Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Echo (1999/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:02:04 minutes | 1,29 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © Warner Bros. Records
Echo is the tenth studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. First released in April 1999, the album reached #10 on the Billboard 200 aided by the singles “Free Girl Now,” “Swingin’” and “Room At The Top”, which hit #5, #17 and #19 respectively on Billboard ’s Mainstream Rock Tracks in 1999. The album was the band’s last collaboration with producer Rick Rubin, and was also the last to feature contributions from longtime bassist/vocalist Howie Epstein, who died of a heroin overdose in 2003. Echo was certified Gold (500,000 copies sold) by the RIAA in July 1999, only three months after it was released. Echo is the only Heartbreakers’ album to contain a lead vocal from another member of the band: Mike Campbell on “I Don’t Wanna Fight.” An outtake entitled “Sweet William” appeared as the B-side (or second song) on the “Room at the Top” CD single.
Only certain songs were played on the band’s tour that year. The record was largely written during a period when Petty was going through a painful divorce (influencing the lyrics of songs such as “Lonesome Sundown” and the title track), and Petty has cited that as the reason for his preference not to play any songs from the album in concert. However, “Room at the Top”, “Free Girl Now” and “I Don’t Wanna Fight” all appear in the concert film “High Grass Dogs: Live at the Fillmore” and a version of “Billy the Kid” appears on “The Live Anthology”.
Although the stripped-down, immediate production of She’s the One was reminiscent of Wildflowers, Tom Petty’s forays into Lindsey Buckingham-inspired pop turned out to be a passing thing, since Echo, his first full-fledged record with the Heartbreakers since 1991’s Into the Great Wide Open, is an extension of Wildflowers, at least in terms of sound and feel. The weird thing is, Echo sounds like a sinewy band recording, but its sentiment makes it feel like a solo record. To be blunt, much of Echo feels like a by-product of Petty’s divorce from his wife of over 20 years; even the intoxicating hard rock of “Free Girl Now” has a layer of sorrow and regret. That weary melancholy is the bond that keeps Echo together, bridging the gap between the ballads and the rockers, providing an emotional touchstone that makes the record more than just another Petty record. Then again, the music on Echo manages to sound like every other Petty album, yet it stays fresh. Petty, Mike Campbell, and Rick Rubin (along with some help from George Drakoulias) keep the spirit of Wildflowers alive by keeping the production uncluttered, direct, and muscular — which just reveals what a strong, versatile band the Heartbreakers are. And while there are no surprises, Petty once again delivers an album that works as a whole while having several clear highlights — which is a pretty neat trick, actually. At times, the disc feels a little long, but all the pieces work individually and illustrate that Petty is the rare rocker who knows how to mature gracefully. Although the album is spiked with sadness and regret, nothing on the album feels forced or self-conscious, either lyrically or musically — and he is one of the few rockers of his generation that can make such a claim. –Stephen Thomas Erlewine
1 Room At The Top 05:00
2 Counting On You 04:05
3 Free Girl Now 03:30
4 Lonesome Sundown 04:32
5 Swingin’ 05:29
6 Accused Of Love 02:45
7 Echo 06:36
8 Won’t Last Long 04:22
9 Billy The Kid 04:08
10 I Don’t Wanna Fight 02:48
11 This One’s For Me 02:42
12 No More 03:16
13 About To Give Out 03:14
14 Rhino Skin 03:57
15 One More Day, One More Night 05:40
Tom Petty – guitars, harmonica, vocals
Mike Campbell – lead guitars, bass, lead vocals on “I Don’t Wanna Fight”
Benmont Tench – pianos, organ, chamberlin, clavinet
Howie Epstein – bass, harmony/background vocals
Scott Thurston – acoustic and electric guitars, background vocals
Steve Ferrone – drums
Lenny Castro – percussion
Producer’s Note: Tom Petty Hi-Res Remastering :: The Hi-Res (24bit 96K) remastering of the Tom Petty catalog reveals a level of detail that was only previously heard by a select group of musicians, producers and engineers in the studio. It’s as close to the sound of original stereo master as you can get. We’re very happy with the way it came out, and believe it’s an important way to preserve the legacy of this great body of work.
If hearing the highest possible sound quality is important to you, then this is where you’ll get it.
The remastering was done in the fall of 2014 by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering. I supervised it and Tom approved it. Great care was taken to find the original first-generation masters and transfer them with minimal eq and little or no dynamic range compression. In cases where the first-generation masters were unusable, we used the best sounding second-generation masters.*
To allow for full dynamic range, and to let the music “breathe” the Hi-Res versions have about 6-8db less digital level than a typical “loud” peak-limited CD or mp3. To enjoy these albums to their fullest extent, play them back though a good system and turn up the volume.
With this increased level of detail and sonic impact, we hope you’ll enjoy rediscovering these great albums as much as we did! —Ryan Ulyate, April 2014