I think Tom Petty (RIP) is overrated

I wouldn’t say he was overrated, because I never though he was considered highly rated. He was, as noted, a good middlin’ performer. Some hits, some noise. About par for rockers. He’s John Mellencamp more than Springsteen.

Wow, it only just occurred to me that poor Gracie Margaret is an orphan now!

In the music world, I may not always think of him.

But he was one of the most memorable characters on one of my favorite comedies.

First 2 albums were pretty good - lost interest w/ Damn the Torpedoes. American Girl is a really solid song. I think his singing got more annoyingly nasal, and his songs more trite. Saw him in concert once. Actually went to tee the backup - Squeeze. TP was so boring and non-spontaneous, we left early.

Wait a minnit. Wasn’t “I’ll Be You” on the Replacements’ Don’t Tell a Soul, the last album before they broke up? When was this Petty tour?

Also…the Replacements had a HIT? I adore the ‘mats, but I wouldn’t even call “Alex Chilton” (and I’ll bet a dollar that that got more airplay than any of their other songs) a bone fide “hit.”

As for Petty, when the first Wilburys Album came out I was like: “Whoa, Dylan and Harrison, two complete giants. Orbison, a respected elder statesman with a great set of pipes. And look, they got two other guys to play with them.”

Watch Runnin’ Down A Dream. If you don’t enjoy the movie and come away with a little more appreciation for Tom’s body of work, I don’t know what else could convince you.

I held Petty in equal esteem with George, Bob, and Roy. For me, the other guy was “that guy from ELO” (Jeff Lynne). YMMV.

I agree that Petty was above Lynne. Equal esteem, no. For me the ranking was


I originally found it hard to believe that Bob would enter into this, but I knew he was best buds with George, and respected Roy.

Dylan had immense respect for Petty, too… He didn’t look upon him as some other guy. They toured together for 60 shows in 1986, before the Wilburys came together.


It’s curious to you that people say nice things about the recently deceased?

Even since his death, I haven’t heard anyone claim that Tom Petty was America’s #1 Rock God or anything. What I have heard is that he had a long career making music that a lot of people found enjoyable, including a number of songs that would be well-known to anyone who listens to rock radio. That’s all true. From what little I know of him as an individual he also seems to have been a likable guy. That his music was often good but rarely great is, I suspect, a widely held opinion and one I happen to share, but the man’s been dead less than two weeks.

Thank you for the info…I’d hate to think that Bob thought he was slumming.

I get the sense that the sort of disdain expressed for Petty in this thread stems from the realization that a) he was very popular, b) sold a ton of records and c) had loads of enthusiastic fans, while d) More Deserving Artists Who I Have The Good Taste To Like Remain Relatively Unknown*.

*for good reason. :slight_smile:

Some people think Prince was overrated.

Intrestingly, younger people are more familiar with Lynnes work than the other dated senior citizens save perhaps Harrison. His work has a timeless pop likeability to it.

Do people even realize Tom recorded with three bands and produced three solo albums?

His bands…
Heartbreakers- Into the Great Wide Open sold double Platinum

Damn the Torpedos sold triple platinum
The Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison sold triple platinum

Petty’s first solo album sold 5x platinum. The 2nd sold triple platinum

His greatest hits sold 12x platinum

Mudcrutch was the only band that didn’t snag a platinum album. But the 1st album did chart #8 and the 2nd album #10

Petty had a stellar career other musicians dream about. The man was an incredible musician and songwriter.

It’d be like trying to tell a stranger about rock n’ roll.

None of those factors caused me to walk out of his concert bored shitless. And I stopped buying his albums at a time my roommate were in a band, saw live music more nights than not, and I had some 3k albums.

He was great, and always had a top notch band to boot.

They only had one hit and you’re trying to take it away from them!


I’ll be you was #51 on the Billboard charts.

Here’s a thread about the tour

Don’t tell a soul was from 1989, the one before the last mats LP.

Sir, you read my mail.