Take Five: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

It was 30 years ago last November that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their Greatest Hits album. Drawing both from band releases and Petty’s solo albums, the collection was a smash success, reaching #5 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Greatest Hits would be released (and reissued) in various formats with changes to the track listing. Here are three songs that didn’t find their way onto every single version, and two other hits that somehow didn’t make it onto any editions of the release.

“Anything That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll” (1976)
Originally released in 1976 on the band’s debut album, this track was included on the UK release of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Greatest Hits, but not on its domestic counterpart. The tune had been a single in the UK, peaking at #36 on the charts there; the Heartbreakers’ success in the UK helped create a buzz back home, eventually helping the debut album to chart in the U.S.

“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (1981)
Co-written by Petty and guitarist Mike Campbell, this song was featured on Steve Nicks’ 1981 solo debut release, Bella Donna. Featuring Nicks and Petty on vocals with the Heartbreakers providing instrumental support, the song – released as a single – climbed to the #3 spot on Billboard‘s Hot 100 singles charts. Fun fact: though he’s not in the music video, Booker T & the MGs bassist Donald “Duck Dunn” holds down the low end on the recording.

“A Woman in Love (It’s Not Me)” (1981)
Another Petty/Campbell composition, this track was a highlight from Petty and the group’s fourth studio album, 1981’s Hard Promises. While it fared modestly on the pop singles chart (#79), “A Woman in Love (It’s Not Me)” soared to the #5 spot on the Album Rock Tracks chart.

“Jammin’ Me” (1987)
Perhaps the most inexplicable omission from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Greatest Hits is this song. “Jammin’ Me” was the first single and featured track from the band’s 1987 album Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough). “Jammin’ Me” rose to the #1 spot on the U.S. Album Rock Tracks chart, while also making it to #18 on the pop singles chart (and into the Top 40 in New Zealand).

“Something in the Air” (1993)
One of the last tracks Petty and the Heartbreakers recorded with founding member and drummer Stan Lynch, “Something in the Air” is a cover of the Thunderclap Newman hit single from 1969. Featuring guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (later of wings) and uncredited bassist Pete Townshend (using the pseudonym “Bijou Drains”), the original went on to become a rock classic.