Thursday, May 5, 2011

hard promises

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers took it on faith, took it to the heart, and took on his record company. When MCA wanted to release the record at the "star list price" of $9.98, which was a high price at the time, Petty refused, threatening to change the album title to "The 8.98 Album" and actually withhold the album from the label. 'Hard Promises' made it to number five on the US album chart and number one in New Zealand.

'The Waiting' spent six weeks on the top of the new 'Top Tracks' chart, was a top twenty hit, and propelled the album into platinum status. Petty remembers: "That was a song that took a long time to write. Roger McGuinn swears he told me the line - about the waiting being the hardest part - but I think I got the idea from something Janis Joplin said on television. I had the chorus very quickly, but I had a very difficult time piecing together the rest of the song. It's about waiting for your dreams and not knowing if they will come true. I've always felt it was an optimistic song."

"Well, yeah, I might have chased a couple women around
All it ever got me was down
Yeah, then there were those that made me feel good
But never as good as I feel right now"

'A Woman In Love (It's Not Me)'

"He's gonna break her heart to pieces
But she don't wanna know"

'Insider' is one of two duets the band recorded with Stevie Nicks during the sessions. Tom says, "It's one of those things in a relationship that really is the stinger. You know, you didn't trust me, you couldn't trust me...that's the way it always come out. Trust. When I wrote that song, I wrote it very quickly, I mean maybe in ten, fifteen minutes. I just wrote it all down on paper and then I just picked up the guitar and tried to sing each line out. It took me maybe an hour to do that - it don't happen every day, fans! But the lyrics were real quick."

"I'm an insider, I been burned by the fire
And I've had to live with some hard promises
I've crawled through the briars"

'Hard Promises'
full album:

All songs were written by Tom Petty, except where noted.

Side one

"The Waiting" – 3:58
"A Woman in Love (It's Not Me)" (Petty, Mike Campbell) – 4:22
"Nightwatchman" (Petty, Campbell) – 3:59
"Something Big" – 4:44
"Kings Road" – 3:27
Side two
"Letting You Go" – 3:24
"A Thing About You" – 3:33
"Insider" – 4:23
"The Criminal Kind" – 4:00
"You Can Still Change Your Mind" (Petty, Campbell) – 4:15

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