"Damn the Torpedoes" (Blackstreet Records; 1979)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I have been a Tom Petty fan since I first heard them on the 1979 release of "Damn The Torpedoes." My cousin spun the (vinyl) album for me and I was instantly hooked. Petty’s vocal style is something that must be savored like a fine wine. Frankly it's ... well, not good. However, what he lacks in vocal finesse is more than made up for in song constructions. Petty is simply one of the best rock'n'roll song writers of all time.

"Damn the Torpedoes," of course, features the big hits you hear on FM radio: "Refugee," "Here Comes My Girl" and "Even The Losers." What you don't hear often enough are the deep cuts; outstanding music that (if you don't own the recording or subscribe to a streaming service) you simply never hear.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are just a bunch of guys from Florida that play rock'n'roll. That in itself is something. Well, maybe not the Florida part but the playing music part. They simply get the job done! "Damn the Torpedoes" is high quality music that delivers on every level from the sappy love songs to the upbeat tunes that make you want to dance and drink beer (or, in Petty’s own words--from another album): "Let’s roll another joint!"

 I, like a fool, did not see him live in Los Angeles a few years ago and now that will never happen since Petty has passed away. That will stick with me for the rest of my life. But at least we still have a catalog of some great fucking music. Rock'n'roll as it should be: simple, easy to listen to, singable, relatable and fun. That is certainly what you get with a Tom Petty recording.

Rating this release is like rating "The Shining" or "The Hobbit" but, alas I must: 4 guitarsaws! And if I could go fucking higher I would. RIP friend Tom. Your music will never be forgotten and as we're here at, your music will be appreciated.

The Heartbreakers are Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, Stan Lynch and Ron Blair.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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