Tom Petty Biography
Thomas Earl Petty or popularly known as Tom Petty was born on October 20, 1950 in Gainesville, Florida USA. Music never attracted him till he was fascinated by Elvis Presley; since childhood he never took music so seriously but occasionally he used to sing and write numbers too. After graduating from Gainesville High School he decided to delve into music and make it an important part of his life. Petty started playing with a few rising and upcoming Heartland-Rock, Classic-Rock bands including Mudcrutch.
From the ashes of this band came The Heartbreakers; the band comprised
Tom Petty on vocals+guitar, Mike Campbell on guitar, Benmont Tench on
keyboards, Ron Blair on bass and Stan Lynch on drums.
It was in 1976, with their self-titled debut album, that Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers started to gain a ton of notoriety, the disc climbed into the top 30 in U.K. and later reached the #55 position on the U.S. Pop Albums chart while the first single, "Breakdown", debuted in the American Top 40; the final single, "American Girl", became the best-known song on the record as well as a worldwide recurrent hit.
Released in 1978, "You're Gonna Get It!", climbed the the U.S. Pop Albums chart peking at #23 and spawned the AOR staples "I Need To Know" and "Listen To Her Heart", but this success was dented by the controversy the band got into and this created a lull as there was no album from them for a very long time.
But the dawn of 1979 saw the settlement of the dispute and then Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers launched their third LP, "Damn The Torpedoes". This album was their third smash hit in a row, the disc rose to #2 in U.S. and went on to achieve double-platinum status. Its main single, "Don't Do Me Like That", rocketed to #10 on The Billboard Hot 100 and "Refugee" reached the #15 position on the same chart.
In May 1981 the group released their second platinum album, "Hard Promises" which debuted at #5 on the U.S. Pop chart producing another massive hit, "The Waiting"; the single spent six weeks atop The Mainstream Rock chart and also climbed into the top 20 of The Billboard Hot 100; the follow-up single, the fan favorite "A Woman In Love (It's Not Me)", hit the top 5 of The Mainstream Rock chart.
Shortly after "Hard Promises" was finished, Petty and company recorded a song that he and guitarist Mike Campbell composed about a year earlier, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" and sent that demo to Stevie Nicks. She loved it; eventually Nicks and Petty decided to do it as a duet and recorded their voices over the demo's instrumental track. The song was included on Fleetwood Mac frontwoman's multi-million selling solo debut "Bella Donna", peaking at #2 on The Mainstream Rock Tracks and at #3 on the U.S. Pop Singles charts.
Riding high on the back-to-back successes of the band's previous two LPs, Tom Petty quickly returned to the studio to record the Heartbreakers' fifth album, "Long After Dark"; it reached #2 on the Top 200 LPs & Tapes chart upon its November 1982 release while the first single, "You Got Lucky" shot to #1 on The Mainstream Rock chart and inched into the top 20 of The Billboard Hot 100. Though the album failed to achieve platinum status it spawned two more Mainstream Rock top 20 hits, "One Story Town" and "Change Of Heart", the latter of which also crossed over to The Billboard Hot 100 peaking at #21; "Long After Dark" marked the first personnel change in the band: bassist Ron Blair left the Heartbreakers and was replaced by Howie Epstein.