Tom Petty…Wildflowers (Box Set)

The long-awaited Wildflowers box set will be released on October 16th this year.

Wildflowers & All The Rest completes Tom Petty’s desire to release his original vision of Wildflowers as a 25 song double album.  His plan to release it was stopped by his untimely death (at the age of 66) on October 2nd, 2017.  Now, Tom Petty’s daughters, Adria & Annakim, his wife Dana, and Heartbreakers Mike Campbell & Benmont Tench, have put together various sets of the 1994 recordings.

Tom Petty considered Wildflowers a personal peak.  It was a solo project that he undertook with producer Rick Rubin.  Tom said working by himself gave him more freedom to write whatever he wanted, without thinking about how the songs would work for the band.  Of course, when he started recording the album, he included Heartbreakers Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, and Steve Ferrone among the numerous musicians.  Drummer Ferrone was actually invited to become a Heartbreaker, after his work on this album.

The basic 2 CD set includes the songs Tom originally planned for the album.  Had it been released as a double album in 1994, it probably would have had a different running order, with the songs more evenly divided between the two discs. The Deluxe version has 4 discs, and the Super Deluxe version has 5.  Here are the songs:

Wildflowers (Disc 1)

  1. Wildflowers
  2. You Don’t Know How It Feels
  3. Time To Move On
  4. You Wreck Me
  5. It’s Good To Be King
  6. Only A Broken Heart
  7. Honey Bee
  8. Don’t Fade On Me
  9. Hard On Me
  10. Cabin Down Below
  11. To Find A Friend
  12. A Higher Place
  13. House In the Woods
  14. Crawling Back To You
  15. Wake Up Time

All The Rest (Disc 2)

  1. Something Could Happen
  2. Leaving Virginia Alone
  3. Climb That Hill Blues
  4. Confusion Wheel
  5. California (released on She’s The One soundtrack)
  6. Harry Green
  7. Hope You Never (on She’s The One soundtrack)
  8. Somewhere Under Heaven
  9. Climb That Hill
  10. Hung Up And Overdue (on She’s The One soundtrack)

Home Recordings (Disc 3)

  1. There Goes Angela (Dream Away)
  2. You Don’t Know How It Feels
  3. California
  4. A Feeling Of Peace
  5. Leave Virginia Alone
  6. Crawling Back To You
  7. Don’t Fade On Me
  8. Confusion Wheel
  9. A Higher Place
  10. There’s A Break In The Rain (Have Love Will Travel)
  11. To Find A Friend
  12. Only A Broken Heart
  13. Wake Up Time
  14. Hung Up And Overdue
  15. Wildflowers

Wildflowers Live (Disc 4) [From 1995-2017]

  1. You Don’t Know How It Feels
  2. Honey Bee
  3. To Find A Friend
  4. Walls
  5. Crawling Back To You
  6. Cabin Down Below
  7. Driving Down To Georgia
  8. House In The Woods
  9. Girls On LSD
  10. Time To Move On
  11. Wake Up Time
  12. It’s Good To Be King
  13. You Wreck Me
  14. Wildflowers

 Finding Wildflowers (Disc 5) [Alternate Versions]

  1. A Higher Place
  2. Hard On Me
  3. Cabin Down Below
  4. Crawling Back To You
  5. Only A Broken Heart
  6. Drivin’ Down To Georgia
  7. You Wreck Me
  8. It’s Good To Be King
  9. House In The Woods
  10. Honey Bee
  11. Girl On LSD
  12. Cabin Down Below (Acoustic)
  13. Wildflowers
  14. Don’t Fade On Me
  15. Wake Up Time
  16. You Saw Me Comin’

For Tom Petty fans, the main parts of this project are the 7 unreleased tracks on Disc 2, and all of Tom’s Home Recordings on Disc 3.  Tom was an excellent musician.  He played all of the instruments on these demos, using an 8-track studio recorder in his music room.  You can find three of those home recordings on YouTube…”You Don’t Know How It Feels”, “Wildflowers”, and “There Goes Angela”.  They’re all nicely-realized high-quality recordings.

Fans of vinyl will be happy that all of these will be available in multi-record sets.  If you have an extra half-a-grand lying around, you could get the limited “Ultra Deluxe Edition”.  The actual price is $499.98.  (Seriously, some marketing genius said “Let’s take all the package prices down 2-cents to make the prices seem lower.”)  Here are the various versions as shown on the Tom Petty website.  Images can be enlarged.

There will be only 475 copies of the 9-record $500 set available on the Tom Petty website, so “Hurry while supplies last!”.  It’s a long way from when Tom Petty fought to keep his record company from charging one-dollar more for his albums.

Even though my wife and I have an extensive music collection, Tom Petty earns an “unfair share” of our listening time.  We miss him, and will welcome having some previously unreleased recordings to enjoy.

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