Into the Great Wide Open is the eighth studio album by American rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released in July 1991. The album was the band’s last with MCA Records. The album was the second Petty produced with Jeff Lynne after the success of Full Moon Fever. The first single, “Learning to Fly”, became the band’s joint longest-running No. 1 single (along with “The Waiting” from 1981’s Hard Promises) on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, spending six weeks at the top spot. The second single, “Out in the Cold”, also made No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock chart, albeit for two weeks. The music video for the title song stars Johnny Depp as “Eddie”, who moves to Los Angeles as a teenager to seek rock stardom, along with Gabrielle Anwar, Faye Dunaway, Matt LeBlanc, Terence Trent D’Arby, and Chynna Phillips. Here are all of Into the Great Wide Open songs ranked.
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12. Built to Last
“One of the best on the album. Petty&Lynne finishes their work on this fantastic album with this gem. The Ben E. King influenced “Built To Last” sounds like it came from a Traveling Wilburys session.
11. Learning to Fly
“Petty’s songwriting is particularly sharp on the wry title track and the smash hit single, “Learning to Fly.” Lead guitarist Mike Campbell (absolutely one of the most amazing axemen in the history of modern music) is his usual outstanding self throughout–his playing seems almost effortless and understated, yet he can drop your jaw with licks that are by turns dazzling in their dexterity, feral in their power, or hearbreaking in their beauty.”
10. Makin’ Some Noise
“Makin’ Some Noise” is just the kind of sonic triumph Lynne made his name on: booming, blasting and banging its way into the listener’s psyche with all the permanence of a tattoo. Here, though, petty manages to tell a story with Springsteen-like Panache; that down-to-earth vividness that walks you through a tale so real you can taste it:”
See more: Tom Petty Albums Ranked
9. Kings Highway
“An Upbeat rocker by Petty, with a nice overall sound. “Kings Highway” is an example of a song that could have been perfect had it not been slathered in Lynne’s excess.”
8. You and I Will Meet Again
“I love this song. There is just something special about it, and it holds up well when compared to the co-written songs. Written by Petty. You and I will Meet Again, easily one of Petty’s better lyrics, a simple song but a great one.”
7. Into the Great Wide Open
“Legendary. Petty&Lynne created a smashing hit with this one, about a lucky guy who gets a shot at stardom in the music industry. The Chorus is fantastic.”
See more: Tom Petty Songs Ranked
6. Out in the Cold
“Best Rocker on the Album. Smashing Upbeat by Petty&Lynne, with roots back to both Petty`s and ELO`s older styles, while keeping a nice, clean sound with Petty`s unique vocal. One of the only songs with a real “solo”, and it does one heck of a job with it too.”
5. Two Gunslingers
“Great upbeat song by Petty again, with a nice little story that is fun to listen to. In style with King`s Highway, which can only mean good things.”
4. Too Good to Be True
“Jeff Lynne has once again proved himself to be a genius musically, and a genius behind the console. I can’t even begin to explain how open, airy, and wide this record sounds.”
3. The Dark of the Sun
“A Beautiful song by Petty&Lynne, one of the best on the album. The Chorus and the build-up to it is great. As for Tom Petty, he proves once more that he is one of the great American songwriters and bandleaders, at once giving and gracious to his fellow band members, yet also serving as the clear visionary and pilot for another fantastic voyage.
2. All the Wrong Reasons
“A Nice song by Petty&Lynne, with a fun and sweet sing along Chorus. This is a brilliant album, probably not as catchy as Full Moon Fever but there’s no denying it’s got rhythm, the right mood and lot’s of style. I just dearly hope one day soon Jeff Lynne & Tom will see fit to make another album together and thrill us one more time.”
1. All or Nothin’
“Good Rocker with a chorus that have a bad habit of popping up in your head whenever you dont expect it.”All Or Nothing” is also a song that captures Petty and The Heartbreakers at their easy-going best, along with the great verse”