Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Pack Up The Plantation (1985)


Recorded live in Los Angeles in November 1985

This was Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' first official live album. It has Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers playing fourteen songs, so it is not a full concert set list, but the sound quality is truly excellent, much better, for example, than the muffled and crowd noise-dominated now-legal bootleg Southern Accents In The Sunshine State from 1993. Yes, the crowd noise is still on this one (which is good for the live authenticity), but the music always overrides it, and there is a sharp clarity to the sound that makes it a much more enjoyable listen than Accents, which leaves you a bit shell-shocked after an hour.

What is also good about this one is that it contains a few live rarities such as Petty's excellent covers of The Byrds' So You Want To Be A Rock 'n Roll Star and The Searchers' Needles And Pins, featuring Stevie Nicks. She returns to contribute to Insider too. Also covered is the Isley Brothers' Shout. Old favourites like Breakdown, American Girl (enhanced by a horn section) and Refugee are always welcome, plus there are good versions of Rebels, Southern Accents and the brassy Stonesy funk of It Ain't Nothin' To Me from what was the group's latest album, Southern Accents. The latter also features a very Mike Garson (David Bowie)-influenced piano solo.

While the four CD Live Anthology is probably the Petty live bible, so to speak, this is an enjoyable and interesting worthwhile addition to one's collection.


1. So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star
2. Needles and Pins
3. The Waiting
4. Breakdown
5. American Girl
6. It Ain't Nothin' To Me
7. Insider
8. Rockin' Around With You
9. Refugee
10. Southern Accents
11. Rebels
12. Don't Bring Me Down
13. Shout
14. The Stories We Could Tell