Tom Petty: An American Treasure – A few gems in this posthumous boxset

Fri, Sep 7, 2018, 05:00


An American Treasure

Tom Petty

Warner Music


These days, the death of any high-profile musician means that a money-spinning anthology, best of or career-encompassing collection is inevitable before a year has passed. Tom Petty is no exception – although at least the American rock icon’s family and his former Heartbreakers bandmates had a hand in curating the best cuts from his back catalogue for this boxset. With 63 tracks spanning four discs, it’s not for the casual fan – but ardent Petty admirers will find gems to mine in the various alternate versions, live tracks and unreleased material culled from his vaults. The “hits” are largely absent from this boxset, although a stripped-back, goosebump-raising live version of I Won’t Back Down from 1997 is a standout. It’s the unreleased songs that will pique interest most, from the solemn delicacy of acoustic song Don’t Fade on Me to a demo recording of The Apartment Song (a duet with Stevie Nicks), and the upbeat Keep a Little Soul. Charting Petty’s musical evolution from the 1970s right up to 2016, it’s an enjoyable reminder that he was exactly what the title suggests – an American treasure.