Tom Petty Albums Ranked (rated from worst to best)

Tom Petty Albums Ranked (rated from worst to best)

Tom Petty started his musical career with the band “Mudcrutch” which he formed in 1970 in Florida. They moved to California in 1974 and broke up in 1975. The majority of the band went on to become Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in 1976. Tom Petty was the lead vocalist and guitarist with the other members being; Mike Campbell (lead guitar), Ron Blair (bass), Stan Lynch (drums) and Benmont Tench (keyboards). Tom was also a member of the Traveling Wilburys along with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne plus he had a solo career as well. Tom died in 2017 of an accidental drug overdose.

Best Tom Petty Albums Of All Time

Tom released 3 solo albums and 13 with the Heartbreakers. We will rank them altogether. And as always, we’ll rank them from the rest to the best as we see them. If you disagree with our rankings let us know in the comments how and why you’d rank them.

16. The Last DJ (2002) 

Tom Petty spent most of his working life arguing against the corporate suits in the recording companies. On this album he let his anger spill out into his songs. The only stand out songs are the title track and “Dreamville”.

15. Long After Dark (1982)

“You Got Lucky” is up there with the very best single tracks by Tom Petty, but sadly the rest of the album isn’t so hot.Tom disliked this album mainly because the co-producer Jimmy Lovine never allowed the inclusion of the track “Keeping Me Alive” which is a shame because this album could have done with a track like that.

14. Songs and Music from “She’s the One” (1996)

This was the album that served as the soundtrack to the 1996 film “She’s The One” which was written and directed by Edward Burns. It reached number 15 on the Billboard 200 chart and produced 3 singles which were; “Walls (Circus)”, “Change The Locks” and “Climb That Hill”.

13. Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough) (1987) 

This was the album that Tom tried to sound live even though it was studio recorded. It’s also the album with the most songwriting collaborations between Tom and guitarist Mike Campbell. The track “Jammin’ Me” was co-written by Bob Dylan (fellow Traveling Wilbury). 

12. Southern Accents (1985)

This was the 6th album release from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and featured the track “Southern Accents” that was covered by Johnny Cash and recorded for his “Unchained”album. It also featured the singles “Don’t Come Around Here No More”, “Rebels/Southern Accents” and “Make It Better (Forget About Me)”.

11. You’re Gonna Get It (1978) 

This was the 2nd Tom Petty recording with the Heartbreakers and it’s not a bad album. Just not as good as those that are left to come in the rankings. Outstanding tracks include; “I Need To Know” and “Baby’s A Rock ‘n’ Roller”.

10. Into the Great Wide Open (1991) 

This was the album that opens with “Learning To Fly” which was the bands joint number one single along with “The Waiting” (Hard Promises), spending 6 weeks at number one on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The 2nd single “Out In The Cold” was at number one for 2 weeks.

9.  Hypnotic Eye (2014) 

This was the 13th studio album by the band and their final album before Tom’s death 3 years later. Tom went back to his bluesy roots for this one and it worked even though popular music had seemed to have moved on. Standout tracks include; “American Dream Plan B”, and “Red River”.

8. Highway Companion (2006) 

This was Tom’s 3rd and final solo album which was released on July 25th 2006 and reached number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart. Stand out tracks include; “Saving Grace”, “Big Weekend” and “Turn This Car Around”.

7. Mojo (2010) 

This has to be one of Petty’s most blues laden albums with some tracks reminiscent of the Allman Brothers. The album debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 chart selling 125,000 copies in its first week of sales. The album was recorded live in the studio without any overdubs at all.

6. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1976) 

This was their debut album which initially did very little in the charts, until their British tour which saw the album reach number 24 on the UK album charts and the single “Anything That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll” became a hit in the UK. Over the years “American Girl” became one of their signature songs.

5. Hard Promises (1981) 

Their 4th studio album “Hard Promises” was released on May 5th 1981 and featured Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac) on the track “Insider”. This was the album that contains the track “The Waiting” which was their joint top single with “Learning To Fly” (Into The Great Wide Open) spending 6 weeks at number one. 

4. Echo (1999) 

This was their 10th studio album and featured the singles “Free Girl Now”, “Room At The Top” and “Swingin’”. “Free Girl Now” was also available as a free download in MP3 format and was only the second track by a major recording artist ever to be released free in this way.

3. Damn the Torpedoes (1979)

“Damn The Torpedoes” was kept off the number one spot by “The Wall” (Pink Floyd) and stayed at number 2 for 7 weeks. There were 4 singles released from the album which were “Don’t Do Me Like That”, “Refugee”, “Here Comes My Girl” and “Even The Losers”. 

2. Wildflowers (1994) 

This was Tom’s 2nd solo studio album but was recorded with almost all of the Heartbreakers (only the drummer Stan Lynch was missing). Singles released from this album were “You Don’t Know How It Feels”, “You Wreck Me”, “It’s Good To Be King” and “A Higher Place”.

1. Full Moon Fever (1989)

This was Tom’s debut solo album but it contains contributions by members of the Heartbreakers along with Jeff Lynne, George Harrison and Roy Orbison. The songs were mainly written by Petty and Lynne in collaboration and the album reached number 3 in the Billboard 200. Just for the pure quality of work on this album it has to be our top choice.

All Tom Petty Albums In Chronological Order

AlbumYear
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 1976
You’re Gonna Get It!1978
Damn the Torpedoes 1979
Hard Promises 1981
Long After Dark1982
Southern Accents1985
Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough)1987
Full Moon Fever (Solo)1989
Into the Great Wide Open1991
Wildflowers (Solo)1994
Songs and Music from “She’s the One”1996
Echo1999
The Last DJ2002
Highway Companion (Solo)2006
Mojo 2010
Hypnotic Eye 2014

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best selling Tom Petty album?

The best selling Tom Petty album is “Wildflowers” which has sold more than 3.2 million copies since its release on November 1st 1994.

What is the newest Tom Petty album?

The newest Tom Petty album was “Hypnotic Eye” which was released on July 28th 2014.

What is the first Tom Petty album?

The first Tom Petty album was “Full Moon Fever” which was released on April 24th 1989. The first Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album was “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers” which was released on November 9th 1976.

What is Tom Petty’s most famous song?

Tom Petty’s most famous song is “Free Fallin’” which is taken from the album “Full Moon Fever”. The single was released on October 27th 1989.

When did Tom Petty start?

Tom Petty started out in a Southern rock band called Mudcrutch which was formed in 1970 he then went on to form Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in 1976.

What genre is Tom Petty?

The genres associated with Tom Petty are; heartland rock, rock, hard rock, country rock, rock and roll and blues rock.

Who are the members of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers?

The members of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were; Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, Stan Lynch, Howie Epstein, Scott Thurston, Steve Ferrone and Ron Blair.

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