Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Playback - 1995 (Not Rated)

Featuring Guest Appearances By:

Year of Release: 1995
Rated: Not Rated
Approx. Running Time: 74 minutes
Format(s): DVD & VHS
My Rating: 4 stars (Out of 5)

From Back Cover:

1979 "HERE COMES MY GIRL" Directed by John Goodhue
1979 "REFUGEE" Directed by John Goodhue
1981 "THE WAITING" Directed by Jim Lenahan
1981 "A WOMAN IN LOVE (IT'S NOT ME)" Directed by Jim Lenahan
1981 "INSIDER" Directed by Jim Lenahan
1982 "YOU GOT LUCKY" Directed by Jim Lenahan
1982 "CHANGE OF HEART" Directed by Cameron Crowe, Phil Savenick & Doug Dowdle
1985 "DON'T COME AROUND HERE NO MORE" Directed by Jeff Stein
1987 "JAMMIN' ME" Directed by Jim Lenahan
1989 "I WON'T BACK DOWN" Directed by David Leland
1989 "RUNNIN' DOWN A DREAM" Directed by Jim Lenahan
1989 "FREE FALLIN'" Directed by Julien Temple
1990 "A FACE IN THE CROWD" Directed by Jesse Dylan
1990 "YER SO BAD" Directed by Julien Temple
1991 "LEARNING TO FLY" Directed by Julien Temple
1991 "INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN" Directed by Julien Temple
1993 "MARY JANE'S LAST DANCE" Directed by Keir McFarlane

WHEN MTV GAVE TOM PETTY a special Video Vanguard Award in 1994, it was a very public acknowledgment of the imagination and hard work that has gone into a series of videos that have pushed the limits of a medium struggling to grow from a promotional tool to a genuine art form.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers began making music videos, for hits such as "Refugee" and "Here Comes My Girl," before there was an MTV or any other regular outlet for them. By the time the idea of cable music channels had taken hold, Petty was coming up with clips like "You Got Lucky" - a mini-Mad Max film that helped push other musicians to treat he form as more than a chance to lip synch and strum unplugged instruments. The psychadelic, Alice-in-Wonderland-on-acid "Don't Come Around Here No More" raised the stakes again, as Petty and the Heartbreakers demonstrated their intention to devote the same sort of creativity to their videos that they did to their records and live shows.

From the lyrical juxtaposition of two generations of teenagers in "Free Fallin'" to the Award Winning "Mary Jane's Last Dance" featuring Kim Basinger, Petty treated his clips as small films. The narrative "Into the Great Wide Open," which features Faye Dunaway and Johnny Depp, actually resulted in offers to make Petty's story/song into a full length motion picture. Petty's reaction was, "It already is."

Here are the best videos of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, a powerful document of the early evolution of a new kind of art - and some rockin' tunes by a great band.

                                                                                                    Bill Flanagan, September 1995

My Comments:

There is no doubt in my mind that Tom Petty is the ultimate musician - a gifted lyricist, guitarist, and vocalist - and also one of the first and the few to really turn music video making into an art form.

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Not Rated (MPAA)
4 Stars
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