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Classic Vinyl: "Full Moon Fever"

This album screams for a road trip where you "put the pedal down to make some time."
Classic Vinyl: "Full Moon Fever"

IT REMAINS 40 minutes of pure driving bliss. Thirty-two years after Tom Petty released "Full Moon Fever" it's hard to find another album that is more road-trip worthy.

In the spring of 1990, I found myself with two college friends – Trent and Jenks – piled into an Oldsmobile with three cases of beer in the trunk, a duffle bag of clothes and this album on cassette tape. We were heading to Dallas for the NCAA's March Madness Sweet 16. Our team had shockingly made it, and we weren't gonna miss the party.

"Full Moon Fever" features 12 classic Petty tunes that span just 40 minutes. Our drive was 15 hours each way. I don't think we listened to anything else. On the return trip, we actually reached the point of making our own lyrics to the songs as we sang along, played air guitar and drummed on our knees.

At this point in Petty's already storied career, he was on the charts with supergroup The Traveling Wilburys. "Full Moon Fever" was a solo effort, although Petty produced it along with fellow Heartbreaker Mike Campbell and Jeff Lynne, of Electric Light Orchestra and Wilburys fame.

This album features his vintage roots-rock style and is robust and creative top to bottom. Most importantly, the sing-along factor is five-star and this album screams for a road trip where you "put the pedal down to make some time."

Oh yeah, in case you were wondering our team blew a 16-point lead and lost in the round of 16. We polished off the three cases of beer while stealing license plates from tractor-trailers using a butter knife. One of us (not me) successfully scaled the stucco lattice of our three-story hotel in Mesquite. And we lived to tell the tales.

Must-listen tracks:

  • Track 5: Runnin' Down a Dream
  • Track 9: The Apartment Song
  • Track 11: A Mind with a Heart of its Own.

🛢🛢🛢🛢🛢/5. Available everywhere since April 24, 1989.