How A Single Song “Ruined” Tom Petty’s Perfect Album

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Tom Petty achieved tremendous success in the music industry. With Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, he gained his well-deserved fame but before that, his first band was called Mudcrutch which eventually dissolved. He has found commercial success with the band and was well known in the US and the UK. But looks like even he had a problem with a song from his very first solo album, ‘Full Moon Fever‘.

The album was released all the way back in 1989, and features some of his most popular songs like ‘Free Fallin”, ‘I Won’t Back Down’, and ‘Runnin’ Down a Dream’. The album was a commercial and critical success, earning five US platinum certifications. This album was the one that introduced them to many of his fans, but according to him, there was a track that ruined his near-perfect debut album.

While talking with Rolling Stone in 2017, Petty shared the song he hated. He said, “It’s funny. Sometimes, ten years later, I like something I didn’t like before or vice versa. But I hate Zombie Zoo.’ I do not understand how that got on the record in 1989’s ‘Full Moon Fever,’ when I had better stuff that didn’t get on the record.”

He added, “What frame of mind produced that? I don’t understand. Because normally, I would have thrown that away. God knows we’ve thrown away far better. That was nearly a perfect album until the very end.” It’s quite confusing how he couldn’t recognize the song in the early stages, as there were other better songs.

Despite the song, ‘Zombie Zoo’ the album was a great success. The majority of the first tracks for the album were done at lead guitarist Mike Campbell’s garage studio by Petty, Campbell, drummer Phil Jones, and producer Jeff Lynne (who also performed bass and light textural keyboards). Two of Petty’s fellow Traveling Wilburys and the rest of the Heartbreakers also contributed. George Harrison also played guitar and provided vocal harmonies. ‘Full Moon Fever’ was a great way to start in the music industry and for Tom, it was a catalyst to his success.

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