The Friday Five: January 21, 2011

Friday Five

Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

“Breakdown” by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (from The Live Anthology, 2009)

Recorded in June of ‘81 at The Forum, in Los Angeles; this take simply smolders its way through six solid minutes of groove. It’s definitely a testament to the power of a solid shuffle. The “Hit the Road Jack” tag towards the end of the jam is a bonus. Despite having this in my collection for over year, I still haven’t listened to the entire collection.

“I’ve Seen All Good People” by Yes (from Highlights: The Very Best of Yes, 1993)

This is shaping up to be one of the longest shuffles in recent memory, clocking in at just shy of seven minutes, the prog-rock pledge of allegiance demands attention. Rise up! Grab your 12-string laúd and recorder and salute Roger Dean.

Let’s hope for a shorter song to follow …

“Infinite Arms” by Band of Horses (from Infinite Arms, 2010)

Make that the Grammy Nominated album, Infinite Arms. Dreamy and serene, this is probably the closest tie on the record to their impeccable debut, Everything All the Time. Naturally, it is a favorite of mine. The crickets at the close remind me of being a kid sitting out on the back lawn

“Delicate” by Damien Rice (from B-Sides, 2004)

Another live performance, this time from perennial Irish sad bastard, Damien Rice. That’s not to say that Ireland isn’t teeming with sad bastards, that is; rather, to say Mr. Rice is famously especially sorrowful in his bastard ways. Add to the fact that this version of “Delicate” is played just a hair slower than the original, amping up the dirge quality.

“Candy” by The Silver Seas (from Château Revenge!, 2010)

Ahh … a perfect power pop song close to what was becoming a very heavy Friday Five. I’m sure I’ve shared the story of how I came to know and love The Silver Seas, so I’ll spare you all the gory details, but I will share that the band has just released a brand-spanking new “3 AM” version of Château Revenge! for your listening pleasure. You can hop on over to and pick up the “Blue” as well as the original “Red” versions of the record. It came in at number two on my Top 12 of 2010, and is a must-listen.

What’s on your shuffle today?

Hard Promises

Not since my little spiel about side two of Tattoo You have I delved into my all-time favorite albums. Tom Petty has a wealth of amazing albums on his resume, and though Full Moon Fever almost takes top billing, I have to rank 1981’s Hard Promises as my favorite. It’s all about time and place and memories.

When this album came out in May of 1981, I was a 10 year old kid, and had just discovered the beauty of the record store. Hard Promises and ZZ Top’s El Loco were the first two albums I remember buying on my own (with good ol’ Mom’s money, of course). Over the course of the summer of 1981, this album was played from start to finish in my room I don’t know how many times, and every song seeped into my impressionable musical vault.

“The Waiting” was the album’s biggest hit, reaching #1 on the new Billboard Rock Charts, and #19 on the Hot 100 Singles chart. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The album has the first Stevie Nicks/ Petty duet, “Insider”, the killer slow funky shuffle of “Nightwatchman”, the vivid storytelling of “Something Big”, and the list goes on.

Here’s how the album panned out…

Side one

  1. “The Waiting” (Tom Petty) – 3:58
  2. “A Woman in Love (It’s Not Me)” (Petty, Mike Campbell) – 4:22
  3. “Nightwatchman” (Petty, Campbell) – 3:59
  4. “Something Big” (Petty) – 4:44
  5. “Kings Road” (Petty) – 3:27

Side two

  1. “Letting You Go” (Petty) – 3:24
  2. “A Thing About You” (Petty) – 3:33
  3. “Insider” (Petty) – 4:23
  4. “The Criminal Kind” (Petty) – 4:00
  5. “You Can Still Change Your Mind” (Petty, Campbell) – 4:15

I remember reading an issue of Rolling Stone over the summer that featured Tom on the cover. It was on an airplane, we were off to vacation somewhere. In the article, Petty was describing his battle with MCA Records to keep the price at $8.98, rather than the $9.98 that MCA preferred (Steely Dan’s Gaucho and the Xanadu soundtrack had been the first two to be bumped up to the higher price). Petty went as far as to threaten MCA with naming the album Eight Ninety Eight, and after some wrangling, MCA relented and Petty got this wish. On the plane, I read the interview, and remember reading some F bombs, and feeling like I was getting away with something as my parents sat next to me. Rock n’ Roll!!

Tom Petty, Rolling Stone # 341, July 1981
Tom Petty, Rolling Stone # 348, July 1981

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers A Woman in Love (It’s Not Me) {mp3}

Buy Hard Promises.

“Insider” video…