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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

1976

Buy At Rough Trade
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Album Summary

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is the debut album by the band of the same name, released on November 9, 1976, by Shelter Records. The album was recorded and mixed at the Shelter Studio in Hollywood, California.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.4

Votes

13065

Genres

  • Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock

Reviews

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Thu Sep 23 2021
2

I once met Tom Petty (without The Heartbreakers) in a greasey spoon just off Camden highstreet. He was tucking into a full English and unbeknown to him got a bit of egg was stuck on his face for about 35 mins. I smugly waited until I had finished my mug of coffee, stood up and announced to everyone in earshot that Tom Petty was an egg-faced sausage-lover and ran out. I watched from the window as he wiped the egg from his embarrassed red face and as he did I banged on the window and let out a fart so thunderous that the single glazed window shuddered. He looked on in horror. What a fuckin' loser Tom Petty was that day.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
3

Not particularly exciting. Definitely listenable, but pretty forgettable rock that doesn't feel like it pushes the boundaries of what I'm now used to.

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Tue Nov 02 2021
4

Sometimes a debut sounds like a debut. Full of promise with flashes of genius. Whilst there are quite a few tracks on here that are forgettable run of the mill rock n roll songs, the great tracks (Breakdown, Strangered in the Night, and American girl elevate this to well above average album. 4/5

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Tue Nov 16 2021
3

Surprisingly average. The known songs are absolute classics but the remainder of the album is just filler. Would never put on to listen to full album. 3/5

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Thu Jul 15 2021
3

For a debut, it's not bad but there sure is a whole lot of Springsteen-esque garbage in here. Not enough to tank the album but enough to take the score down significantly. I'm really glad Petty and his boys figured out their own thing and got better from here. "Breakdown" and "American Girl" are both great tracks, though.

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Thu Feb 11 2021
3

Pretty good, little blah through the middle. Like Breakdown.

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Sun Feb 21 2021
5

One of the most unhateable figures of classic rock and I love him. The only good thing to come out of Gainesville FL

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Thu Aug 26 2021
4

It’s one of those LPs that just seems pure and uncomplicated. Really loved this record. (8/10) Favourite Tracks: Breakdown, Hometown Blues, American Girl

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Thu Feb 15 2024
4

Tom Petty is a legend. His songs are either outstanding, or pretty crappy.

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Tue Aug 17 2021
3

Cet album V pour Vendetta ne m'a fait ni chaud ni froid. Je trouve neammoins très sympa l'annonce d'une nouvelle saison de la Ferme Célébrité en fin d'album.

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Tue Aug 17 2021
3

Qui aurait cru que Mickaël Vendetta avait sorti des albums de rock avec les Heartbreakers ? Certainement pas moi. Et pourtant j'ai beaucoup apprécié, tout au long de l'album, les nombreux moments où David Charvet lui demande d'arrêter de l'importuner ainsi que ceux au cours desquels Francky Vincent tente de le canaliser sous l'œil attentif de Greg le Millionnaire.

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Wed Jun 30 2021
4

Nearly perfect, and breakdown and American girl are huge. American girl is one of the best songs of all time. But the rest of the album hasn’t lasted in perpetuity in the same way.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

Steady from beginning to end, definitely loved the back half of the album with Mystery man and Luna being favorites.

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Thu Sep 23 2021
3

Hahaha he looks like such a dickhead. If it was a snooker player, it'd be Paul Hunter (RIP).

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Tue Dec 21 2021
2

On 'Fooled Again', Petty sounds like he's doing an impression of Keith Richards doing an impression of Mick Jagger. The rest of the album is similarly ersatz, or nostalgic, depending on how amenable you are to watered down r'n'r.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
5

I'm now listening to the debut album of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers from the year 1976. All I can think is how much I miss Tom Petty and everything about him. I'm not sure I can ever get tired of listening to Tom Petty. The songs sound fresh and it's a joy to hear these legendary hit songs within the context of the album as a whole. Listening to his voice, it's unique and I'm wondering how in the world it should work. I don't know what I'm trying to say. Sometimes you can look at something on paper and wonder how it could possibly work in real life. If I was building a rock star out of clay, I feel like I would end up with something very far away from Tom Petty. It doesn't make any sense the more I think about it. But it's all here to start in the first album. I'm enjoying this immensely. As we all know Tom became a legend, and one of the greatest rock musicians ever, he looms large even though he has passed. It's very simple and awesome. I'm very fucking excited to hear American Girl in it's original context at the end of the album.

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Tue Nov 16 2021
5

Ah. A classic. And I know it's basic to say American Girl is my favorite track, but it is. My only gripe is that the album is so short. Easily could have listened to Tom Petty for another half hour.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
5

Sensational 70’s guitar rock. 5 stars

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Tue May 17 2022
5

Breakdown and American Girl on your first record, eh Tom? Not too shabby. The silence and space between the notes in Breakdown are striking. A lot of bands are afraid of the silence and Tom and the HBs use it to their advantage. Everything on this record sounds great. Most of the songs could have been hits and nothing is a "skip." Tom Petty is one of the best and this is such a great debut. The instruments all sound great. His voice is so unique and expertly produced. I really can't say enough. Oh, the Heartbreakers logo with the Flying V is also great. RIP Tom.

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Thu Aug 17 2023
5

I am very familiar with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, as well as Tom's solo stuff. This is his only album included on this list. That's crazy, Full Moon Fever is his best album. Free Fallin', I Won't Back Down, Yer So Bad, Love Is a Long Road, Runnin' Down a Dream, The Apartment Song, Zombie Zoo..... That album is a fuckin hit machine. I don't understand this generator sometimes. Utter trash like Pere Ubu or The Jesus and Mary Chain get a couple albums, but someone as huge and influential as Tom Petty only gets one, and one of his weaker albums at that. Don't get me wrong, this album is fantastic (Breakdown, and American Girl are huge hits), but it just goes to show how hard this generator is skewed to obscure British garbage. Favourite songs: American Girl, Breakdown, Strangered In The Night, Hometown Blues, Anything That's Rock 'n' Roll Least favourite songs: Rockin' Around (With You) 5/5

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Sun Jul 25 2021
4

Tom finding his own voice. Great heartland album, closer to Springsteen than what Tom was to later become. Great rock album.

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Wed Sep 29 2021
4

Saw the Heartbreakers at Leeds University - touring this album. Fan ever since.

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Mon Oct 11 2021
4

OK so under no pretences, this is a very straightforward rock and roll album. Petty and his band aren't aiming to re-invent the wheel here, but try and escape the positive energy, the enjoyment and enthusiasm that seems to spill over from these songs. One of the records greatest strengths is its pacing- none of it outstays its welcome. The songs are incredibly lean, straight to the point and the whole thing is over in 30 minutes. Finishing with "American Girl" is a masterstroke, because it immediately redeems the record's most forgettable tracks ("Mystery Man", "Luna") which come directly before it. It meant that when the album ended, all it left in its wake was me still tapping along, humming that irresistible refrain, salivating over playing it again. Of course that's the highlight, but I also found a lot to love in the forward propulsion of "Rockin' Around (With You)", those harmonies in "Hometown Blues", and the chugging guitars and chorus melody in "Anything That's Rock n Roll." An immensely enjoyable, tight album.

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Mon Jul 03 2023
4

I’ve heard these songs 100 times but they are still fun. I love the riff in breakdown, and of course American Girl is a classic. Short but sweet at 30 minutes. 7/10

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Wed Dec 01 2021
3

I'm a fan of Tom Petty's brand of no-frills heartland rockers, but there aren't too many bangers on here, except for the grand daddy of all Petty bangers at the end. And maybe Breakdown.

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Fri Feb 18 2022
3

It's fine, but it's not Damn the Torpedoes.

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Sun Jul 02 2023
3

best album of all time in the category of length. breakdown, american girl

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Sat May 04 2024
3

I’m not disappointed, but I expected more.

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Sun May 09 2021
2

Not terrible, I just don’t think I’m ever gonna be a Tom Petty fan. 4/10

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Wed Aug 16 2023
2

First track very Byrdsy, decent, not what I expected. 2nd track onwards, very bar-room Americana, exactly what I expected. Not my thing.

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Tue Jul 20 2021
5

I ruddy love Tom Petty, he's wonderful. This is a fantastic album with some of his best.

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Tue Mar 02 2021
5

LOVE THIS ALBUM!! And the reminder to listen to more tom petty :-)

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Tue Apr 06 2021
5

TP and the Hb will never not be great.

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Tue Jul 20 2021
5

A fantastic album can’t believe I’ve never heard it before.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
5

Love Tom petty and the heartbreakers! love american girl! and breakdown!

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Mon Feb 15 2021
5

I was surprised by how much I liked this. Only knew a few of his songs before but I keep replaying this album.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
5

what an album, a stone cold classic

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Thu Jun 10 2021
5

I've got plenty of Tom Patty's songs in a playllist, but ive never ever listen to whole album

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Fri Dec 10 2021
5

I enjoyed every single song on the album, but none of them are giving me strong emotions just yet. I don't think this will ever reach 5 territory, but it is so solid I can't give it anything below a 4.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
5

this is SO GOOD...please break my heart tom petty

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Thu Mar 31 2022
5

good solid album, history to the ears

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Sat Apr 02 2022
5

This is an American classic from a man who is an American classic. What a debut album for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers… What can I say. This is one of the great rock records of the 70s. Fantastic!

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Sat Apr 02 2022
5

I never think of Tom Petty. I don't dislike him but I never feel the need to listen to a whole album. Seems I've been depriving myself. I knew the singles Breakdown and American Girl (the latter of which I love...except when I'm driving alone at night and it comes on the radio and I start to sing along and then I realize I've seen someone sing along to this song driving alone at night and I don't want to put the lotion in the basket and so I turn it off real quick) but I didn't know any of the others. From the first drum beat, I loved this great mix of songs. And at a scant 30 minutes, this album goes down super easy and is never boring.

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Sat Apr 02 2022
5

I generally like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but I didn’t know that I would love this album. So good, track after track!!

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Wed Apr 27 2022
5

When I was growing up I thought of Tom Petty as an old guy that got played on the classic rock stations with sleepy tunes like "Free Fallin" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance." But I'll be damned if these aren't bangers. My mind has been slowly changing about him over the years, and this album solidifies my fandom - I feel like I finally "get it." My favorite is probably "American Girl," that song is addicting.

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Fri Apr 29 2022
5

a really great album. it has what a call a southern USA rock sound

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Thu May 19 2022
5

I already know 5 and it's a damn shame this is his only entry on this list

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Wed Jul 13 2022
5

Always love Tom! This is perhaps one of his best albums!

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Thu Jul 21 2022
5

Good stuff. Petty is a legend.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

Love love love it. All I need to say.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
5

Brilliant, hard to believe it was their first album - it sounds so focused and complete. Breakdown and American Girl are stand outs, but it is all great!

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Thu Oct 13 2022
5

It does not get much better than this! A 5 star album any day of the week. I saw Tom and the Heartbreakers supporting Nils Lofgren when this album came out. Nils was great, but impossible to follow Tom!

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Sat Dec 03 2022
5

One of the all time great albums

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Fri Dec 16 2022
5

Classic Tom - could not love more. He ranks in my top 10 (maybe 5) live performances.

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Fri Dec 16 2022
5

LOVE Tom Petty! I could listen to him all day

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Tue Dec 27 2022
5

Who puts the best track last on the album?

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Fri Feb 10 2023
5

Great album. TP’s deep cuts are better than his hits. 5/5

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Mon Feb 27 2023
5

If the only two songs of worth were American Girl and Breakdown, the debut from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers would have been a classic. There is, however, so much more here. At the time this was released, Petty's brand of roots-oriented rock didn't really fit with most AOR or even Southern Rock stations. At least in the Metro NYC area, his music was heard on the emerging New Wave stations such as WNEW. As southern fried as he was, he appealed more to the punks and new wave crowd for his fresh sound.

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Tue Mar 21 2023
5

I can easily see how Petty’s voice isn’t for everyone, but I personally love his simple, catchy music paired with his difficulty with pronouncing words

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Mon Mar 27 2023
5

Un 5 bien mérité, un vrai bon album ! À réécouter !

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Mon Apr 17 2023
5

I could swing either way on this but considering how little I usually like "classic rock" suggestions on this list and how much I actually enjoy this one, I'll give it 5 stars. Three chords and a lot of energy, gotta love it.

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Wed Apr 26 2023
5

Has all the hits and is just an AWESOME album!

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Sat Jun 03 2023
5

You really can't go wrong with a Tom Petty album. His discography is the gift that keeps on giving, with treasures to be found on pretty much everything he ever made. This little gem was the band's debut, showing the band was still a work in progress, but with a level of quality that some bands strive for over years and never can match. It's wonderfully crafted, full of youthful energy but also moments of emotional honesty in the songwriting that would become central to all of Petty's work going forward. It reveals Petty's/the band's full understanding of songcraft and what makes a great album. And they were just getting started. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): American Girl; Breakdown; Mystery Man; Hometown Blues; Anything That's Rock 'n' Roll; Strangered in the Night; Luna; Fooled Again (I Don't Like It); The Wild One, Forever; Rockin' Around (With You)

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Mon Jun 12 2023
5

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers debut does not disappoint in any way. I’ll always have a soft spot for Tom Petty.

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Mon Jul 10 2023
5

TP is always 5 stars in my view. Breakdown is a favorite always.

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Mon Jul 17 2023
5

Gotta love Tom Petty. Who doesn’t?

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Sat Jul 22 2023
5

Classic. Never listened all the way through.

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Thu Aug 24 2023
5

Oh fuck yeah!!!!! I love Tom Petty. This album is a debut that definitely feels like a debut, but I love Tom so much that everything he does is phenomenal to me. Listening to him gives my soul the sustenance it craves. I love his songwriting, I love his incredibly distinct nasal twang, and I fucking dig his guitar playing. And American Girl is one of my all-time most favourite songs ever written; it's my go-to karaoke number, it's the best song to belt out in the car when you're cruisin' along by yourself trying to escape the doldrums of life, it's everything. I love you, Tom! I was so incredibly sad the day I heard about his passing. He's an absolute gem and I wish I'd had the chance to see him live.

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Sat Aug 26 2023
5

Album 147 of 1001 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Rating : 5 / 5 Favorite Track : American Girl Pretty good for a debut album. Carried, for the most part, by two hits. The remainder of the album is good but we know what was to come from him later. I am probably ranking this a little higher than I should, but it is Tom Petty's debut.

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Sat Sep 02 2023
5

9/10 amazing stuff — I’m really looking forward to hearing more of Petty’s discography

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Sat Oct 07 2023
5

this was a great album. obviously knew the two big songs off of this one already but didn't know the rest. I mean, it's not like it was out of left field, if you know what tom petty sounds like, then you know what tom petty sounds like. but I appreciate his style and his influences, so overall, I really enjoyed this one

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Mon Oct 09 2023
5

This album will always be good. Tom petty was brilliant

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Wed Oct 11 2023
5

Solid 5 stars. All songs are great!

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Thu Oct 12 2023
5

Tom Petty debut “new wave” album. You can really hear his R&B roots here on tracks like “Luna” & “Fooled Again”, but the classics “American Girl” and “Breakdown” are also present. The rest is sweet icing on this delicious cake.

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Fri Oct 13 2023
5

Diverse tunes and arrangements, you can tell that they were still sharpening the Tom Petty sound and vibe at this time. That being said the song are well executed, well recorded and make for an enjoyable listen.

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Thu Oct 19 2023
5

Tom and the boys debut finds them in perfect stones meets byrds meets rockabilly form. I especially love the spacious organ driven Luna.

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Mon Oct 30 2023
5

love it. didn’t know this was 1976!

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