|Studio album by|
|Released||May 5, 1981|
|Studio||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|
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Essential Rock Discography||6/10|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
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.
The album's title comes from a line in the chorus of "Insider".
Hard Promises was the last album to feature bassist Ron Blair until The Last DJ. He was replaced by Howie Epstein, who continued to play with the band until his termination in 2002 (Epstein died of a heroin overdose the following year).
John Lennon tribute
During the recording of the album, John Lennon was scheduled to be in the same studio at the same time. Petty was looking forward to meeting him when he came in. The meeting never occurred, as Lennon was murdered before the date of his planned visit the studio. Petty and the band paid tribute to the slain former Beatle by etching "WE LOVE YOU J.L." in the runout deadwax on early U.S. and Canadian pressings of Hard Promises.
All tracks written by Tom Petty, except where noted.
|2.||"A Woman in Love (It's Not Me)"||Petty, Mike Campbell||4:22|
|6.||"Letting You Go"||3:24|
|7.||"A Thing About You"||3:33|
|9.||"The Criminal Kind"||4:00|
|10.||"You Can Still Change Your Mind"||Petty, Campbell||4:15|
- Tom Petty – lead vocals, 12 & 6 string guitar electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar and electric piano on "Something Big"
- Mike Campbell – 12 and 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
- Donald "Duck" Dunn – bass guitar on "A Woman in Love"
- Alan "Bugs" Weidel – piano on "Nightwatchman"
- Stevie Nicks – harmony vocal on "Insider", background vocal on "You Can Still Change Your Mind"
- Lori Nicks - background vocal on "Insider"
- Sharon Celani – background vocal on "You Can Still Change Your Mind"
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
- AllMusic review
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- Larkin, Colin (ed.) (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th edn). London: Omnibus Press. p. 2005. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
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- Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 870. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
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