Well it was kinda cold that night
She stood alone on her balcony
Yeah, she could hear the cars roll by
Out on 441 like waves crashin’ on the beach
And for one desperate moment
There he crept back in her memory
God it’s so painful when something that’s so close
Is still so far out of reach
Oh yeah, all right
Take it easy, baby
Make it last all night
– American Girl
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is the eponymous debut album by the band of the same name, it was released on November 9, 1976 by Shelter Records.
I was 10 years old when I heard this great album for the first time, a neighbour had got it from some relatives in The States. I was blown away, it was fantastic. It was so fresh and so “impatient”. It sounded as they stood on their toes when they played. It wasn’t punk, but it sounded like it anyway. I loved it then and I love it now!
Following its release, the album received little attention in the US. Following a British tour, it climbed to #24 on the UK album chart and the single “Anything That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll” became a hit in the UK. After nearly a year and many positive reviews, the album reached the U.S. charts, where it climbed to #55 in 1978 and eventually went Gold. The single “Breakdown” cracked the Top 40 in the U.S. and “American Girl” became an FM radio staple which can still be heard today.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Breakdown (Live, France 1980):
“At the time Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ debut was released in 1976, they were fresh enough to almost be considered punk. They weren’t as reckless or visionary as the Ramones, but they shared a similar love for pure ’60s rock and, for the Heartbreakers, that meant embracing the Byrds as much as the Stones. And that’s pretty much what this album is — tuneful jangle balanced by a tough garage swagger.”
– Thomas Erlewine (Allmusic)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – American Girl (Midnight Special, live, 1978):
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers on Spotify (1976):