The Last DJ [Bonus DVD]by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Tom Petty has always done his best work when he's pissed off -- and that's definitely the mood on this sharp, stark disc. The Last DJ indicts modern society -- using the music biz as a microcosm -- for its enthusiastic embrace of all things soulless. The disc's title track spins a yarn about a man trying to swim against that current, and -- propelled along by some of Mike Campbell's most acerbic playing in some time -- it might just serve as a wake-up call to some. The purposefully unctuous "Joe" takes aim at the guys in the corner office at some anonymous record company, although the lack of lyrical detail doesn't detract from the power of Petty's roundhouse punches. He doesn't omit his peers from scrutiny, either: The neo-psychedelic "Money Becomes King" sneers at a musician who's all too ready to sell his soul to the highest bidder -- something that's long been on Petty's mind, given his long-standing disavowal of corporate sponsorship. Knowing full well that an entire disc of such screeds would grow old kinda quickly, Petty steps outside the confines of his own world on a few songs, though even here the tone doesn't get appreciably brighter. "When a Kid Goes Bad," which revives the singer's longstanding Beatlemania, mixes melancholy and stormier emotions in its darkly spinning melody, while "Lost Children" lurches around furtively in search of a solution that never comes. Tom Petty really hasn't changed all that much over the years -- his Hard Promises, however, seem to have evolved into Even Harder Questions.
- Release Date:
- Warner Bros / Wea
Performance CreditsTom Petty & the Heartbreakers Primary Artist
Lindsey Buckingham Background Vocals
Tom Petty Bass,Guitar,Piano,Ukulele,Vocals
Benmont Tench Organ,Piano,Keyboards
Ron Blair Bass
Jon Brion Conductor
Lenny Castro Percussion
Steve Ferrone Drums
Scott Thurston Guitar,Ukulele,Lap Steel Guitar
Technical CreditsTom Petty Arranger,Producer,Orchestral Arrangements
Jon Brion Arranger,Orchestral Arrangements
Spencer Chrislu Author
Richard Dodd Engineer
George Drakoulias Producer
Jim Scott Engineer
Don Smith Engineer
Ed Thacker Engineer
David May Producer
David Dieckmann Author
Jim Atkins Graphic Design
Martyn Atkins Director
Raena Winscott Graphic Design
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Semi concept album !!! Petty snubs the Corporate money hungry world once again. Great songs and playing. It's the best Beatles Album in years thats how tight the band is!
This album hits you in a weird but great way. First off you get started with The title track, "The Last DJ". It's funny and sad at the same time, because it's all true. He manages to hit the "boys upstairs" hard without sounding too offensive for normal radio. (However, the people that sell you that teen pop junk, have banned it-GREAT JOB TOM!) He keeps you chuckling through "Money Becomes King" with clever lines. The third track, "Dreamville" is one of the sweet highlights that reminds you of "Wildflowers" (released in 94') it takes you back to when times were good-whenever that was! (As Tom would say. :) The only skip-able song on here is "Joe"-great lyrics, but I'd rather listen to all the other stuff. "Like A Diamond" is quite beautiful and offset from the semi-theme of the other songs. It's a gem though. Along with "Have Love, Will Travel", "Blue Sunday" and the previously mentioned "Dreamville". All these songs show what their work is made of, GREAT LYRICS, GREAT MUSIC, and GREAT MUSICIANS. "Can't Stop The Sun" and "Lost Children" make you feel like you're not alone, like there's at least some hope for all us...or at least those won't give in
While much has been made of the "sellouts suck" message of many of the tracks, The Last DJ album is more importantly Tom Petty giving "propers" to the various musical influences on his career. Other reviewers have mentioned "When A Kid Goes Bad" as being very "Beatle-esque", but the same can be said for "The Man Who Loves Women" as well. You only need to listen to "Have Love Will Travel" once to realize it's a loving tribute to the style of Bob Dylan by one of his biggest fans. Also, the backing string arrangements and alliterative chorus lines of "Like A Diamond" reflect the long standing influence of Jeff Lynne on Tom's writing and producing. Despite what you may have read in some "professional" reviews (how old are some of those guys anyway, 19?), this is overall Tom's strongest effort since "Into The Great Wide Open", and it's his expression of those great influences that makes it so.
This is his best since Wildflowers - perhaps even better than that somewhat too-laid-back effort. By turns beautifully dressed in horns and strings and stripped-down kick-butt, One-of-The-Last-True-Rock'n'Rollers skewers the muzik biz, profits coming before art, robbing fans at the cash-register, the lack of human soul and spirit in cookie-cutter music and the world in general - the loss of "human" in humanity. Great guitar work by Mike Campbell (as expected) - one of my favorites of the year. No mid-life slowing down for TP!! Go get 'em!! And go get this CD...
first off, I'm a tom Petty fan, and what shines through on this album is Petty's integrity. He cares about the music, and he's not just putting out albums to make a profit. This album pretty much addresses everything that's wrong with mainstream radio, and the music industry. Petty makes a strong case, and basically says my beleifs, only much better, and with a catchy tune. Like Dylan, Petty's not just a museum act, he continues to put out great, relevant music. Hopefully more people will start to follow Petty. Great lyrics, great music, and stuff the radio industry doesn't want you to hear.
This album is neither Tom Petty's best or his worst. There are three good songs including, the title track, Dreamville, and Have Love Will Travel. Otherwise, the lyrics are tired and akward. Buy the album if you can find it on sale or used, otherwise don't waste your money.
The New Tom Petty is a very relaxed album. Of course it has all the elements of a good Tom Petty album. One song on the entire album (Joe) is a little unwelcom. But as you listen it fades into the album.
Tom says it all in the title track..no creativity, no entertainment, just the bottom line..hence the state of non musical music today. I dont listen to radio, if I wanted a juke box I have records
Tom petty's newest CD, The Last DJ, really isn't as bad as many "professional" reviewers say it is (although, if you look at BN's own review, it really doesn't say much bad). It's certainly no "Damn the Torpedoes", but, who could have expected that? The first song, title track "The Last DJ" tells the story of the last holdout of the old age. He's the last DJ to play what he wants and like sinstead of the same things over and over again. The second song, staying on the topic of the music business, is "Money Becomes King". A softer song then "The Last DJ", this tells the story of Johnny, a popular singer. It goes from the younger Johnny, who loves rocking, to the older Johnny, who is in it for the money, playing to the VIPs. Next comes "Dreamville". It may not be quite as good as the reviewer from AMG seems to think, but it's a pretty good song all in all. Next comes "Joe", which is the one that may have started the controversy that got the CD banned from some stores. It's back the music industry here, after a brief excursion in "Dreamville". Joe is a CEO (yes, it rhymes) who is all about getting rich. As the lyric says "She gets to be famous, I get to be rich". It goes through who they're going for, the pretty ones, the "angel/whore" as the lyric says. I actually do like this song because of the lyrics, which may be the most vulgar I've ever heard from Petty, but he is dead on the point and the truth. "When a Kid Goes Bad" describes just what the title is, and isn't bad. Next comes one of the softest songs on the CD, "Like a Diamond". It talks about a woman and how she will last forever and other things won't. Next is "Lost Children", one of my least favorite songs on the CD, although I like the musical part. "Blue Sunday" is another of my least favorites, although I like the pacing of the country-sounding chorus. Now "You and Me". Another song about a man and woman, and how they'll always be together, although the road ahead may be tough. Now, "The Man Who loves Women", maybe the most light-hearted song on the CD, at least by the sound of it. it's a bout a man who "falls in love everyday", and how eventually he'll get caught. Second to last is the high-point of the album, "Have Love Will Travel". It's a song that's hard to explain, it's just that good. The pacing and music sound great, while the lyrics aren't bad in themselves. Finally comes "You Can't Stop the Sun", another song that is pretty average, except, again, for the pacing. It goes perfectly with the music. Petty and the Heartbreaker's experience really shows in the album. Great pacing comes from experience, and that's what they have throughout most of the album. I felt that most of the sogns were softer then most of their best known ones, but it works pretty good. By the style of the music, I think you can tell that they are getting older, Petty is now around 50, and have completely matured their music, but that they are willing to to try new things and say what they believe. As for the fight against the music industry, I think much of this comes from early in his career when he tried to stay off of the large label. I think he really likes his new label, WB, and is happy he got off of MCA, even though it took him 15 years. If you're wondering, I am a somewhat newer Petty fan. I am 14, but have 3 of their CDs. this, Damn the Torpedoes, and their Greatest Hits. But, I have heard many others. I think old and new Petty fans alike will like this CD.
My initial reaction to "The Last DJ" was that it was a bit too mellow. However, as with other albums from Mr. Petty, the more I listened, the more I began to appreciate the quality of the music and lyrics. Now I can't get these songs out of my head. This guy just flat out writes good songs and he has a top notch band to play them. In particular "Have Love Will Travel" is an absolute gem.