Q - 8/01, p.1543 stars out of 5
- "...A sourer world-view had crept in, and 'King's Road' finds him confused by the fashion sense of the Brits and being sold drugs by a 'Pakistani man'..."
CMJ - 1/5/04, p.8Ranked #6
in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1981"
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Tom Petty (vocals, guitar, piano); Mike Campbell (guitar, autoharp, accordion, harmonium, bass); Benmont Tench (organ, piano, vocals); Ron Blair (bass); Stan Lynch (drums, vocals).
Additional personnel: Stevie Nicks (vocals); A. Bugs Weidel (piano); Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass); Phil Jones (percussion); Sharon Ceylani (background vocals).
Recorded at Sound City, Van Nuys, California; Cherokee Studios, Hollywood, California; Goodnight, Los Angeles, California.
All songs written by Tom Petty except "A Woman In Love" and "You Can Still Change Your Mind" (Tom Petty/Mike Campbell).
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Tom Petty (vocals, guitar, piano, bass); Benmont Tench (vocals, piano, organ); Stan Lynch (vocals, drums); Mike Campbell (guitar, auto-harp, accordion, harmonium, bass); Ron Blair (bass).
Additional personnel: Stevie Nicks (vocals); A. Bugs Weidel (piano); Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass); Phil Jones (percussion).
Recorded at Sound City and Cherokee, Van Nuys, California; Goodnight, Los Angeles, California.
Digitally remastered by Joe Gastwirt (OceanView Digital Mastering, Los Angeles, California).
This is where Petty's Dylan influence begins to rear its head. He made his name as an all-American, Byrds-inspired rock & roller, but on HARD PROMISES Petty began to explore a more reflective style, leaning on the softer side of his folk-rock roots. This is no NEBRASKA-there are plenty of spirited rockers and classy pop tunes-but Petty does sound like he's been spending some time with BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME. There are sharply observed character studies of hard-luck and no-luck guys ("Something Big," "Nightwatchman"), urgent power-pop declarations of romantic desperation ("A Thing About You") and even some light-hearted socio-cultural observations ("King's Road"). HARD PROMISES is Petty's first step towards the eclecticism that would mark his later work, and it's easily his most underrated album.