Into the Great Wide Open

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Into the Great Wide Open
Tom Petty ITGWO.jpg
Studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Released July 2, 1991
Recorded 1991 at Rumbo Recorders, Studio C, Canoga Park, California and M.C. Studios
Genre Heartland rock
Length 43:55
Label MCA, Universal
Producer Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Mike Campbell
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers chronology
Full Moon Fever
(1989)
Into the Great Wide Open
(1991)
Greatest Hits
(1993)
Singles from Into the Great Wide Open
  1. "Learning to Fly"
    Released: April 1991
  2. "Into the Great Wide Open"
    Released: September 9, 1991
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly B+[3]
The Essential Rock Discography 6/10[4]
Los Angeles Times 3/5 stars[5]
MusicHound 2.5/5 stars[6]
The New York Times (favorable)[7]
People (favorable)[8]
Q 4/5 stars[9]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[10]
Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[11]

Into the Great Wide Open is the eighth studio album by American rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, first released in 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 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, Matt LeBlanc, Terence Trent D'Arby and Chynna Phillips.

Critical reception[edit]

For the most part, Into the Great Wide Open was warmly received by critics. Dave DiMartino, reviewing the album for Entertainment Weekly said that the album was the closest "classic" album Petty and the band had made in fifteen years, saying that the album was a return to their first two albums. He feels that this is due largely to Jeff Lynne and that the songs are better than the ones on Full Moon Fever.[3] Rolling Stone critic Parke Puterbaugh called the album a cross between Full Moon Fever and Damn the Torpedoes, said that it features Petty's best lyrics and that it is much better than Let Me Up (I've Had Enough).[10] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic was less impressed, saying that Into the Great Wide Open sounds too much like Full Moon Fever. He said that the album was "pleasant" but was not his best.[1] In his Consumer Guide, Robert Christgau gave the album a one-star honorable mention,[12] indicating "a worthy effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well like".[13]

Track listing[edit]

All songs were written by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, except where noted.

  1. "Learning to Fly" – 4:02
  2. "Kings Highway" (Petty) – 3:08
  3. "Into the Great Wide Open" – 3:43
  4. "Two Gunslingers" (Petty) – 3:09
  5. "The Dark of the Sun" – 3:23
  6. "All or Nothin'" (Petty, Mike Campbell, Lynne) – 4:07
  7. "All the Wrong Reasons" – 3:46
  8. "Too Good to Be True" (Petty) – 3:59
  9. "Out in the Cold" – 3:40
  10. "You and I Will Meet Again" (Petty) – 3:42
  11. "Makin' Some Noise" (Petty, Campbell, Lynne) – 3:27
  12. "Built to Last" – 4:00

"Hello, Cassette listeners ..."[edit]

On the Cassette Tape release of the album, just after "All or Nothin'" and before side 1 runs out, there is a brief spoken interlude by Petty. It is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the "Hello CD Listeners" interlude from Full Moon Fever, this time instructing cassette listeners on how to properly flip over their tape and prepare it for side 2.

"What's in Here?"[edit]

"What's in Here?" is played immediately after "Out in the Cold." Tom Petty asks, "What's in here?," followed by the sound of a cupboard opening along with ambient noise from a sea dock. Petty says "Oh," and the cupboard closes.

The first lyrics for "Into the great wide open" named the girl he met "chatty, too" ... the final lyrics changed her to a "girl with a tattoo, too". Also the lyrics for "Learning to fly" were modified and changed "falling down is ..." in "Coming down ..."

Personnel[edit]

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers[edit]

  • 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

Additional personnel[edit]

  • 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"

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Into the Great Wide Open - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers". AllMusic. Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ Kot, Greg (September 1, 1991). "Through The Years With Tom Petty". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b DiMartino, Dave (July 19, 1991). "Into the Great Wide Open Review". Entertainment Weekly (75). ISSN 1049-0434. Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  4. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate. p. 816. ISBN 978-1-84195-827-9. 
  5. ^ Cromelin, Richard (June 30, 1991). "SUMMER ALBUM ROUNDUP : A Wilbury's Further Travels". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Schoemer, Karen (January 1, 1992). "The Pop Life; Top 12's, or So". The New York Times. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: Full Moon Fever". People. 1991-12-08. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Tom Petty / Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Into the Great Wide Open CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Puterbaugh, Parke (July 11, 1991). "Into the Great Wide Open". Rolling Stone. Jann S. Wenner. Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Into the Great Wide Open". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved December 26, 2014. 
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG 90s: Key to Icons". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Into the Great Wide Open". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Into the Great Wide Open" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  16. ^ "100 Albums (CDs & Cassettes)" (PHP). RPM. 54 (12). August 24, 1991. ISSN 0315-5994. Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Into the Great Wide Open". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Into the Great Wide Open" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  19. ^ "トム・ペティ&ザ・ハートブレイカーズ-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック" [Highest position and charting weeks of Into the Great Wide Open by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers] (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Into the Great Wide Open". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Into the Great Wide Open". VG-lista. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Into the Great Wide Open" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Into the Great Wide Open - hitparade.ch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Artist: Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  25. ^ "Into the Great Wide Open – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers". Billboard. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  26. ^ "RPM 100 Albums (CDs & Cassettes) of 1991". RPM. December 21, 1991. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Tom Petty – Into the Great Wide Open". Music Canada. 
  28. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Tom Petty; 'Into the Great Wide Open')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  29. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  30. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Tom Petty; 'Into the Great Wide Open')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  31. ^ "British album certifications – Tom Petty – Into the Great Wide Open". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Into the Great Wide Open in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  32. ^ "American album certifications – Tom Petty – Into the Great Wide Open". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH