Q - 8/01, p.1543 stars out of 5
- "...The sound of water being expertly trodden...housing the exquisite 'You Got Lucky' and 'Finding Out'..."
CMJ - 1/5/04, p.12Ranked #20
in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1983".
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Tom Petty (vocals, guitar); Benmont Tench (vocals, keyboards); Howe Epstein (vocals, bass); Stan Lynch (vocals, drums); Mike Campbell (guitar, organ).
Additional personnel: Ron Blair (bass); Phil Jones (percussion).
Recorded at Record Plant, Wally Heider's, and CA Crystal, Hollywood, California; Rumbo Studios, Canoga Park, California.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
On his first four albums, Petty pulled off the impressive feat of starting out great and improving with each record. LONG AFTER DARK may not have extended that streak to five, but it came pretty damn close, and it's a solid, above-average offering that has more in common with the hard-rocking DAMN THE TORPEDOS than the more introspective, folk-tinged HARD PROMISES. Sonically, LONG AFTER DARK is flawless, it's the hardest Petty and company have ever rocked; Petty and Campbell's guitars would never sound this raw again (Petty had been listening to some AC/DC at the time, which obviously helped). Lyrically, the album is almost unrelentingly bleak, as Petty weaves tale after tale of hard luck and working men doomed to lives of tribulation. He's popmeister enough to keep it catchy, so you don't get bogged down by the weighty topics, and wise enough to disavow any Beautiful Loser claims ("I don't think pain is so romantic").