Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Dec 8th, 2015

Tom Petty: Transmission Impossible

Tom Petty Transmission ImpossibleTom Petty
Transmission Impossible
(Eat to the Beat)

A three-disc set of live stuff, this Transmission Impossible collection brings fans of Tom Petty and his band The Heartbreakers a show from Florida in 1987, a show from North Carolina in 1989 and then some rare television broadcasts spanning 1978 to 1994. The Florida disc is 13 songs long. Featuring covers like “Should I Stay Or Should I Go,” “For What It’s Worth” (not so special save for longtime Petty guitarist Mike Campbell), and hits like the great audience participation on the low and sexy “Breakdown” and “The Waiting” (which begins with just Petty and his guitar). It is evident that Petty and his band are a cracker jack outfit. The sound here (as it is on the North Carolina disc) is pretty great; you can hear each and every instrument and Petty’s warble is upfront, but not overpowering. The North Carolina disc features more Petty hits, Campbell wailing into “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and a fantastic moment for piano player Benmont Tench to shine on the quick “Benmont’s Boogie.” The lilting, acoustic-led “A Face in the Crowd” sees perfectly-placed, plucked piano moments and slide, a better moving “Refugee” than on the first disc, and a real crowd-cheerer, “Free Fallin’,” pretty much proving how right-in-the-pocket the Heartbreakers are behind Petty (backing vocals as well as instrumentation). The third disc is the real treat for the Tom Petty completest, chock-full as it is with a whole bunch o’ stuff from different years and different appearances. Opening with a stellar “Free Fallin’,” from a Bridge School benefit show, quieter and more effective in a way than the version we got earlier in this collection. Once again we get “Refugee,” this one rockin’ a lot with crowd noise from Live Aid in 1985. There’s “Even the Losers” from Farm Aid a year later and two Dylan covers all in a full, 14-song, third disc. Tom Petty’s Transmission Impossible is rollicking live stuff indeed.

You can buy the album here.

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Tom Petty: Transmission Impossible