Tom Petty is most famous for his work with ‘The Heartbreakers’. In 1976, they had their first mainstream success with single “American Girl”, a song, which at first didn’t really resonate with American audiences, but performed surprisingly well in the UK. The song is a primary example of all that Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers had to offer: good songwriting and a classic sound. Since its belated success in America, it has a become a radio staple and an anthem for several generations!

A definitive breakthrough, both in America and Europe, came with their third album “Damn The Torpedoes” and its lead single “Refugee”. Other album tracks such as “Here Comes My Girl” and “Don’t Do Me Like That” are definitely worth checking out! The album has become somewhat of a  ‘heartland rock’ classic, and stands just as tall as colleague Bruce Springsteen’s albums. “Damn The Torpedoes” is a must-have for every self-respecting music collector!

Petty has been just as successful as a solo artist, releasing many hit singles, like this one, which came back to life after the attacks on 9/11. Notice the great guitar solo by George Harrison! A while back, Sam Smith became subject of some controversy after having been accused of plagiarizing this song with his hit “Stay With Me”. Not entirely unfair, right?

At the end of the 80s, after many previous collaborations between members, the super group “Traveling Wilburys” was formed, with a fabulous line-up consisting of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and of course Tom Petty. They released two albums: “Volume 1” and “Volume 3″…

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers had their last big hit with single “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”. Many believe the song to be about marijuana, but the band has always denied that. The song became a smash, partly because of the extraordinary music video starring Kim Basinger, which gained heavy play on MTV (they still played music back then). The chord progression was an inspiration to another big hit, by The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Can you guess what song that was?

All in all, it’s safe to say Tom Petty totally deserves his award!


There’s an incredible amount of artists and bands on this planet. Sometimes they make it to the news, yet you don’t really know who they really are. ‘Coffeebreak’ to the rescue. In one cup of coffee, we give you a crash course: five keytracks with five paragraphs of explanation. After that you can safely join all coffee machine conversations.  
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