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'Wildflowers': when Tom Petty was his own therapist

2020-10-28T23:12:16.311Z

One of the musician's most iconic records has just been reissued in a luxury box.There is always talk of the wonderful partnership that Johnny Cash and producer Rick Rubin made. It should not be forgotten another also very prominent with Rubin in between: the one he did with Tom Petty for Wildflowers , one of the most emblematic albums of the late musician with the blonde hair. Wildflowers is not only one of Petty's most personal works, but it is also a complete set in the sou



There is always talk of the wonderful partnership that Johnny Cash and producer Rick Rubin made.

It should not be forgotten another also very prominent with Rubin in between: the one he did with Tom Petty for

Wildflowers

, one of the most emblematic albums of the late musician with the blonde hair.

Wildflowers

is not only one of Petty's most personal works, but it is also a complete set in the sound achieved throughout his career.

Now, it has just been reissued in a luxury box with the remastered album, several discards and live shots.

At first, back in 1993, Tom Petty and Rick Rubin wanted

Wildflowers to

be a double album.

Somehow, what they had created during their sessions at Sound City Studios in Los Angeles was a flow of moods, meditations, and tirades that flowed between

rock and roll

and poetry.

Petty, quite disoriented in his personal life, sat down and, under Rubin's advice, let himself be carried away.

In the end, Petty had to put a lot of effort into making the best possible song collection, which would end up being the end result of

Wildflowers.

, an outstanding album that marked another peak in his career and defined part of North American rock at the turn of the century.

Why did a record like this, with that very successful acoustic intimacy, help in its own way the musical development of groups like Wilco, The Avett Brothers, The National and many others?

Some of the discarded songs were terrific.

Rod Stewart recorded 'Leave Virginia Alone'.

Other jewels were 'California' or 'Somewhere Under Heaven'.

There was so much material that this double disc would not have been a bad option, even at the risk of losing that compact set that was the

original

Wildflowers

.

The current box collects all these discards that offer a more panoramic view of that crucial moment for Petty.

They also demonstrate the musician's state of grace with Rick Rubin, founder of the Def Jam record company, essential in the evolution of

hip hop

in the eighties.

As he did with Cash, Rubin knew how to find a fine and vigorous sound at the same time, fulfilling the maxim he had thought for Petty: go back to basics.

If

Full Moon Fever,

thanks also to the work in the production of Jeff Lyne, was almost another point in the development of luminous and contagious pop-rock with the Heartbreakers,

Wildflowers

had to become another sonic dimension.

And it was.

Petty knew his sound with the Heartbreakers was unique.

A very recognizable and admired brand in North American rock, but also a ghost that haunted him even after he released his first and successful solo album,

Full Moon Fever.

The Heartbreakers label plans with the participation of the guitarist and faithful squire Mike Campbell and the organist Benmont Tench, but

Wildflowers

is distinguished by its particular light.

More ocher and melancholic, Petty stretches out on himself and breathes differently throughout the album, something that

is reaffirmed

with the

box-set

discards

.

That introspective Petty is as elegant as it is breathtaking.

There is, therefore, a different range that make him an even greater musician than the well-known pavilion rocker who had triumphed throughout the United States.

A musician who faces in this album more than in any other the end of his long marriage.

The end of love puts it over the songs.

Married to Jane Benyo since 1974, before even becoming a star as a teenager, Petty would end up parting ways with his great partner in 1996. Just a couple of years after releasing

Wildflowers

.

"On this record it's me getting ready to go," Petty said of

Wildflowers.

“I don't even know how unaware I was of it when I was writing it.

I don't go into these things with elaborate plans.

But I'm sure I'm sure

Wildflowers

was my divorce album.

I had to steel myself to leave that huge empire we had built, to get out of there.

My daughters… I knew it was going to be devastating for the whole family.

He left them there, without my presence to calibrate things.

My daughters knew a nightmare was coming.

Staying would have killed me.

I would have become another person ”.

As Warren Zanes recounts in the biography

Petty

(Neo Sounds), when the musician's therapist heard the song 'Wildflowers', he asked which singer it was addressed to.

"I told him I wasn't sure," Petty said.

The psychologist told him: “I do know: That song is about you.

It is you singing what you need to hear ”.

With that absorbing melancholic air,

Wildflowers

ended up becoming a postcard that Tom Petty wrote to himself, with pain and disorientation, but giving away a definitive album.

Source: elparis

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