Rolling Stone - 5/13/99, p.63
Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone - 11/3/94, pp.95-964 Stars
- Excellent - "...Petty's music...has always demanded a respect that no amount of wry humility could undermine, and his new album WILDFLOWERS proves no exception..."
Spin - 1/95, p.74
Recommended - "...Petty has an evocative voice, and writes great, simple melodies. These are his strong points, and both are amply in evidence on WILDFLOWERS..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 1/95, p.51
Included in Mojo's "25 Best Albums of 1994" - "...highlights Petty's oddly poignant pop writing which, though full of nostalgic resonances, sounds fresher than ever..."
NME (Magazine) - 11/19/94, p.48
8 - Excellent - "...the soundtrack for people who felt they were experiencing their mid-life crisis at 14..."
Personnel: Tom Petty (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, harmonica, piano, organ, bass); Michael Kamen (conductor); Carl Wilson (vocals); Mike Campbell (acoustic & electric guitars, sitar, harpsichord, bass); Marty Rifkin (pedal steel guitar); Jim Horn, Brandon Fields, Gary Herbig, Kim Hutchcroft (saxophone); Benmont Tench (acoustic & electric pianos, organ, harmonium, Mellotron); Howie Epstein (bass, background vocals); John Pierce (bass); Steve Ferrone, Ringo Starr (drums); Lenny Castro, Phil Jones (percussion).
Producers: Rick Rubin, Tom Petty, Mike Campbell.
Engineers: Jim Scott, David Bianco, Richard Dodd.
Recorded at Sound City and Ocean Way Recording, Los Angeles, California.
"You Don't Know How It Feels" won a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. WILDFLOWERS won a 1996 Grammy for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. WILDFLOWERS was also nominated for Best Rock Album.
Personnel: Tom Petty (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica); Howie Epstein (vocals, bass guitar, background vocals); Carl Wilson (vocals, background vocals); Mike Campbell (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, coral sitar, harpsichord); Marty Rifkin (steel guitar); Gary Herbig, Jim Horn, Kim Hutchcroft, Brandon Fields (saxophone); Benmont Tench (piano, grand piano, tack piano, electric piano, harmonium, organ, Mellotron); Ringo Starr, Steve Ferrone (drums); Lenny Castro, Phil Jones (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Richard Dodd.
Recording information: Ocean Way Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA; Sound City Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographers: Martyn Atkins; Robert Sebree.
Unknown Contributor Role: George Drakoulias.
It is hard to believe that Tom Petty first stepped onto the rock & roll carousel eighteen years ago. Hard to believe because the best moments of his sizable catalog--the perfect guitar pop of "American Girl," the faux-psychedelia of "Don't Come Around Here No More," the sharp-tongued putdowns like "Century City" and "Zombie Zoo"--have all developed a rare timeless quality. A quality that few, if any, of his contemporaries (Eddie Money, the Cars, etc.) were able to achieve. Harder, still, because in the course of his long career we've never noticed Petty gettin' on in years or becoming an anachronism.
So it is somehow appropriate that on WILDFLOWERS, his second "solo" ride without the full complement of the Heartbreakers, Petty's musings fall predominantly toward his current role in the world. Throughout these reflections Tom Petty plays the kid's game he's been good at for years ("but let me get to the point, let's roll another joint" he sneers knowingly in "You Don't Know How It Feels"). More often than not, the future the songwriter envisions for himself is full of doubts ("Time To Move On") and soon-to-be-dull memories ("Don't Fade On Me"). This makes WILDFLOWERS speak in a far more subdued and wistful tone than most Petty records, creating a darker self-conscious persona.
Tom Petty understands that he's far too established to keep playing a rebellious, one-dimensional rock & roll singer. On WILDFLOWERS he attempts to ground this understanding in a purposeful existence.