Ron Blair - bass; Mike Campbell - guitar; Stan Lynch - drums; Tom Petty - vocals, guitar; Benmont Tench - piano, organ; Guest: Bobby Valentino - vocals, guitar on "Stories We Could Tell."
Tom Petty had returned triumphantly from a couple of bad years during which he fought with his record label (Shelter Records), and went through a difficult bankruptcy (done as part of his strategy to change labels), when he embarked on this tour in 1980. Petty had a built a strong fan base in England, and this appearance at the Hammersmith Odeon is one of best live recordings of the band's early years.
Petty & the Heartbreakers were still on the road for their 1979 breakthrough album, Damn the Torpedoes, and recorded a handful of shows between 1979 and 1980 for the King Biscuit Flower Hour. Damn The Torpedoes, made under the duress of the lawsuit, would refine the band's sound, which became of a terse and lean musical texture that blended the best elements of The Byrds (Petty's biggest influence) with The Rolling Stones (the musical inspiration for the backing band the Heatbreakers). There is a considerable chunk of Damn The Torpedoes material weaved into a setlist of material from their two previous LPs, 1976's Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and 1977's You're Gonna Get It! The result is a testament to the early, and often brilliant, live shows of the group.
Petty was riding the success of Damn The Torpedoes, which was turning out to be one of the biggest albums of the 1979/80 season. He plays everything except three songs from that album during this show, giving powerful performances of "Shadow Of A Doubt (A Complex Kid)," "Here Comes My Girl," "Even The Losers," "Don't Do Me Like That," and "Refugee." Older Petty classics such as "Listen To Her Heart," "American Girl," "Breakdown," and "I Need To Know" are among the other show highlights. Petty also throws in an unplugged gem: his version of the Everly Brothers' autobiographical tale, "Stories We Could Tell." A final encore of "I Fought The Law" originally released by one-hit-wonders the Bobby Fuller Four in 1966, closes the show in grand fashion.
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