TOM PETTY and the HEARTBREAKERS – ” The Last D.J ” Released 8th October 2002

Posted: October 8, 2017 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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“The Last DJ” is the eleventh studio album from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The tracks “The Last DJ”, “Money Becomes King”, The former is a bitter lament for the loss of free thought in pop culture, using the DJ as a truth-telling seer; the latter is a rewrite of “Into the Great Wide Open,” all about a favorite artist who sells out. Both are didactic with their tortured metaphors and stretched narratives, but they seem subtle compared to the fourth song, “Joe,” a heavy-handed tirade about a record company CEO that is unbearable as its awful, and “Can’t Stop the Sun” are attacks on the greediness of the music industry. These front-loaded tracks obscure the lovely “Dreamville,” the best song here.

Although he first claimed that the album and title track were both works of fiction, Petty later admitted that both were inspired by Los Angeles DJ Jim Ladd, although he had already claimed this on Ladd’s radio show, prior to the album’s release. The album also marks the return of original Heartbreaker Ron Blair on bass guitar, replacing his own replacement, the ailing Howie Epstein. His return was late in the recording process however, and Petty and Campbell contributed most of the bass work themselves.

In an episode of The Simpsons titled “How I Spent My Strummer Vacation”, Homer receives song-writing lessons from Tom Petty, and in the original airing the track “The Last DJ” can be heard playing over the radio in the final scene. The song “Dreamville” is played at the end of the DVD that was released to commemorate the 2002 Anaheim Angels’ World Series win.

 

A “limited edition” digipack version of the album was also released, including a DVD of music videos and other footage shot during the album’s production.

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