Michael Fremer Rated 9/11 Music, 8/11 Sonics!
Songs Recorded During Legendary 1997 Fillmore Residency on 3LP!
33 Songs of Hits, Deep Cuts & Classic Covers - Over 2 Hours of Music!
"We all feel this might be the highpoint of our time together as a group" - Tom Petty
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers famously played 20 nights at the legendary Fillmore venue in San Francisco in 1997. Six of the shows were professionally recorded and this release features some of the high points of the residency. The small venue allowed the band to vary their sets each night; they included re-arranged and distinctive versions of their hits, deep cuts, and many cover versions - paying tribute to the artists that Tom and the band had been influenced by.
"I'm really proud of it," guitarist Mike Campbell told Ultimate Classic Rock in 2022. "It was one of the greatest parts of our career. We changed the songs every night and took some liberties with some of the arrangements here and there. I'm really glad we got that on tape. Of course, we had some guest artists like John Lee Hooker, Roger McGuinn, Bo Diddley... It's a really good illustration of the Heartbreakers just being spontaneous and in the moment without being too rehearsed."
"We played everything that came across our minds," Petty said in Paul Zollo's 2005 book Conversations with Tom Petty. "One night we played for four hours - which really isn't like the Heartbreakers. But we just got into a groove, and it went fine. The encore was an hour and a half. And it was great, because it was intimate. ... And you can do things in a smaller theater that you can't do in a coliseum, so it's kind of liberating."
"When Tom said, 'We're going to do all these concerts and do a bunch of different stuff,' I was like, 'We can't do that. That's chewing off way too much," keyboardist Benmont Tench told Rolling Stone in 2021. "But it wasn't chewing off way too much. It was the best thing we could have done. It refreshed the band as much as touring with Bob [Dylan] did in 1986 and 1987, and as much as doing Full Moon Fever refreshed Tom. It was really great."
The Fillmore dates "may be the best time we've ever had musically," Petty told BAM magazine in 1997. "We're all getting along real well, everyone's happy. It's maybe the best time of our lives really."
The 3LP set includes 33 tracks, 18 of which are covers, and 2 hours of music. The tri-fold sleeve includes a 4-page insert.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers set new standards during a 20-date residency held in January and February 1997 at the Fillmore in San Francisco. The epic, nearly month-long run of performances included tried-and-true hits, various guest appearances and countless cover songs, some of which Petty had never previously played live and would never again. The goal, in essence, was to let loose and enjoy the ride.
How and why this high energy, guitar-driven stuff sat in the can for all of these years is a mystery (though tracks probably did appear on some CD compilations). It's so great, especially in these dwindling rock days. The level of musicianship is as high as you'll hear on a live set and Ulyate confirmed there were no post production overdubs. You are hearing the live playing. If you like the sound of electric guitars you'll love the overall sound, the stereo spread, the depth and dimensionality too. There are no notes about the sound source recorded by Biff Daves and Westwood One on the set produced by Petty's long time engineer Ryan Ulyate and Mike Campbell but Ryan Ulyate confirms the recording started life as 2" 24 track analog tape, 15IPS, Dolby SR, that was transferred to 96/24 ProTools and mixed 'in the box'. Ulyate's mixes are spacious, three-dimensional and models of clarity and timbral jingle-jangle. Vocals are well-recorded and presented. The sound will not disappoint you: it's full color, three-dimensional and pristine.The analog-y nature of the source material shines through. Crank it up and enjoy the almost carefree, fun-filled era that's further and further away in the rear view mirror. You can almost choose your seat by setting the volume.
- Selections from 1997 20-Night Residency at the Fillmore
- 33 Songs, Including 18 Covers
- 2+ Hours of Music
- Tri-Fold Sleeve
- 4-Page Insert
- Made in Czech Republic
- Pre-show (spoken interlude)
- Jammin' Me (Feb. 7)
- Listen To Her Heart (Feb. 1)
- Around and Around (Feb. 3)
- Good Evening (spoken interlude)
- Lucille (Feb. 6)
- Call Me the Breeze (Feb. 1)
- Cabin Down Below (Feb. 1)
- The Internet, Whatever That Is (spoken interlude)
- Time is On My Side (Feb. 7)
- You Don't Know How It Feels (Feb. 3)
- I'd Like To Love You Baby (Feb. 3)
- Ain't No Sunshine (Feb. 1)
- Homecoming Queen Intro (spoken interlude)
- The Date I Had with That Ugly Old Homecoming Queen (Feb. 4)
- Bye Bye Johnny (Feb. 7)
- Did Someone Say Heartbreakers Beach Party? (spoken interlude)
- Heartbreakers Beach Party (Feb. 4)
- Angel Dream (Feb. 6)
- The Wild One, Forever (Jan. 31)
- American Girl (Feb. 7)
- Let's Hear It For Howie and Scott (spoken interlude)
- You Really Got Me (Feb. 7)
- Runnin' Down a Dream (Feb. 1)
- (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (Feb. 7)
- It's All Over Now (Feb. 7)
- Mr. Roger McGuinn (spoken interlude)
- It Won't Be Wrong (Jan. 31)
- You Ain't Going Nowhere (Feb. 1)
- Eight Miles High (Feb. 1)
- Honey Bee (Feb. 3)
- John Lee Hooker, Ladies and Gentlemen (spoken interlude)
- Boogie Chillen (Feb. 7)
- Sorry, I've Just Broken My Amplifier (spoken interlude)
- Knockin' On Heaven's Door (Feb. 3)
- You Wreck Me (Feb. 6)
- Shakin' All Over (Feb. 7)
- Free Fallin' (Feb. 7)
- Mary Jane's Last Dance (Feb. 7)
- Louie Louie (Feb. 7)
- Gloria (Feb. 1)
- Alright For Now (Feb. 7)
- Goodnight (spoken interlude)