Thomas Earl Petty was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He was the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, formed in 1976. Petty recorded a number of hit singles with the Heartbreakers and as a solo artist. In his career, he sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Here is Tom Petty’s best five albums ranked.
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5. Southern Accents
“Southern Accents is one of my favorite Tom Petty albums. Like the cover suggests, it’s a a more peaceful collection of songs, like you’re getting home at the end of a long day, tired and happy. To me, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are already a legendary American band, and it has been thrilling to see them perform several times through the years. If you really want to hear great songs, listen to these guys jam. Every one of their albums has a lot to say without trying too hard. It’s all there for you…from Spike to American Girl. You rock!”
4. Hard Promises
“I love this album! My favorite track is the first one I played on the air of Tom Petty’s when I worked in radio. The track is Woman In Love. Loved the song enough to buy the album. The Waiting and Nightwatchman were also hits of this album. A great rock n’ roll album from a band that knew how to groove.”
See More: The Who Albums: Top 5 Ranked
3. Full Moon Fever
“Tom Petty had already established himself as a rock star since the late 70s but his 1989 album Full Moon Fever was his commercial peak thanks to a series of hit singles including what is argubly his most popular song, “Free Fallin'”. Other hits include “I Won’t Back Down” and “Runnin’ Down A Dream”. Coming off the success of The Traveling Wilburys and deciding to make his first solo album without The Heartbreakers, although two members did contribute to this record, Full Moon Fever in my opinion was Petty’s most mature record at that time. It was on constant rotation and its singles are still played on classic rock radio. The whole album is a gem, including one of my favorite Petty songs, “Depending On You”. Also, the rock icon pays tribute to The Byrds with a cover of “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better.”
2. Damn the Torpedoes
“”Damn The Torpedoes” is, arguably, the finest early album by Petty and his band. The songs “Don’t Do Me Like That” and “Refugee”, were all over the radio, in people’s cars, and blasting out of people’s living rooms. And then to have songs like “Here Comes My Girl” and “Even The Losers” on top of it-well, Petty and the band don’t get much better. With Petty’s, at times, Dylan-like vocal mannerisms and sound, that chiming electric 12 string filling in all the empty spaces, and Mike Campbell’s straightforward rock ‘n’ roll guitar for added punch, their sound was tough. Not to mention the rhythm section-while holding everything together they simultaneously push things along, and make it seem effortless, this is a real rock ‘n’ roll band.”
“absolutely love this album. It might actually be my favorite from Tom Petty. In my personal opinion, this album is classic Tom Petty, showcasing his humor, sarcasm, and maturity all in 15 songs.
This one has a little bit of everything I think. Songs like, “Don’t Fade on Me,” that can be a little bit dark, all the way to “It’s Good to be King,” (one of my personal favorites), which is sort of cheeky and sarcastic.
I find myself listening to this album in all kinds of moods because there’s kind of a song or two on it for all kinds of situations. If you want an album that showcases Tom (sans Heartbreakers), this one will definitely do that in my opinion.”
Truly wonderful tunes!