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 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Released November 26, 1985 (1985-11-26)
Recorded July 16, 1978 –
August 7, 1985
Genre Rock
Length 71:12
Label MCA
Producer Tom Petty, Mike Campbell
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers chronology
Southern Accents
(1985)Southern Accents1985
Pack Up the Plantation: Live!
Let Me Up (I've Had Enough)
(1987)Let Me Up (I've Had Enough)1987
Singles from Pack Up the Plantation: Live!
  1. "Needles and Pins"
    Released: December 30, 1985
  2. "Refugee (live)"
    Released: 1986
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
The Essential Rock Discography 4/10[2]
MusicHound 3.5/5 stars[3]
Rolling Stone (mixed)[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[5]
Sounds 2/5 stars[6]

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. First is a cover of the Searchers' 1964 hit "Needles and Pins," that 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 & Roll Star," was released in Europe. "Refugee," one of the Heartbreakers' biggest hits, was also released in Europe on a 4-track EP. Another fan favorite, "Breakdown," from the Heartbreakers' 1976 debut, 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 record got somewhat mixed reviews, with Sandy Robertson, writing for Sounds, describing it as "a turgid four-sided video soundtrack".[6][clarification needed] Jimmy Guterman, writing for Rolling Stone, says that Petty "sounds impassioned and impressive when he lays into his early songs," and that the Heartbreakers are "an undeniably great band."[7]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Tom Petty except as noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn 3:30
2. "Needles and Pins" Sonny Bono, Jack Nitzsche 2:23
3. "The Waiting"   5:08
4. "Breakdown"   7:43
5. "American Girl"   3:50
6. "It Ain't Nothin' to Me" Petty, David A. Stewart 6:05
7. "Insider"   5:16
8. "Rockin' Around (With You)" Petty, Mike Campbell 3:20
9. "Refugee" Petty, Campbell 5:22
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 King 3:40
14. "You Got Lucky" (LP and cassette only)   4:20
15. "Shout" O'Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley 9:30
16. "Stories We Could Tell" John Sebastian 3:55

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 ..." 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 Amphitheater, Irvine, California, June 1983


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

The Rebeletts: (on tracks recorded at the Wiltern Theater)

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


  • 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"


  1. ^ Pack Up the Plantation: Live! at AllMusic
  2. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate. p. 816. ISBN 978-1-84195-827-9. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ Guterman, Jimmy (1986-01-16). "Pack Up The Plantation: Live!". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  5. ^ "Tom Petty: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  6. ^ a b Robertson, Sandy (1985) "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 'Pack Up the Plantation Live!'", Sounds, 14 December 1985, p. 28
  7. ^