Here’s your ticket to some of the best (or, perhaps, most infamous) 7″ singles ever released! No adapter is required, although in my opinion the device pictured below is right up there with Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls as one of the best inventions of the 20th century.
When Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers released their Greatest Hits album in 1993, a few big songs from the band were noticeably absent. One of those missing hits was “Jammin’ Me,” a classic Petty rocker that almost made the Top 10 in the summer of 1987. In fact, there were no songs from the fantastic Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough) album on Greatest Hits, making it the only Heartbreakers album unrepresented on the compilation. I am still baffled by that, as I think Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough) is the best Heartbreakers record of the ’80s. It may be all over the map stylistically, but the songwriting is top-notch and the band is in amazing form. The Heartbreakers had just come off of a long tour backing Bob Dylan, and you can tell that the experience raised both their cohesiveness and their chops.
“Jammin Me” was written by Tom Petty and Mike Campbell with a little help from that Dylan guy. Vanessa Redgrave may have wondered exactly what she did to justify being taken back with Joe Piscopo, but she shouldn’t have viewed the lyric as a slight– many of the lines in “Jammin’ Me” were simply pulled straight out of the newspaper in a very stream-of-consciousness manner. The song attacked the listener with a barrage of seemingly unconnected soundbites, and did a brilliant job of simulating the media overkill that really took over in the mid-’80s (and has only worsened since). I can only imagine what Tom Petty thinks of today’s communications saturation– hint: he definitely does NOT post on Twitter.
The b-side of “Jammin’ Me” is the previously unreleased “Make That Connection,” a Petty composition that didn’t make the Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough) album. It was finally released on CD on 1995’s Playback box set.
Note: if you have yet to pick up a copy of the new Heartbreakers record, you need to check it out. I am enjoying Hypnotic Eye more than any record the band has released since the Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough) cassette was perpetually stuck in my car stereo during the summer of 1987.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Jammin’ Me [U.S. 7″]
MCA Records, 1987
A-Side: “Jammin’ Me” (Tom Petty/Mike Campbell/ Bob Dylan)
B-Side: “Make That Connection” (Tom Petty)
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: “Runaway Trains” (Tom Petty/Mike Campbell)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: “It’ll All Work Out” (Tom Petty)
Both taken from the album Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough)
MCA Records, 1987
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: “American Dream Plan B” (Tom Petty)
From the album Hypnotic Eye
Reprise Records, 2014