Robert Sebree - Photography

 C o m m e n t s ,   N o t e s

1989 CD MCA MCAD-6253
1989 CS MCA MCAC-6253
1989 LP MCA MCA-6253
1998 CD Mobile Fidelity 735

Although Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) found the Heartbreakers regaining their strength as a band and discovering a newfound ease at songcraft, it just didn't sell that well. Perhaps that factor, along with road fatigue, led Tom Petty to record his first solo album, Full Moon Fever. Nevertheless, the distinction between "solo" and "Heartbreakers" is a fuzzy one, because Full Moon Fever is essentially in the same style as the Heartbreakers albums; Mike Campbell co-wrote two songs and co-produced the record, and he, along with Benmont Tench and Howie Epstein, all play on the album. However, the album sounds different from any Heartbreakers record due to the presence of former Electric Light Orchestra leader Jeff Lynne. Petty co-wrote the lion's share of the album with Lynne, who also is the record's main producer. In his hands, Petty's roots-rock becomes clean and glossy, layered with shimmering vocal harmonies, keyboards and acoustic guitars. It was a friendly, radio-ready sound, and if it has dated somewhat over the years, the craft is still admirable and appealing. But the real reason Full Moon Fever became Petty's biggest hit is that it boasted a selection of songs that rivaled Damn the Torpedoes. Full Moon Fever didn't have a weak track; even if a few weren't quite as strong as others, the album was filled with highlights — "I Won't Back Down," the wistful "A Face in the Crowd," the rockabilly throwaways "Yer So Bad" and "A Mind with a Heart of Its Own," the Byrds cover "Feel a Whole Lot Better," the charging "Runnin' Down a Dream" and "Free Fallin'," a coming-of-age ballad that could be Petty's best song. Full Moon Fever might have been meant an off-the-cuff detour, but it turned into a minor masterpiece.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine - All-Music Guide

Ten years had passed since Petty's last solid outing (Damn the Torpedoes in 1979), and Full Moon Fever fully resuscitated the artist's career, which--some would say "arguably"--had been losing steam. With the album's four major hits and rave reviews from the critics (these things do not always go hand-in-hand), Petty must have breathed a sigh of relief. He left the Heartbreakers behind, hooked up with musician, writer, and producer Jeff Lynne, and rocked out with "Runnin' Down a Dream," got mellow and introspective on "Free Fallin'" and "A Face in the Crowd," and paid tribute (finally) to the Byrds with a cover of "Feel a Whole Lot Better." He perfected the sing-along guitar-pop song on "Yer So Bad" and had a wild time on "Zombie Zoo." Pure Petty perfection!

Lorry Fleming - Amazon.com

Zehn Jahre waren seit Pettys letzter Veröffentlichung (Damn the Torpedoes, 1979) ins Land gegangen und Full Moon Fever belebte auf Anhieb die Karriere des Künstlers wieder, die -- einige würden sagen "möglicherweise" -- Dynamik verloren hatte. Nach den vier größeren Hit-Erfolgen dieses Albums und schwärmerischen Rezensionen der Kritiker (diese beiden Dinge verlaufen nicht immer Hand in Hand), muß Petty ganz schön durchgeatmet haben. Er ließ die Heartbreakers hinter sich, verbündete sich mit Musiker, Songschreiber und Produzent Jeff Lynne und rockte drauf los mit "Runnin' Down a Dream", wurde sanft und nach innen gekehrt bei "Free Fallin'" und "A Face in the Crowd" und zollte (endlich) den Byrds seine Anerkennung mit einer Version von "Feel a Whole Lot Better". Er perfektionierte den Gitarren-Popsong zum Mitsingen bei "Yer So Bad" und hatte eine wilde Zeit bei "Zombie Zoo". Die reinste Petty Perfektion !

Lorry Fleming - Amazon.de

Es scheint, als hätten die Traveling-Wilburys-Aktivitäten auch bei Tom Patty neue Energie freigesetzt. Aus diesem Umfeld rekrutierte er Roy Orbison wie George Harrison - und Jeff Lynne auch als Produzenten. Das Ergebnis: ein starkes Stück Rock ohne Firlefanz, mit folkigen Unter- und Zwischentönen.

© Audio

ELO-Chef Jeff Lynne hat viele Fehler gemacht, darunter die Produktion der LPs "Information" (1983) und "Riff Raff" (1984) von Dave Edmunds. In der "Wilbury"-Gang um Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty und den verstorbenen Roy Orbison fand Lynne aber die Klienten, denen er mit seiner Studio-Exper- tise zu neuem Hitparadenruhm verhelfen kann. Auch Pettys "Full Moon Fever" entstand im Dunstkreis der "Wilbury"-Aktivitäten - und ist das Beste, was der blonde Cherokee-Enkel seit langem abgeliefert hat. Das furiose Album steckt voll transparenter und druckvoller Rockpoesie - nur zu dem Byrds-Ol- die "Fee A Whole Lot Better" fiel Tom Petty nichts Neues ein, obwohl er ein strikter Bewunderer von Roger McGuinn & Band ist.

© Stereoplay

You'd have to go all the way back to about 1978 and Tom Petty's second album, You're Gonna Get It, to find a time when Petty made such an honest, likeable record. Chalk it up to any of a number of things-the absence of all but one Heartbreaker (except in small guest roles), the production of Jeff Lynne, the involvement in the Wilburys-but mostly chalk it up to a set of solid songs that seem to find Petty curiously unconcerned with how many records he's gonna sell. This ain't no Nebraska, mind you, but Petty seems to have shed his need for gloss and dross to concentrate instead on crafting fluff-free personal rock and roll that'd sound a bunch more comfortable in a segue with Peter Case or Green On Red than it would on your local CHR station. Skip the lone cover-the note-for-note, totally unnecessary remake of the Byrds' "Feel A Whole Lot Better"-and jump to the low-key, folkish "A Face In The Crowd" or the midtempo "Yer So Bad" (more Byrdsy than the Byrds song). "My sister got lucky, married a yuppie/Took him for all he was worth/Now she's a swinger dating a singer/I can't decide which is worse," Petty sings-this is not a line that's gonna go flying to the top 10 real soon. That Full Moon Fever bears a distinct Wilburys feel throughout is no big surprise-George Harrison and Roy Orbison even make cameo appearances-but for once Jeff Lynne has stood in the shadow, giving Petty the push he needed to bring out what may just be the only music he's enjoyed making in years (hey, he doesn't emit that annoying whine of his even once!). It's heavy on the acoustic guitars, sharp hooks and retro cliches ("The Apartment Song" coulda been a lost Buddy Holly tune), but it's a grabber. Full Moon Fever is a Tom Petty album for those who've always hated Tom Petty but had a sneaking suspicion the guy could do it right if he put his mind to it. This time he has.

Jeff Tamarkin - May 19, 1989
CMJ New Music Report Issue: 170

Tom Petty's "solo" debut is hardly a major departure, as many of his Heartbreakers appear on this album, as do all his fellow Wilburys save Bob Dylan. By making this a solo album maybe Petty is simply drawing a dividing line in his career, and these are his "solo" songs. Frankly, it's hard to detect the difference, but these tracks do have a more personable (not personal) feel than his recent efforts, certainly inspired by the wonderful casualness of the Wilburys album. Some of these songs are downright silly ("Zombie Zoo"?), but when he hits the mark, these tracks are among his best: "I Won't Back Down," "Depending On You," "Yer So Bad" (which includes the lines "My sister got lucky/Married a yuppie/Took him for all he was worth") and "Love Is A Long Road."

© 1978-1999 College Media Inc. All rights reserved.

 L y r i c s


She's a good girl, loves her mama
loves Jesus, and America too
She's a good girl, crazy 'bout Elvis
Loves horses and her boyfriend too

It's a long day livin' in  Reseda
there's a free-way runnin' through the yard
and I'm a bad boy, cause I don't even miss her
I'm a bad boy for breakin' her heart

And I'm free, I'm free fallin'

All the vampires walkin' through the valley
move west down Ventura Blvd.
And all the bad boys are standing in the shadows
All the good girls are home with broken hearts

Repeat Chorus

I wanna glide down over Mulholland
I wanna write her name in the sky
I wanna free fall out into nothin'
Gonna leave this world for awhile

Repeat Chorus


Well I won't back down, no I
won't back down you can
stand me up at the gates of hell
but I won't back down

Gonna stand my ground, won't be turned around
and I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
gonna stand my ground and I won't back down

Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
hey I will stand my ground
and I won't back down

Well I know what's right, I got just one life
in a world that keeps on pushin' me around
but I'll stand my ground and I won't back down

Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
hey I will stand my ground
and I won't back down
No, I won't back down


There was a girl I knew
She said she cared about me
She tried to make my world
The way she thought it should be
Yeah we were desperate then
To have each other to hold
But love is a long, long road

There were so many times
I would wake up at noon
With my head spinning 'round
I would wait for the moon
And give her one more chance
T try and save my soul
But love is a long, long road

Yeah it was hard to give up
Some things are hard to let go
Some things are never enough
I guess I only can hope
For maybe one more chance
To try and save my soul
But love is a long, long road


Before all of this ever went down
in another place, another town,
you were just a face in the crowd
out in the street walking around
A face in the crowd

Out of a dream, out of the sky
into my heart, into my life

And you were just a face in the crowd
out in the street, thinking out loud
A face in the crowd


It was a beautiful day, the sun beat down
I had the radio on, I was drivin'
trees flew by, me and Del were singin' little Runaway
I was flyin'

Yeah runnin down a dream
that never would come to me
workin' on a mystery, goin' wherever it leads
runnin' down a dream

I felt so good like anything was possible
I hit cruise control and rubbed my eyes
the last three days the rain was un-stoppable
it was always cold, no sunshine

Repeat Chorus

I rolled on as the sky grew dark
I put the pedal down to make some time
there's something good waitin' down this road
I'm pickin' up whatever's mine

Chorus out


The reason why, oh I can't say
I have to let you go babe, and right away
After what you did I can't stay on
And I'll probably feel a whole lot better
When you're gone

Baby for a long time you had me believe
That your love was all mine
And that's the way it would be
But I didn't know that you were puttin' me on
And I'll probably feel a whole lot better
When you're gone

Now I gotta say that it's not like before
And I'm not gonna play your games anymore
After what you did I can't stay on
And I'll probably feel a whole lot better
When you're gone


My sister got lucky, married a yuppie
took him for all he was worth
now she's a swinger dating a singer
I can't decide which is worse

but not me baby, I've got you to save me
oh yer so bad, best thing I ever had
in a world gone mad, yer so bad

My sister's ex-husband can't get no lovin'
walks around dog-faced and hurt
now he's got nothin', head in the oven
I can't decide which is worse

Repeat Chorus


I ain't ever gonna let you down
All you gotta do is trust me
I would never make you some clown
baby why won't you trust me

You give up so easily, I don't know why you can't see
I'm depending on you, don't let me down
I'm depending on you

baby if you can't change the world
maybe you should just change yourself
you used to be such a sweet young girl
why you wanna be someone else?

you give up so easily
I don't know why you can't see
I'm depending on you
is it too late now?
I'm depending on you


I used to live in a two-room apartment
neighbors knockin' on my wall
times were hard, I don't wanna knock it
I don't miss it much at all

Oh yeah I'm alright I just feel a
little lonely tonight
I'm okay, most of the time
I just feel a little lonely tonight

I used to need your love so badly
then I came to live with it
lately I get a faraway feeling
and the whole thing starts again

(Repeat Chorus and 2nd verse)


Goodnight baby, sleep tight my love
May God watch over you from above
Tomorrow I'm workin' what would I do
I'd be lost & lonely if not for you

So close your eyes
We're alright for now

I've spent my life travelin'
I've spent my life free
I could not repay all you've done for me

So sleep tight baby
Unfurrow your brow
And know I love you
We're alright for now
We're alright for now


I remember her standing in the tall grass and cattails
Away from the windows at the end of the day
watching the men from the lading in the
tall hats & coat-tails
She'd never look different
But something would change

A mind with a heart of its own
Yeah a mind with a heart of its own

Well the man out to end us had a hurricane business
He'd raise them from babies all by himself
but his teen-age accountant had become surrounded
he drank up the party and everyone left

A mind with a heart of its own
Yes a mind with a heart of its own

Well I been to Brooker and I been to Micanopy
I been to St. Louis too, I been all around the world
I've been over th your house
And you've been over sometimes to my house
I've slept in your tree house
my middle name is Earl

A mind with a heart of its own
A mind with a heart of its own
Yeah a mind with a heart of its own


All down the street they're standin' in line
with white lipstick and one thing on their mind
Hey little freak with the lunch pail purse
underneath the paint you're just a little girl

Dancin' at the Zombie Zoo, dancin' at the Zombie Zoo
Painted in a corner and all you wanna do
is dance down at the Zombie Zoo

Cute little dropout, how come you pack a rod
is your mother in a clinic?  has your father got no job?
Sometimes you're so impulsive,
you shaved off all your hair
you look like Boris Karloff and you don't even care

You're dancin' at the Zombie Zoo
dancin' at the Zombie Zoo

She disappears at sunrise, I wonder where
she goes until
the night comes fallin' down again she shows
up with her friends half-alive

You can make a big impression or
go through life unseen
you might wind up restricted and over seventeen
it's so hard to be careful, so easy to be led
Somewhere beyond the pavement
you'll find the living dead

 M P 3   S a m p l e s

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