The Waiting (song)
|Single by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers|
|from the album Hard Promises|
|Released||April 20, 1981|
|Producer(s)||Tom Petty, Jimmy Iovine|
|Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers singles chronology|
"The Waiting" is the lead single from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' album Hard Promises released in 1981. The song peaked at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and #1 on the magazine's new Rock Tracks chart, where it remained for six consecutive weeks during the summer of 1981.
Frontman Tom Petty explained that the song's title was inspired by a quote from fellow musician Janis Joplin, who once said of touring, "I love being onstage and everything else is just waiting." He recalled:
That's where I think I got it from ... [Roger] McGuinn swears that he said it to me. Maybe he did. I don't think so. I think I got it from the Janis Joplin quote. That's where it stuck in my mind. I don't think she said, 'The waiting is the hardest part,' but it was something to that effect: 'Everything else is just waiting.' And so that's where that came from.
- Linda Ronstadt covered the song on her 1995 album Feels Like Home.
- Natalie Imbruglia covered the song on her album Male released in 2015.
- Country artist Jon Pardi covered the song on his album Rancho Fiesta Sessions in 2020.
In popular culture
Petty performed the song on It's Garry Shandling's Show in 1987.
The song was used on Chicago television news in 1995, as the public awaited news of Michael Jordan's return to the NBA.
When the Houston Astros won the 2017 World Series, the song was played on FOX after the trophy presentation.
- Tom Petty – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
- Mike Campbell – lead guitar, bass guitar
- Benmont Tench – keyboards, backing vocals
- Stan Lynch – drums, backing vocals
- Phil Jones – percussion
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||6|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||27|
|U.S. Billboard Top Tracks||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||19|
|U.S. Cashbox Top 100||14|
- Pollock, Bruce (18 March 2014). Rock Song Index: The 7500 Most Important Songs for the Rock and Roll Era. Taylor & Francis. p. 1757. ISBN 978-1-135-46303-8.
- Elbel, Jeff (June 30, 2017). "Not even the rain can steal Tom Petty's thunder in Wrigley Field". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 490.
- Lifton, Dave. "How Janis Joplin Inspired Tom Petty's 'The Waiting'". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
- YouTube clip - NBC promo for the 5th season of The Office, featuring "The Waiting"