Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Refugee / Watch Video

 

 

Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s 15th studio release is a “return to form,” according to reviews.

Already selling more than 80 million total albums in a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career, Tom Petty (along with his perennial band the Heartbreakers) is one of the best-selling artists of all time. But that’s no reason to hang up his hat, as the classic rock aficionado has just released his 15th studio album — and 13th with the Heartbreakers — Hypnotic Eye (Reprise).

Whatever the title may suggest, Hypnotic doesn’t focus on the Billboard‘s cover star‘s beliefs about transcendental meditation. Instead, Billboard.coms Kenneth Partridge is calling it a “return to form,” saying in his 85/100, track-by track review that: “In a sense, it’s where he’s always been.”

“Singing over punchy backings sure to get folks reminiscing about Damn the Torpedoes and Hard Promises, two of his early classics, Petty takes stock of his life, thumbs his nose at cops and parents, and decides he’s happy chasing his foolish rock ‘n’ roll dreams. He’s done some things he’s maybe not proud of (see: “Sins of My Youth”), but come out with his soul intact. At the very least, he’s not one of those unfeeling, self-oriented, materialistic ‘Shadow People’ he sniffs at in the final track,” says Partridge.

In his four-star review, Rolling Stones Jon Dolan agrees. “On Hypnotic Eye, the 63-year-old and his eternal Heartbreakers return to the scrappy heat of those early days with their toughest, most straight-up rocking record in many years, deepened by veteran perspective,” he says.

“The new album is a return to lucidity after the sometimes generic blues-rock and haphazard lyrics of Mojo,” says The New York TimesJon Pareles. “Nearly every song on Hypnotic Eye puts its main riff right up front, followed by Mr. Petty clearly staking out characters and situations. ‘American Dream Plan B’ opens the album with just a drumbeat and distorted, choppy guitar chords, with Mr. Petty soon arriving to yowl: ‘I’m gonna make my way through this world someday/I don’t care what nobody say.'”

Says The New York Daily News Jim Farber: “The album recalls the formal song structures, chiseled tunes and hard-rocking momentum of yore. It’s his catchiest, most sharply focused album in years.”

Hypnotic Eye is being talked about as a return to the sound of gumshoe Petty as heard on 1976’s Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and 1978’s You’re Gonna Get It! This is partly true,” says Consequences of Sound‘s Julian Ring in his more mixed review. “What keeps any song on Hypnotic Eye from matching “American Girl” or “The Wild One, Forever” is quality of songwriting, which shouldn’t necessarily come as a shocker. Classicism has no hand in it. Petty’s reached a point where he doesn’t need to worry about hits, no doubt a liberating position in which to create. But expectations are also lower, and in spots, it’s noticeable. Petty and his band have delivered a solid, but not wholly exceptional, batch of songs propelled by sharp lyrical themes and a clear vision. Ranked alongside the Heartbreakers’ back catalog, their 13th falls somewhere in the middle.”

STORY Tom Petty’s Billboard Cover: 5 Discoveries About the Rock Icon

“It won’t convert the unconvinced, but Petty sounds as inspired as ever,” says NMEs Mischa Pearlman, also giving Petty a mixed review.

“Though he has lived in California for decades, he remains a child of the South, and when his drawl breaks into a raspy growl, you can feel the pulse of a song rise, the anger bubbling to the surface,” says The Chicago Tribune‘s Greg Kot. “Petty stays contained, but there’s a sense that things could pop any second. It’s there in the diminished expectations outlined in ‘American Dream Plan B’ and the has-been’s lament ‘Forgotten Man.'”

And while “fans of Petty have a few stinkers to deal with in a 13-album stretch,” adds Kot, “the sun rises in the East, death and taxes will get you every time, and Tom Petty won’t let you down. It’s also really easy to take what he does, what he makes seem so effortless, for granted.”

 

Pearl Jam’s U.S. Tour Dates

Eddie Vedder - Frontman of Pearl Jam

Eddie Vedder – Frontman of Pearl Jam / Photo Jason Oxenham/Getty Images

Pearl Jam have announced a 12-city October U.S. tour, following a summer trek to Europe, that includes their appearance at Austin City Limits Music Festival. Tickets for the shows go on sale May 30th.

Last year, the group put out their 10th studio album, Lightning Bolt, which frontman Eddie Vedder kvelled about in an interview with Rolling Stone. “I say this in the least-competitive way possible, but we’re trying to make not just the best Pearl Jam record, but just the best record,” the singer said. “It’s about getting to the next level of communication, or just trying to crack a code into some higher plane of playing music.”

Outside of the world of Pearl Jam, the group’s guitarist Mike McCready wrote an article for Rolling Stone about how Kiss had inspired him growing up, as the makeup-faced hard rockers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Moreover, he revealed that he wasn’t the only member of his band to garner inspiration from the group. “Pearl Jam sit down and have conversations about Kiss all the time on tour,” he wrote. “My band used to do ‘C’Mon and Love Me.’ Matt Cameron played in a Kiss tribute band when he was 14. They got so big around San Diego that they got a cease-and-desist order from Casablanca Records. Jeff Ament used to play ‘She’ in his band Deranged Diction. There’s a Kiss through-line to a lot of the music that came out of Seattle, and it hasn’t been talked about a lot.”

Via Rolling Stone Mag

Pearl Jam U.S. tour dates:
10/1 Cincinnati, OH – U.S. Bank Arena
10/3 St. Louis, MO – Scottrade Center
10/4 – 10/5 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
10/8 Tulsa, OK – BOK Center
10/9 Lincoln, NE – Pinnacle Bank Arena
10/10 – 10/12 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
10/14 Memphis, TN – FedEx Forum
10/16 Detroit, MI – Joe Louis Arena
10/17 Moline, IL – iWireless Center
10/19 St. Paul, NM – Xcel Energy Center
10/20 Milwaukee, WI – BMO Harris Bradley Center
10/22 Denver, CO – Pepsi Center

Watch: Pearl Jam Cover the Dead Boys With Joey Ramone

 
Via Rolling Stone
 

Pearl Jam have toured with a lot of amazing opening acts over the years, sharing the stage with Iggy Pop, Sleater-Kinney, the Buzzcocks, Cheap Trick and many, many more. But nothing is likely to top four American shows in September 1995, when the Ramones were on the bill. The punk icons were on a farewell tour that year, playing a career high 73 gigs. Their last gig together was September 17th at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans.

During the encore, in a moment that Ramones super fan Eddie Vedder is likely to never forget, Joey Ramone came onstage and sang the Dead Boys classic “Sonic Reducer” with the band. This was obviously before the era of smartphones, but camcorders were rolling in the audience. Here’s the best available video, which was spliced together from two sources.

Despite pledging that they would break-up following their 1995 tour, the Ramones got a big money offer to headline Lollapalooza in the summer of 1996, so the tour kept going. They played their final show at the Palace in Hollywood, California. Eddie Vedder joined them for the final encore, a cover of “Anyway You Want It” by the Dave Clark Five.

Six years later, Eddie Vedder inducted the Ramones in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He spoke for 17 minutes. “They were armed with two-minute songs that they rattled off like machine gun fire,” he said. “It was enough to change the Earth’s revolution. Now it’s Disney kids singing songs written by old men and being marketed to six- and seven-year-olds, so some kind of change might have to happen again soon.”

Tragically, Joey Ramone wasn’t around to receive the honor. He passed away the previous April (Cancer claimed punk legend and Ramones founder). . Dee Dee Ramone died of a heroin overdose just three months later, and Jonny Ramone died of prostate cancer in 2004. Eddie Vedder spoke at his funeral.

With no support other than CBGB owner Hilly Kristal, the Ramones became the first of the New York punk rock and New Wave bands to land a major-label record deal. Their first four records, The Ramones, The Ramones Leave Home, and Road to Run are widely considered the blueprint for punk rock. The band’s legacy was further assured with its starring role in the Roger Corman cult-film, Rock and Roll High School in 1979. A year later the band wore their Sixties pop influences on their sleeves when they enlisted Phil Spector to produce their fifth studio album, End of the Century. The album featured a cover of the Ronettes’ “Baby I Love You,” their biggest hit in either the U.S. or the U.K.