Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Into the Great Wide Open (1991/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 44:01 minutes | 975 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © Geffen Records
Recorded: 1990–91 at Rumbo Recorders, Studio C, Canoga Park, California and M.C. Studios
Exclusively on HDtracks, images of the master tapes are included with every download, along with a note from the remaster producer, Ryan Ulyate.
The Heartbreakers’ eighth studio album was also produced by Jeff Lynne with Tom Petty and Mike Campbell and was recorded at Rumbo Recorders in Canoga Park, CA. There were three singles released from this album: “Learning To Fly”, “Into The Great Wide Open”, and “King’’s Highway”.
Into the Great Wide Open is the eighth studio album by American rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, first released in July 1991 (see 1991 in music). The album was the band’s last with MCA Records. The album was the second Petty produced with Jeff Lynne after the success of 1989’s Full Moon Fever.
The first single, “Learning to Fly”, became his joint longest-running number one single (along with “The Waiting” from 1981’s Hard Promises) on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, spending six weeks at the top spot. The second single, “Out in the Cold”, also made number 1 on the Mainstream Rock chart, albeit only for two weeks.
The music video for the title song starred Johnny Depp, who had moved to Los Angeles as a teenager to seek rock stardom, along with Gabrielle Anwar, Faye Dunaway, and Matt LeBlanc.
Since Full Moon Fever was an unqualified commercial and critical success, perhaps it made sense that Tom Petty chose to follow its shiny formula when he reunited with the Heartbreakers for its follow-up, Into the Great Wide Open. Nevertheless, the familiarity of Into the Great Wide Open is something of a disappointment. the Heartbreakers’ sound has remained similar throughout their career, but they had never quite repeated themselves until here. Technically, it isn’t a repeat, since they weren’t credited on Full Moon, but Wide Open sounds exactly like Full Moon, thanks to Jeff Lynne’s overly stylized production. Again, it sounds like a cross between latter-day ELO and roots rock (much like the Traveling Wilburys, in that sense), but the production has become a touch too careful and precise, bordering on the sterile at times. And, unfortunately, the quality of the songwriting doesn’t match Full Moon or Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough). That’s not to say that it rivals the uninspired Long After Dark, since Petty was a better craftsman in 1991 than he was in 1983. There are a number of minor gems — “Learning to Fly,” “Kings Highway,” “Into the Great Wide Open” — but there are no knockouts, either; it’s like Full Moon Fever if there were only “Apartment Song”s and no “Free Fallin’”s. In other words, enough for a pleasant listen, but not enough to resonate like his best work. (And considering this, perhaps it wasn’t surprising that Petty chose to change producers and styles on his next effort, the solo Wildflowers.) —Stephen Thomas Erlewine
1 Learning To Fly 04:01
2 Kings Highway 03:07
3 Into The Great Wide Open 03:42
4 Two Gunslingers 03:09
5 The Dark Of The Sun 03:23
6 All Or Nothin’ 04:05
7 All The Wrong Reasons 03:45
8 Too Good To Be True 04:01
9 Out In The Cold 03:40
10 You And I Will Meet Again 03:43
11 Makin’ Some Noise 03:27
12 Built To Last 03:58
Tom Petty – vocals, 6- and 12-string acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, percussion, bass guitar, producer
Mike Campbell – lead guitar, 12-string guitar, bass guitar, Dobro, keyboards, slide guitar
Howie Epstein – bass guitar, backing vocals
Benmont Tench – acoustic and electric pianos, accordion
Stan Lynch – drums, percussion
Jeff Lynne – guitars, bass, vocals, piano, synthesizer, percussion, sound effects
Roger McGuinn – backing vocal on “All The Wrong Reasons”
Richard Tandy – synthesizer on “Two Gunslingers”
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