Reason #233: Full Moon Fever

tom pettyFull disclosure: I am not the biggest fan of Tom Petty; I appreciate him more than I listen to him, if that makes sense. I find him a bit derivative (1 part Dylan, 1 part Springsteen, a half cup of Byrds, you get the jist). I first heard of the guy in ’79 with the release of Damn The Torpedoes, which is the only album of his I listen to with any regularity, but my wife adores him, which means I actually listen to him more than I would like. The other day she puts on Full Moon Fever and, I must admit, I quite enjoyed it. When this album was released in 1989 it was everywhere. You couldn’t escape it. It wasn’t quite Thriller big, but it was at least Born In The USA big.

Helping it along were three terrific singles: Runnin’ Down A Dream, I Won’t Back Down and Free Fallin’, the last of which, thanks to the film Jerry McGuire, is now synonymous with, well, just havin’ the grooviest of days. If you would have asked me, prior to hearing this album the other day, to name you another track other than those three hits off of it I wouldn’t have been able. But it’s not a “three killer and nine filler kind of record. A Face In A Crown, Yer So Bad and Alright For Now are all terrific songs. The not-so-surprising cover of Gene Clark’s Feel A Whole Lot Better is OK but doesn’t do anything to help move the record forward either.  No matter what my personal opinion is of Petty this album, and others he released in the ’80’s, deserve to be here. I can’t deny that.