A Rockumentary about a land mark album made by one of the finest rock bands of our time, featuring input and comment by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers band, guest musicians, record label owners, band supporters and media commentators, and the records seminal producer Jimmy Iovine, cannot fail to be entertaining.
The Classic Album shows have one notable difference from the average programme of this genre. The Classic album series is not just a collection of cheap thrown away programmes dominated by a cheesy commentary over a string of fuzzy repeated images with bad quality sound bites and quotes. The series has excellent production values featuring original footage, which centres around getting the old multi track tapes out, and separating out the parts (and in some cases playing along to them or performing the demo version) to demonstrate how the finished product was arrived at. It is this is invaluable part of the show that demonstrates Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song writing ability and imagination, and their ability for building the performances from recorded live performance tapes or sketched ideas to the final polished product. The show also shows rarely seen footage from studio recording sessions and the many many takes and tweaks that were made to achieve the superior production sonics and dynamics that were present on this album.
My appreciation of Damn the Torpedoes has grown a great deal since watching this DVD. This DVD is a reflection by those involved in the creation of the album, and a fascinating insight into the making and production of the end product, and contains valuable interviews with all who contributed. The record label legal disputes going on at the time of the making of the album are discussed, including the paranoia of the various master tape locations to avoid them being 'stolen' by their soon to be ex record company. We learn that the guitar parts for 'Only the losers' were born from a guitar chord structure exercise. We also learn that 'Here goes my girl' is regarded by Petty as possibly the finest song he has written for the band. We also hear 'Don't do it like that' (the bands first USA top 10 hit) was almost left off the album were it not for the words of a production assistant who spoke up towards the end of assembling the running order, and said the they liked the track, the tapes were re-loaded, the track re-evaluated and there it is, track 6 on the finished album!
There are these and many more revelatory moments in the show which a true fan is guaranteed to enjoy. I am a huge fan of the classic album series over the years, and sometimes find myself watching an episode even if I am unfamiliar with the band or album previously, as the shows are that good and interesting to watch. If you are a fan of Tom Petty, I would probably say this is essential and most definitely enjoyable viewing. I loved watching it, and I am sure you will too.