Pack Up the Plantation: Live!

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Pack Up the Plantation: Live!
Tom Petty - Pack up the Plantation Live!.jpg
Live album by
ReleasedNovember 25, 1985 (1985-11-25)
RecordedJuly 16, 1978 –
August 7, 1985
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers chronology
Southern Accents
Pack Up the Plantation: Live!
Let Me Up (I've Had Enough)
Singles from Pack Up the Plantation: Live!
  1. "Needles and Pins" b/w Spike (live) - Unreleased MCA-52772"
    Released: December 30, 1985
  2. "Refugee (live)" b/w "Don't Do Me Like That" (live) - Unreleased, "Here Comes My Girl", "The Waiting" MCAT 1047"
    Released: 1986
  3. "So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" b/w "American Girl" MCA 1028"
    Released: 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[1]
Blender1/5 stars[2]
Chicago Tribune3/4 stars[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[4]
The Essential Rock Discography4/10[5]
Rolling Stone(mixed)[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[8]
Sounds2/5 stars[9]

Pack Up the Plantation: Live! is the first official live album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released in November 1985. It was primarily recorded at the Wiltern Theatre during their 1985 tour but also includes several tracks from previous tours. It was released as a double LP or single cassette and compact disc.

A concert film of the Wiltern Theatre performance, also titled Pack Up the Plantation: Live! was released on home video in 1986. It included songs that did not make the album, such as originals "Don't Do Me Like That" and "Don't Come Around Here No More", as well as covers such as "Little Bit O' Soul" and "Route 66".

Stevie Nicks, who has collaborated with Petty and has appeared with him on tour frequently, sings with Petty on two songs on the record. The first is a cover of the Searchers' 1964 hit "Needles and Pins", which was released as a single and climbed into the Billboard top 40. Nicks' second track is "Insider", one of two cuts from Petty's 1981 LP Hard Promises that feature her.

No other singles were released from the album in the US, although a cover of the Byrds' 1967 hit "So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" was released in Europe. "Refugee" was also issued in Europe on a four-track EP. Another fan favorite, "Breakdown", appears at the end of side one. It is notable because the audience takes over from Petty at the start, singing the first two verses and the chorus loud enough to be picked up by the mics. He quipped, "You're gonna put me out of a job", to huge applause, and then launched back into a reprise of the second verse.

The recording garnered somewhat mixed reviews, with Sandy Robertson, writing for Sounds, describing it as "a turgid four-sided video soundtrack".[9][clarification needed] Jimmy Guterman, writing for Rolling Stone, said that Petty "sounds impassioned and impressive when he lays into his early songs" and that the Heartbreakers are "an undeniably great band".[10]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Tom Petty except as noted.

1."So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star"Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn3:30
2."Needles and Pins"Sonny Bono, Jack Nitzsche2:23
3."The Waiting" 5:08
4."Breakdown" 7:43
5."American Girl" 3:50
6."It Ain't Nothin' to Me"Petty, David A. Stewart6:05
7."Insider" 5:16
8."Rockin' Around (With You)"Petty, Mike Campbell3:20
9."Refugee"Petty, Campbell5:22
10."I Need to Know" (LP and cassette only) 2:30
11."Southern Accents" 5:20
12."Rebels" 6:10
13."Don't Bring Me Down"Gerry Goffin, Carole King3:40
14."You Got Lucky" (LP and cassette only) 4:20
15."Shout"O'Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley9:30
16."Stories We Could Tell"John Sebastian3:55

The cover songs "So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" and "Don't Bring Me Down" would later appear on Playback; "So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" also shows up on Anthology: Through the Years. The two songs only on vinyl or cassette have never been officially released on CD. Both songs were also initially not included in the 2015 Hi-Rez remaster, despite being a digital download without time limits, but after fan response, they were belatedly added to the release.

Recording information[edit]

All tracks recorded at the Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, California, August 7, 1985 except,

  • "Don't Bring Me Down" – Paradise Theater, Boston, July 16, 1978
  • "Stories We Could Tell" – Hammersmith Odeon, London, England, March 7, 1980, engineered by Charles Kaplan in the Mobile Manor Unit
  • "Needles and Pins" & "Insider" – The Forum, Los Angeles, June 1981
  • "Shout" – The Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio, March 19, 1983
  • "Rockin' Around (With You)" – Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, Irvine, California, June 1983


Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Additional musicians

  • Ron Blair – bass on "Insider", "Needles and Pins", "Stories We Could Tell", "Don't Bring Me Down"
  • Phil Jones – percussion on "Insider", "Needles and Pins", "Rockin' Around (With You)", "Shout"
  • Bobby Valentino – violin on "Stories We Could Tell"
  • Stevie Nicks – vocals on "Insider", "Needles and Pins"

Soul Lips Horns (on tracks recorded at the Wiltern Theater)

  • Jimmy Zavala – saxes, harmonica
  • Lee Thornburg – trumpets, flugel horn
  • Nick Lane – trombones, euphonium

The Rebeletts (on tracks recorded at the Wiltern Theater)

  • Pat Peterson – backing vocals, percussion
  • Caroll Sue Hill – backing vocals, percussion


  • Mike Campbell - production
  • Tom Petty - production
  • Don Smith - engineer
  • Alan Weidel - assistant engineer


Weekly Charts

Year Chart Position
1986 US Billboard 200 22[11]


  1. ^ Pack Up the Plantation: Live! at AllMusic
  2. ^ "Tom Petty: Pack Up The Plantation—Live!". Blender. Archived from the original on June 15, 2008. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  3. ^ Kot, Greg (September 1, 1991). "Through The Years With Tom Petty". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate. p. 816. ISBN 978-1-84195-827-9.
  6. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Visible Ink Press. p. 870. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Guterman, Jimmy (1986-01-16). "Pack Up The Plantation: Live!". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  8. ^ "Tom Petty: Album Guide". Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Robertson, Sandy (1985) "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 'Pack Up the Plantation Live!'", Sounds, 14 December 1985, p. 28
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-03-24.