How Tom Petty’s Music Shaped a Generation

Tom Petty and his music has been, and still celebrated as one that managed to influence a whole generation. As a musician with a career that spans a decade of work, Petty had shown the world what he can do with his musical talent. Throughout his career, he had written, produced, and recorded, and performed his music.

With a music career spanning almost five decades, Petty had achieved great things that most artists and performers are dreaming of. In this blog, we will learn more about Tom Petty, his life as a musician, and how he became one of the most prominent artists in his generation.

Who Is Tom Petty?

Thomas Earl Petty or Tom Petty was the lead vocalist and a guitarist of the band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He was also associated with two other bands, Mudcrutch and Traveling Wilburys. Petty’s interest in music and “rock and roll” started when he met Elvis Presley at the age of ten.

When he was 17, Petty decided to drop out of high school and join a band as a bass player. This band will later become known as Mudcrutch. Unfortunately, this band will only release one single called “Depot Street,” which was unsuccessful. Mudcrutch disbanded, and after this split, Petty would create the band, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers. Read More : BOLLY2TOLLY

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were formed in 1976 and are known for their southern rock and heartland rock sound. Music historians consider them as the pioneers of the heartland rock, a genre that has seen great success during the 1980s. Early songs like “Breakdown” and “American Girl” have been ironically successful hits in the UK.

The band would find success in the music industry and would go on to release 13 studio albums. Petty and his bandmates received the privilege to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame way back in 2014. Some of their most popular songs are “Breakdown,” “American Girl,” “The Waiting,” “Learning To Fly,” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.”

After almost five decades of being active, the band decided to retire after Tom Petty’s death in 2017. But before that, the group was able to celebrate their 40th-anniversary tour, ending their long career with a performance of “American Girl.”

Solo Career

Although his most notable works are with the Heartbreakers, Petty tried to make a name of his own. He released three solo albums called “Full Moon Fever (1989),” “Wildflowers (1994),” and “Highway Companion (2006).” Petty also joined the Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison as a touring member. Among the most successful Tom Petty songs are “I Won’t Back Down” and “Love Is A Long Road.”

In 1978, Petty tried to get an experience of how does it feels like to be an actor. He appeared in the film called “FM” with a little cameo part. A few years later, Petty would also appear in “Made In Heaven,” and “The Postman.”

Achievements And Legacy

The legacy of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers can be seen in different ways today. They influenced some of the bands that we see today such as The Strokes and Red Hot Chili Peppers. What makes them different from the prominent bands in their time is their groovy type of rock which is more relatable to most people.

One of Petty’s most notable achievements as a musician is winning the Billboard Century Award in 2005. In addition, he also received three Grammy Awards and 18 nominations throughout his career.  In 2017, Petty was regarded as MusiCares Person of the Year. This is to honor his contributions to music and his frequent work as a philanthropist.

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