Friday, November 13, 2009
[musicradar.com] Mike Campbell admits that, of all the records he's made with Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, the hardest to get right might be The Live Anthology, due 23 November - and he didn't even have to pick up his guitar for it.
"It was quite an undertaking," he says of the 4-CD set that cherrypicks 48 beloved Petty classics, little-heard chestnuts and intriguing covers from 1978-2007. "It took us a couple of years. There was a lot of searching through old tapes and trying to find tapes, a lot of listening. But we found some gems and figured it was worth putting out."
As Campbell points out in an exclusive interview with MusicRadar, he worked closely with engineer and producer Ryan Ulyate on The Live Anthology, combing through thousands of hours of tapes to find versions that "might not be definitive, but they show off the band's spark. That was the most important thing: do these songs have life? I didn't care if there was a mistake or two - that's what makes a band a band, you know?"
Campbell knows of where he speaks. During their 30-plus career, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers have established themselves as one of the world's most durable outfits, blending the ringing guitars of The Byrds with a Stonesy swagger over a bulging catalogue of tight, hook-filled songs that seem to grow better with age.
The Florida-born Campbell hooked up with Petty in the early '70s when the latter was in the band Mudcrutch. (That band would reform last year, with Campbell joining in.) After Mudcrutch broke up, Campbell moved to California and became a core member of Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, which also included keyboardist Benmont Tench, drummer Stan Lynch and bassist Ron Blair.
Most of the original band is still together (Blair has returned to the fold, having quit in the early '80s; his replacement, Howie Epstein died in 2003. Drummer Lynch left the group in 1994 due to creative and personal tensions; British drummer Steve Ferrone has played with the band since), a point of pride for Campbell.
"Keeping a band together is more work than anybody will ever tell you," he says. "But if you have something special, a bunch of guys who play well together, and a brilliant singer and writer who's truly unique, you owe it to yourself and your fans to keep going. More than anything, I think this new album proves our staying power."
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE!!
Posted by Dan Goldin at 2:53 AM