Release Date: Sep 28, 2018
Record label: Reprise
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Album Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll, Bar Band, Heartland Rock
An American Treasure, the first posthumous Tom Petty project, is designed as an aural biography of the late rocker, telling a tale that begins with a Mudcrutch session from 1974, running through the glory of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers in 1976, and concluding with a live version of "Hungry No More" from 2016, just over a year prior to his tragic 2017 passing. Arriving roughly a year after Petty's death, the timing for An American Treasure makes sense -- he certainly deserved a tribute -- but in strict discographical terms, there didn't seem to be a need for a second career-spanning box set, as he already had 1995's rarity-laden box Playback and a multi-disc The Live Anthology from 2009. Happily, An American Treasure offers a story that's not told on either previous set, and that's a complete picture of Petty's career, told entirely through byways, not highways.
As the title states, Tom Petty is an American treasure. His passing in 2017 was a tragedy of epic proportions. Petty's music is essentially American. Like him or not, his songs seem to be imprinted on our DNA. An American Treasure, the first posthumous release, curated by his wife and daughter ….
Tom Petty's music has been obsessively compiled, assessed, and summarized. If you want the full story, there's Peter Bogdanovich's four-hour documentary, Runnin' Down a Dream. If you're interested in a grittier account, try Warren Zanes' epic biography, Petty. Here for the music? In 1995, Petty mined his vaults with Playback, a comprehensive collection filled with singles, deep cuts, and outtakes.