Highway Companion

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Highway Companion
Highway Companion.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 25, 2006
StudioBungalow Palace and Shoreline Recorders, Los Angeles
GenreHeartland rock
Tom Petty chronology
The Last DJ
Highway Companion
Singles from Highway Companion
  1. "Saving Grace"
    Released: July 4, 2006
  2. "Flirting with Time"
    Released: 2006
  3. "Big Weekend"
    Released: 2006

Highway Companion is the third and final solo studio album by American singer-songwriter Tom Petty. It was released on July 25, 2006, and charted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The album was produced by former Traveling Wilburys bandmate Jeff Lynne, who also produced Petty’s highly acclaimed first solo album, Full Moon Fever, as well as the Heartbreakers' next album Into the Great Wide Open. Petty released the album through Rick Rubin's American Recordings label and Warner Bros. Records, where Petty has had a record contract since his second solo album, Wildflowers (which was produced by Rubin). The tracks "Saving Grace" and "Big Weekend" were released July 4, 2006 on the iTunes Music Store. It ended up being Petty's only album for American Recordings, as that label moved to Columbia Records distribution in 2007; Warner Bros. retained the rights to Petty, eventually reassigning him to subsidiary label Reprise Records.

A streaming version of the album was available on numerous websites before its release. The iTunes release of the album contained extras: a live version of "Saving Grace", the video for "Saving Grace" and an interactive media booklet.

Special Edition[edit]

An expanded Special Edition of Highway Companion was released on June 5, 2007. This expanded edition included the original album unchanged, but added two new tracks and demos of "This Old Town" and "Big Weekend". The new tracks, "Home" and "Around the Roses", were recorded for the album in 2005, and were mentioned in Tom Petty's 2005 biography Conversations With Tom Petty, but remained unreleased before this edition. The leatherette board packaging also includes two postcards.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[2]
The A.V. ClubB+[3]
Entertainment WeeklyA–[4]
The Guardian4/5 stars[5]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[6]
PopMatters7/10 stars[8]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[9]
Slant Magazine4/5 stars[10]
Spin2/5 stars[11]

Highway Companion has a score of 73 out of 100 from Metacritic based on "generally favorable reviews".[1] AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine did not like that some songs on the album seemed to be made for the road while others were not but he felt that Jeff Lynne's production on this album was different than Full Moon Fever and Into the Great Wide Open, which appealed to him. Erlewine also felt the album was darker than Petty's previous work but was still a "reliable" record. [2] Noel Murray of The A.V. Club stated that it was arguably the fourth best album that Petty has made and that the album's title was appropriate. [3] Dave Simpson, in his review for The Guardian, stated that the album was a good way to say goodbye from music, [5] although Petty did not go through with his retirement plans. Jam!'s Darryl Sterdan gave it three-and-a-half stars out of five and thinks Petty was taking his music "down a peg" and that the album shows Petty "aging graciously". [12] John Metzger, in his Music Box review of the album, gave it four stars out of five and felt that the complaints that Petty sang about came across better on Companion than The Last DJ and that the album was no less powerful than his previous albums. [13] Alan Light of Rolling Stone said that although Highway Companion was not as good as Petty's two previous solo efforts, it successfully combined the previous albums' styles and was worth listening to. [9]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Tom Petty.

1."Saving Grace"3:48
2."Square One"3:26
3."Flirting with Time"3:16
4."Down South"3:27
6."Turn This Car Around"3:59
7."Big Weekend"3:16
8."Night Driver"4:28
9."Damaged by Love"3:23
10."This Old Town"4:17
11."Ankle Deep"3:24
12."The Golden Rose"4:43
Total length:43:56
Special Edition bonus tracks
14."Around the Roses"2:58
15."Big Weekend" (demo version)3:04
16."This Old Town" (demo version)4:24
Total length:13:37


  • Tom Petty – lead and backing vocals, guitars (rhythm, 12-string, bass guitar on "Square One", lead on "Jack"), drums, harmonica, electric piano on "Night Driver", keyboards on "Jack", producer
  • Mike Campbell – guitars (lead, 12-string), vibraphone on "The Golden Rose", producer
  • Jeff Lynne – guitars (bass, rhythm), keyboards, backing vocals, autoharp on "Ankle Deep", producer

Additional personnel

  • Charlie Bolois – studio tech
  • Robert Deyber – cover art
  • Brian Gardner – mastering
  • Steve McGrath – additional engineer for "Square One" and "Jack"
  • Ryan Ulyate – recording and mix engineer
  • Alan "Bugs" Weidel – session supervision, equipment and guitar tech, "coffee and tea transportation for Tom Petty"


Weekly Charts

Chart (2006) Peak
Austrian Top 75 Albums[14] 60
Belgium (Flanders) 100 Albums[15] 72
Belgium (Wallonia) 100 Albums[16] 58
Canadian Albums Chart[17] 5
Finnish Top 50 Albums[18] 22
French Top 200 Albums[19] 155
German Albums[20] 12
Netherlands Top 100 Albums[21] 55
New Zealand Top 40 Albums[22] 13
Norwegian Top 40 Albums[23] 15
Swedish Top 60 Albums[24] 3
Swiss Top 100 Albums[25] 44
UK Albums Chart[26] 56
US Billboard 200[17] 4
US Rock Albums[17] 1


Single Chart Position
Saving Grace US Billboard Hot 100 100
US Mainstream Rock Charts 26
UK Singles Chart 198


  1. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for Highway Companion". Metacritic. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Highway Companion – Tom Petty". AllMusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Murray, Noel (July 26, 2006). "Tom Petty: Highway Companion". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  4. ^ Collis, Clark (August 4, 2006). "Highway Companion Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Simpson, Dave (July 21, 2006). "Review: Tom Petty, Highway Companion". The Guardian. Manchester, England: Guardian Media Group.
  6. ^ Lewis, Randy (July 23, 2006). "Petty's route gets complex". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  7. ^ Himes, Geoffrey (August 8, 2006). "Tom Petty – Highway Companion". Paste. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  8. ^ Vrabel, Jeff (July 24, 2006). "Tom Petty: Highway Companion". PopMatters. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  9. ^ a b Light, Alan (July 20, 2006). "Highway Companion". Rolling Stone. Jann S. Wenner.
  10. ^ Jones, Preston (July 25, 2006). "Tom Petty: Highway Companion". Slant Magazine. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  11. ^ Eddy, Chuck (September 2006). "Tom Petty Highway Companion". Spin. p. 110. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  12. ^ Sterdan, Darryl (July 28, 2006). "Album Review: Highway Companion". Jam!. Canadian Online Explorer.
  13. ^ Metzger, John (July 2006). "Tom Petty – Highway Companion (Album Review)". The Music Box. 13 (7). Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  14. ^ "Tom Petty – Highway Companion (Album)" (ASP). Austrian Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  15. ^ "Tom Petty – Highway Companion (Album)" (ASP). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  16. ^ "Tom Petty – Highway Companion (Album)" (ASP). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  17. ^ a b c "Highway Companion – Tom Petty". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  18. ^ "Tom Petty – Highway Companion (Album)" (ASP). Finnish Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  19. ^ "Tom Petty – Highway Companion (Album)" (ASP). Les Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  20. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Petty, Tom / Longplay". Music Line (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  21. ^ "Tom Petty – Highway Companion (Album)" (ASP). Dutch Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  22. ^ "Tom Petty – Highway Companion (Album)" (ASP). New Zealand Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  23. ^ "Tom Petty – Highway Companion (Album)" (ASP). Norwegian Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  24. ^ "Tom Petty – Highway Companion (Album)" (ASP). Swedish Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  25. ^ "Tom Petty – Highway Companion (Album)" (ASP). Schweizer Hitparade. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  26. ^ "Artist Chart History: Tom Petty & Heartbreakers". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 2, 2011.

External links[edit]