The Live Anthology
It’s taken Tom Petty more than 30 years to finally issue a comprehensive live collection. 1986’s Pack Up the Plantation was a snapshot of the band at that time and place, but The Live Anthology shuffles through the years to present The Heartbreakers in their finest light. “Here Comes My Girl” never sounded tougher. “I Won’t Back Down” is given a subtler arrangement with the band’s limited support. Covers such as Willie Dixon’s “Diddy Wah Diddy” and “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” Van Morrison’s “Mystic Eyes” (turned into an audience participation number), Booker T. & The M.G.s' “Green Onions,” and The Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil” toss a line toward the history and tradition that have informed the band’s playing since the beginning. Thrown together with a long list of classics performed in full workout mode—“American Girl,” “Breakdown,” “Refugee,” “The Waiting,” “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” “Wildflowers,” “Free Fallin’”—The Live Anthology is an excellent career retrospective where new energy and life is breathed into Petty’s most durable brand of rock 'n' roll.