Friday, 29 April 2016

"Long After Dark" by TOM PETTY and THE HEARTBREAKERS (2001 Universal/MCA 'HDCD' Reissue - Joe Gastwirt Remaster) - A Review by Mark Barry...



"...I'm Finding Out..." 

Originally released in November 1982 on Vinyl and Cassette – Tom Petty's fifth studio album "Long After Dark" seemed to slip through the cracks. While it managed a top-ten placing Stateside - no one cared enough to notice in good old Blighty. You just don't see British vinyl originals of it that much - and the initial 1980's CD reissue (a non-remaster) disappeared off the shelves only a few years after it was released.

Which brings us to this fantastic sounding 2001 'HDCD' Remaster – a properly decent audio overhaul - but yet again - overlooked in his canon of consistently good releases. "Long After Dark" is a brilliant rock album with all the trademark Petty hooks and catchy choruses - tune after tune hitting you with their economy and brilliance. Deliver me indeed. Here are the details...

UK and USA released March 2001 – "Long After Dark" by TOM PETTY and THE HEARTBREAKERS on MCA 112 446-2 (Barcode 008811244620) is a straightforward CD transfer/reissue (mastered in HDCD) of the album (36:24 minutes).

1. A One-Story Town
2. You Got Lucky
3. Deliver Me
4. Change Of Heart
5. Finding Out
6. We Stand A Chance [Side 2]
7. Straight Into Darkness
8. The Same Old You
9. Between Two Worlds
10. A Wasted Life
"Long After Dark" was released November 1982 in the USA on MCA/Backstreet Records BSR-5360 and in the UK on MCA Records MCL 1818. It peaked at No. 9 on the US LP charts and No. 45 in the UK.

The booklet is ok – reproducing the lyrics of the original vinyl album’s inner sleeve. The back inlay picture is different to the 80's issue but that’s about it. However – that’s offset by the gobsmacking audio... Remastered by Joe Gastwirt at Ocean View Digital from the original analogue master tapes - the sound on this 'High Definition Compatible Digital' reissue (one in a series of Petty Remasters) is just stupendous - clear, full of power and clarity and ready to kick your stereo in its sub-woofer proverbials. Gastwirt has done a truly fantastic remaster job here.

Co-Produced by Petty with JIMMY IOVINE (who'd worked so successfully with the band on "Damn The Torpedoes" in 1979) - "A One Story Town" opens proceedings with a tale of faraway feelings and nowhere city - all wrapped up in a driving set of riffs. The huge synth punch in "You Got Lucky" is so clear that it almost feels intrusive – audio that's too damn good. But then we get one of those fabulous Petty rockers - "Deliver Me" - where he begs his girl to "...take this heart...and deliver me..." Another belter follows - the faster-paced "Finding Out" - a shockingly good headbanger that builds and builds (cracking harmony vocals too). Side One ends on the clever voice-box guitar of "We Stand A Chance". Other winners include the deceptively sweet "A Wasted Life" - a shuffler that gets its hooks into and stays there. Both "Change Of Heart" and "Straight Into Darkness" is the band firing on all sixes - brilliant Petty rockers with huge sound (I love these songs and US radio played the hell out of "Straight Into Darkness"). No time for pretty as it ends with more monster riffage - the moody 'you haven't changed' song "The Same Old You".

I've always thought "Long After Dark" to be an absolute blinder of an album and not nearly as dated as so much Eighties cack is. And it's cheap too (use the Barcode provided above to get the right issue). You go TP...

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