Breakdown – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – 1977

Tom petty breakdown 1977 coverSo, they had a Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers special on the radio and charged through their “hits” from 1976 to the present.  I put hits in those little “ ” marks because, to be honest, they haven’t had too many “hits”… but they have produced some superlative music!  So, it left me internalising a really complicated situation in my head; which song do I choose…?  I eventually settled on their very first single, the sublime, Breakdown.  Released in 1976, and again later that year but still only reaching 40 on the US charts, this is smooth rock at its finest!

Tom Petty 3tom petty & the heartbreakers fax

  • Tom’s 64 now.  Back in 1976 he formed his group, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers; a band that is still performing with pretty much the original line-up.
  • The Heartbreakers have released 16 studio albums; Tom has released three – in all The Heartbreakers have sold over 80 million albums.  That’s pretty good going!
  • Dave Grohl was a Heartbreaker for a year back in about ’96.
  • In the 1980s, Tom joined with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison to form, The Traveling Wilburys.  For the record, Tom was Charlie T. Wilbury, Jr. and Muddy Wilbury.
  • Tom Petty 2In 1999, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for their contribution to the recording industry.  Then in 2002, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

breakdown fax

  • Breakdown was written by Tom Petty.  It is the first single from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ self-titled debut album.
  • Breakdown peaked at #40 on the US and Canadian singles charts
  • Tom Petty 1Played live, Breakdown is often mashed with Ray Charles’, Hit the Road Jack.
  • Grace Jones recorded a reggae version of Breakdown for her 1980 album Warm Leatherette. Tom wrote an extra verse especially for her.  It was released as a single but found no chart success.
  • Breakdown has been covered by Suzi Quatro, Missy Higgins and Foo Fighters.
  • Breakdown lyrics.

breakdown – tom petty & the heartbreakers – 1977 – video

breakdown – grace jones – 1980 – video

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