|Studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers|
|Released||May 5, 1981|
|Recorded||1980–81 at Sound City, Van Nuys, Cherokee Studios, Hollywood, CA and Goodnight, LA|
|Producer||Jimmy Iovine, Tom Petty|
|Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers chronology|
|Singles from Hard Promises|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Hard Promises is the fourth album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released in May, 1981.
Its original working title was Benmont's Revenge, referring to the band's keyboard player, Benmont Tench. The album features guest vocals from Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac on the duet "Insider." The Heartbreakers also recorded the hit "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" for Nicks' album Bella Donna around the time Hard Promises was recorded.
This was the second Tom Petty album on the Backstreet Records label. The album's release was delayed while Petty and his distributor MCA Records argued about the list price. The album was slated to be the next MCA release with the new list price of $9.98, following Steely Dan's Gaucho and the Olivia Newton-John/Electric Light Orchestra Xanadu soundtrack. This so-called "superstar pricing" was $1.00 more than the usual list price of $8.98. Petty voiced his objections to the price hike in the press and the issue became a popular cause among music fans. Non-delivery of the album or naming it Eight Ninety-Eight were considered, but eventually MCA decided against the price increase.
During the recording of the album John Lennon was scheduled to be in the same studio at the same time. Tom Petty was looking forward to meeting him when he came in. The meeting never occurred; unfortunately, John Lennon was murdered before he could ever make it into the studio. In order to pay tribute to one of their influences the band decided to etch "WE LOVE YOU JL" on the master copy of the album. To this day "WE LOVE YOU JL" is seen on every Hard Promises first issue US non-masterphile vinyl copy pressed. The album's title comes from a line in the chorus of "Insider."
All songs were written by Tom Petty, except where noted.
- "The Waiting" – 3:58
- "A Woman in Love (It's Not Me)" (Petty, Mike Campbell) – 4:22
- "Nightwatchman" (Petty, Campbell) – 3:59
- "Something Big" – 4:44
- "Kings Road" – 3:27
- "Letting You Go" – 3:24
- "A Thing About You" – 3:33
- "Insider" – 4:23
- "The Criminal Kind" – 4:00
- "You Can Still Change Your Mind" (Petty, Campbell) – 4:15
- Tom Petty – lead vocals, 12 & 6 string guitar electric & acoustic guitars, bass guitar & electric piano on "Something Big"
- Mike Campbell – 12 & 6 string guitar electric guitars, auto-harp, accordion, harmonium, bass guitar
- Benmont Tench – organ, piano, background vocals
- Ron Blair – bass guitar
- Stan Lynch – drums, background vocals
- Phil Jones – percussion on all tracks
- Stevie Nicks – harmony vocals on "Insider", background vocals on "You Can Still Change Your Mind"
- Donald "Duck" Dunn – bass guitar on "A Woman in Love"
- Sharon Celani – background vocals on "You Can Still Change Your Mind"
- Alan "Bugs" Weidel – piano on "Nightwatchman"
- Allmusic review
- Blender review[dead link]
- Robert Christgau review
- Rolling Stone review
- Rolling Stone Album Guide
- Goldstein, Patrick. "Pop Eye" Los Angeles Times Sept. 21, 1980: T80.
- Goldstein, Patrick. "Petty Battling MCA Over Record Price Hike" Los Angeles Times February 1, 1981: N72.
- Marsh, Dave. "Tom Petty" Musician July 1981: 43.
- Conversations with Tom Petty by Paul Zollo