Southern Accents is the sixth studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released on March 26, 1985, through MCA Records. The album’s lead single, “Don’t Come Around Here No More”, co-written by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song “Southern Accents” was later covered by Johnny Cash for his Unchained album in 1996. The album cover features an 1865 painting by Winslow Homer titled The Veteran in a New Field. A new version of the song “The Best of Everything” with a different arrangement and a previously unreleased verse was released as a single in 2018, before the release of the upcoming eponymous compilation album. Here are all of Southern Accents songs ranked.
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“Rebels” finds Tom Petty as his usual self, blending Country sensibilities and lyrics with catchy, hooky acoustic guitar riffs with his commanding vocals, much like “Refugee”. A good track.”
8. Make It Better (Forget About Me)
“Make It Better(Forget About Me)” reminds me of Huey Lewis and The News, starting off with a chugging guitar riff combined with Saxophones, Keyboards, and Organs, not to mention Petty’s upbeat vocals. A solid rocker with some interesting instument use.”
7. It Ain’t Nothin’ to Me
“It Ain’t Nothing To Me” builds up slowly, with a catchy sax solo and Petty’s slightly distorted vocals singing behind a typical New Wave beat. The Disco-y chorus is a nice touch to a good song.”
See more: Tom Petty Albums Ranked
“Spike” is a Psychadelic Rocker along the lines of The Doors, using Petty’s sneering vocals behind a slow, placid keyboard beat(Much like The Doors) and short bursts of an acoustic guitar. Quickly gets repetitive and boring after hearing the same thing over and over though makes “Spike” an average track.”
5. Don’t Come Around Here No More
“Don’t Come Around Here No More” is ‘Southern Accents’ big hit, and it’s no surprise! A catchy, New Wave-y synthesizer beat backs up Petty’s drawling, yet oddly addictive vocals. Excellent usage of a backup choir and Synthesizer’s make “Don’t Come Around Here No More” an excellent and catchy monster hit!”
See more: Tom Petty Songs Ranked
4. Dogs on the Run
“Dogs On The Run” builds up, starting off with Gospel-y organs and Petty’s accented vocals, but it soon adds in a catchy, bluesy guitar riff to make “Dogs On The Run” a good Gospel influenced rocker.”
3. Mary’s New Car
“Mary’s New Car” sounds almost like The Clash, using a subtle, catchy, punky riff, combining Keyboards and Saxaphones, and puts Petty’s sarcastic vocals and weird lyrics to good use. Interesting song.”
2. Southern Accents
“Southern Accents” begins behind a subtle Classical Piano and Petty’s brooding vocals. As this ballad progresses, slight touches of an acoustic guitar and a violin are added in. “Southern Accents” quickly gets boring though, as the slowness and repetitiveness really begin to show.
1. The Best of Everything
“The Best of Everything” is a Soul-influenced ballad, putting heavy use of the melodic keyboard, not to mention Horns and Saxophones to use to create a repetitive, heartfelt ballad that gets a tad boring when all’s said and done.”