At both shows — and throughout the tour — he closed with “American Girl,” variations of the same visuals flickering behind the band, though not as realized as at the LA show. Petty wasn’t comfortable with the tour’s reception. I couldn’t wait for the guys to come over.
Recorded in 1985 at Sound City in L.A., because of its slow tempo, it wasn’t deemed hit-worthy, and was released as the B-side to “Rebels.” It’s exactly 4:44 in length, a time with repeated numerals considered by many to be a spiritual affirmation that one is on the right path. Sign up Log in. The song was met with generally positive reviews from several major sources such as Rolling Stone, which called it "a fierce defense of his Southern roots and an ambitious fight for his creative honor. The album's lead single, "Don't Come Around Here No More", co-written by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s hard to fully believe the latter claim, but even taking at face value Petty’s claims of retreat from his conceptual ambition, failing to complete an idea isn’t the same as abandoning it. Cannot annotate a non-flat selection. , "The Best of Everything: The Definitive Career-Spanning Hits Collection 1976-2016 - Tom Petty, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers | Songs, Reviews, Credits", "Amare Stoudemire's Smashed Hand Recalls 1984 Tom Petty Incident", https://www.songfacts.com/facts/tom-petty-the-heartbreakers/southern-accents, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Southern_Accents_(song)&oldid=982830670, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 10 October 2020, at 16:36.
Petty frequently received plaudits for appealing across the aesthetic and political spectrum of rock ’n’ roll fans. When I started working on it I had the title. " Most reviews for the whole album specifically mentioned this song as a highlight. Many of these songs are better written, are produced with better quality, and, perhaps most importantly, are of a piece with the original thematic intent of the record. Reprinted by permission of Bloomsbury and Michael Washburn.
Ultimately, the record’s problems were planted as deep as Petty’s North Florida roots.
In 1985, one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most beloved songwriters made a regrettable misstep with a narrow conception of Southern identity. But I wanted him to do it. Petty adopted a staggeringly uncritical stance toward commonplace historical misunderstandings of the South, and his record manages to be both too much and too little about the South. But it also involves the South, the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, race, and how in his moment of artistic reach Petty almost unwittingly tapped into deep veins of Southern myth which damned the record and, for a brief period, damned Petty himself. Though the optimism about American racial harmony might have been naïve, and the message of solidarity and diversity delivered with a somewhat corporate accent, choosing to close the show with these images was not haphazard. With the aura of history promised by many of the songs, its sense of place, and an expanded palette of textures including horns and a string arrangement, Southern Accents seems as if it could be the career defining record Petty intended. Petty had all kinds of money and all kinds of fame, but he wanted to challenge himself artistically. He repudiated Southern iconography and stepped away from the trappings of his Southern birth, something that had been subtly threaded through his catalog until then. At first the screens show the stereotype: fresh-faced white women and the open road. To put it bluntly, Petty’s South is the white South. Got my own way of working, but everything is run And he learned about the power of rock ’n’ roll iconography the hard way. With southern accent I couldn’t possibly go to sleep. Tabs Articles Forums Wiki + Publish tab Pro. Gives my Southern bones a chill. Which gets us to the overarching argument of this book: although Full Moon Fever may be his most commercially successful record, Southern Accents is the most artistically pivotal moment of Petty’s career because of the manifold ways it failed. Last.fm Music | Copyright © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. / All rights reserved. Certain factions in his audience assumed that Petty had outed himself as a Neo-Confederate. That was in the home studio. The featured performance is from the band's Gainesville, Florida, show on September 21, 2006. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Tom Petty said: "That may be my favorite among my songs - just in terms of a piece of pure writing. The song "Southern Accents" was later covered by Johnny Cash for his Unchained album in 1996. The Commonwealth of Petty goes bonkers for this song, of course.