Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: The Best Of Everything album review

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' career-spanning double CD compilation, also available on quadruple vinyl

Tom Petty

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Tom Petty might not have possessed Bruce Springsteen’s stage-patter or Neil Young’s molten fury, but when it came to sheer tunefulness, Gainesville’s finest beat them both hands down. 

Proof – if it were needed – of his melodic gifts comes in the form of this thirty-eight track retrospective, The Best Of Everything.

Curated by the singer’s family and closest musical associates, it combines Heartbreakers' classics (American Girl, Breakdown, Refugee) and solo hits (Free Fallin’, I Won’t Back Down) with a smattering of tracks recorded during his sentimental reformation with first band, Mudcrutch.

The seriously Petty-minded – having already gorged on last year’s excellent An American Treasure box set – will enjoy an alternate version of the title track and new sleevenotes by long term devotee Cameron Crowe.

However, the real bonus is unreleased track For Real. Over a sparse acoustic backing, Mr Integrity lays his emotional cards on the table, declaring: “I did it for real/ Would have done it for free/I did it for me/Because it was all that rang true.

He may have left us far too early, but Tom Petty was a heartbreaker to the very end. 

Disc One
1. Mary Jane's Last Dance
2. You Wreck Me - Tom Petty
3. I Won't Back Down - Tom Petty
4. Saving Grace - Tom Petty
5. You Don't Know How It Feels - Tom Petty
6. Don't Do Me Like That
7. Listen to Her Heart
8. Breakdown
9. Walls (Circus)
10. The Waiting
11. Don't Come Around Here No More
12. Southern Accents
13. Angel Dream (No. 2)
14. Dreamville
15. I Should Have Known It
16. Refugee
17. American Girl
18. The Best of Everything

Disc Two
1. Wildflowers - Tom Petty
2. Learning to Fly
3. Here Comes My Girl
4. The Last DJ
5. I Need to Know
6. Scare Easy - Mudcrutch
7. You Got Lucky
8. Runnin' Down a Dream - Tom Petty
9. American Dream Plan B
10. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around (Feat. Stevie Nicks)
11. Trailer - Mudcrutch
12. Into the Great Wide Open
13. Room at the Top
14. Square One - Tom Petty
15. Jammin' Me
16. Even the Losers
17. Hungry No More - Mudcrutch
18. I Forgive It All - Mudcrutch
19. For Real

Paul Moody is a writer whose work has appeared in the Classic Rock, NME, Time Out, Uncut, Arena and the Guardian. He is the co-author of The Search for the Perfect Pub and The Rough Pub Guide.