Album Reviews

Tom Petty – Wildflowers & All The Rest (Deluxe Edition) Review

On 16th October, Tom Petty’s 1994 album, Wildflowers, was reissued.  Under the title of “Wildflowers & All The Rest”, the standard edition is the original album plus an additional 10 songs – All The Rest – which were left off the original release (when it was decided that it wouldn’t be a double album).  The deluxe edition has added two more discs worth of music, one consisting of 15 songs recorded in Tom’s home studio and 14 live tracks.

Before anyone complains about this being just a way to make money out of Tom’s legacy, this project was announced before his death – with his family, bandmates and collaborators helping to bring it to fruition.

With Wildflowers being one of my favourite albums, I was very interested to see whether the addition of previously unreleased tracks, along with early recordings and live tracks, would detract from one of Tom Petty’s finest releases.

The songs on All The Rest are easily identifiable as being written in the same period as Wildflowers.  They are good songs, but it is easy to see why – once the decision was made for the original release to be a single album – they didn’t make the cut.  Leave Virginia Alone is probably the standout track, and for those of you who own/have listened to the She’s The One Soundtrack album, you will recognise the last two tracks – Climb The Hill and Hung Up And Overdue.

The Home Recordings disc is an interesting listen.  Being able to hear early versions of well-known songs, with slightly different lyrics – check out You Don’t Know How It Feels especially for this – simpler, cleaner arrangements, most with acoustic guitar, is an interesting experience – especially if you know the original release well.  

Wildflowers Live, the fourth disc, is a nice collection of live versions of songs from the album.  These recordings were made at concerts between March 1995 and July 2017, and well put together.  The inclusion of a long version of It’s Good To Be King is well-chosen, along with Walls (which, whilst not strictly Wildflowers, as it’s on the She’s The One soundtrack, is from this era), Girl on LSD – the B-side of You Don’t Know How It Feels – and Drivin’ Down To Georgia, which first appeared on the 1993 live recording Southern Accents In The Sunshine State.

All in all, it’s a good collection of rarities and previously unreleased material to celebrate Tom Petty’s finest solo album, and with a price tag for the CD release of £40 in the UK, it’s worth the money if you’re a Tom Petty fan/completist looking to add to your collection.  If you are just a casual follower of Tom Petty you would likely be more than happy with the standard version.  What I can say definitively is the price tag of the LP version will be off-putting to myself and many other fans, no matter what extra goodies they have packed with it.

Track Listing

CD1 – Wildflowers

  1. Wildflowers
  2. You Don’t Know How It Feels
  3. Time to Move On
  4. You Wreck Me
  5. It’s Good to Be King
  6. Only a Broken Heart
  7. Honey Bee
  8. Don’t Fade on Me
  9. Hard on Me
  10. Cabin Down Below
  11. To Find a Friend
  12. A Higher Place
  13. House in the Woods
  14. Crawling Back to You
  15. Wake Up Time

CD2 – All the Rest

  1. Something Could Happen
  2. Leave Virginia Alone
  3. Climb That Hill Blues
  4. Confusion Wheel
  5. California
  6. Harry Green
  7. Hope You Never
  8. Somewhere Under Heaven
  9. Climb That Hill
  10. Hung Up and Overdue

CD3 – Home Recordings

  1. There Goes Angela (Dream Away)
  2. You Don’t Know How It Feels
  3. California
  4. A Feeling of Peace
  5. Leave Virginia Alone
  6. Crawling Back to You
  7. Don’t Fade on Me
  8. Confusion Wheel
  9. A Higher Place
  10. There’s a Break in the Rain (Have Love Will Travel)
  11. To Find a Friend
  12. Only a Broken Heart
  13. Wake Up Time
  14. Hung Up and Overdue
  15. Wildflowers

CD4 – Wildflowers Live

  1. You Don’t Know How It Feels
  2. Honey Bee
  3. To Find a Friend
  4. Walls
  5. Crawling Back to You
  6. Cabin Down Below
  7. Drivin’ Down to Georgia
  8. House in the Woods
  9. Girl on LSD
  10. Time to Move On
  11. Wake Up Time
  12. It’s Good to Be King
  13. You Wreck Me
  14. Wildflowers

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