10. Hard Promises - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
After slogging it out across Britain and American for nearly half a decade, Tom Petty finally had a bonafied smash hit with Damn the Torpedoes. With nearly half the album on the singles charts, the rise of heartland rock was firmly underway. Though Hard Promises doesn't stand as tall as its predecessor, the songs are the most logical followup to hitting it big.
As opposed to the rebel-hearted mindset of Torpedoes, Hard Promises is a much more emotional experience, with Petty sounding weary from his artistic journey. Coming off of a lawsuit and his mother passing away halfway through the album's production, these songs are a lot darker, from the murder mystery of "Something Big" to the introspective single "A Woman In Love."
That doesn't mean that the artist we've come to know has gone anywhere though. For all of the downtrodden tracks, there are also openhearted tunes like the lovelorn "The Waiting" or "Kings Road," which was written about the band's first trip to England. Even the ballads are some of the most beautiful songs of Petty's career, like the acoustic "Insider" or the lush strings on "You Can Still Change Your Mind." This record shows Petty in a much different spot than Torpedoes, but that spirit of rock and roll hasn't dulled with age.