Long After Dark
Long After Dark is one of Tom Petty’s underrated classics. Coming after the mega-successes Damn the Torpedoes and Hard Promises, Long After Dark likely suffered for being more of a very good thing. The single “You Got Lucky” added an ‘80s synth common to all of the era's mainstream rock bands, while songs such as “Deliver Me,” “Change of Heart,” and “Finding Out” relied on the usual snarling guitars, howling organs, and locked-in-tight bass and drums. Per usual, Petty’s singing adds tremendous nuance and power to everything he touches. The album’s second half starts with “We Stand a Chance,” another great track that sounds like a surefire radio hit. Yet it was never released as a single. “Straight into Darkness” nails a beautiful film noir. “Between Two Worlds” moves Benmont Tench from organ to piano. The album is best known for introducing the late Howie Epstein on bass and harmony vocals. Epstein’s harmonies would give The Heartbreakers a stronger vocal presence in concert. In retrospect, Long After Dark ranks among the best albums by Petty and The Heartbreakers.