My review of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers "Damn The Torpedoes" ORG
vinyl 2-disk set - Steve Hoffman
"Ah, fond memories of 1979. A great album, one of my faves of all-time, actually.
Now, courtesy of ORG, we have a deluxe vinyl edition that is well worth the 45
buck asking price.
First, you get the first vinyl cutting of this album from the true master tapes since
the BACKSTREET first cut back in 1979. The original first press was cut by ol'
Greg Calbi at Sterling in New York. This is BACKSTREET MCA-5105, the
"compromise" that was arrived at when MCA bought ABC and threw the group
into turmoil. At any rate, why go in to all that? A great album was created and it
has stood the test of time.
You've seen the selling points for this new ORG release? No? Well, take a look:
• Mastered from the Original Analog Master Tapes at Bernie Grundman Studios
• Pressed on 180g 2LP at Pallas in Germany, One of World's Best Plants
• Deluxe Edition Contains 9 Bonus Tracks (7 Previously Unreleased)
• Liner Notes, Lyrics, Rare Photos Round Out Gorgeous Package
• First 15,000 Copies Include Free High-Resolution Download
A monumental breakthrough, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Damn the
Torpedoes stands as a towering accomplishment of album mastery, fine
songwriting, incredibly tight performance, and clean, timeless production. Replete
with hook-led singles, arena-rock choruses, Mike Campbell's biting guitar playing,
and snarling attitude, with plenty of musical references to the Byrds and Rolling
Stones peppering the originals, the 1979 record established the blueprint that the
iconic band would follow for decades to come.
And if instantly recognizable songs such as "Refugee," "Here Comes My Girl,"
"Even the Losers," and "Don't Do Me Like That" weren't already enough, Damn
the Torpedoes has just been given a deserved upgrade, with this deluxe edition
from ORG adding nine bonus tracks (seven previously unreleased) and
phenomenal mastering from the original analog master tapes done at Bernie
Grundman Studios. It's also pressed at Pallas in Germany, arguably the best
vinyl plant in the world. This is not to be missed.
The highlights of the newly uncovered bonus material include two studio tracks,
"Nowhere" and "Surrender," both written by Tom Petty and recorded and
completed during the Damn The Torpedoes sessions. The never-before-heard
"Nowhere" was thought to have been lost in 1979 when the tape boxes were
being moved daily to avoid the possibility that court bailiffs would claim them as
part of Petty's assets in the lawsuit at the time. Recording engineer Ryan Ulyate
recently found the song while he was listening to tapes searching for alternate
versions of songs to be included on the current release. "Surrender" was a
mainstay of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' concerts for many years although
this original studio version recorded for Damn The Torpedoes, which includes
Stan Lynch on drums, never saw the light of day until now.
The second LP also boasts an original demo for the B-side "Casa Dega" and an
alternate take of "Refugee" as well as a trio of live performances at London's
Hammersmith Odeon (from March 6, 1980). The packaging is superb. Rock
journalist/author David Fricke contributes liner notes while rare photos and lyrics
to each track complete the experience. Sonically, no early-era Petty album has
ever sounded better. Mastered for vinyl from the original analog master tapes at
Bernie Grundman Studios and pressed by Pallas in Germany, Damn the
The first 15,000 copies include a free download of the entire album in one of
three high-quality digital formats (320k MP3, 24/96 FLAC, or Apple Lossless),
redeemable until November 9, 2011.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Damn the Torpedoes - Deluxe Edition:
LP One - Original Album
2. Here Comes My Girl
3. Even The Losers
4. Shadow Of A Doubt (A Complex Kid)
5. Century City
6. Don't Do Me Like That
7. You Tell Me
8. What Are You Doin' In My Life?
9. Louisiana Rain
LP Two - Bonus Tracks
3. Casa Dega/B-side
4. It's Rainin' Again/B-side
5. Shadow Of A Doubt (A Complex Kid)/Live - Hammersmith Odeon 1980*
6. Don't Do Me Like That/Live - Hammersmith Odeon 1980*
7. Somethin' Else/Live - Hammersmith Odeon 1980*
8. Casa Dega/Demo*
9. Refugee/Alternate Take*
So, as you can see, the two disks are filled with nifty bonus tracks and B-sides
(that we Petty collectors dearly loved back in the day). In fact, when I got these I
put side three on (by mistake) and was actually amazed for a minute to hear a
song I wasn't expecting. It was a treat..
So, how does it sound? Great, actually. I happen to have my original
BACKSTREET Demo-Not For Sale 1979 pressing that I compared to this one
and they both have good qualities. The 1979 first pressing is nice but slightly
hollow sounding, with less bass than this version. It's still a great pressing but this
new version can easily replace it if you don't have the old version. Heck, even if
you do, this new release (and bitchin' bonus cuts) offer our ears a nice, exciting
presentation that just reminds us (as if we didn't know) how wonderful this album
So grab this and groove. You won't be sorry..."