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04 October 2017, 12:02 | Dan Bryan
GETTYTom Petty Death yesterday was sad news to many music fans
Condolences from his heartbroken music peers poured in across social media, and at a Portland, Oregon, concert, Coldplay paid tribute with a lovely cover of Petty's 1989 hit "Free Fallin'".
The artist had just completed a 40th anniversary 53-date tour with The Heartbreakers, winning rave reviews with his final performance at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles last week.
Usually backed by the Heartbreakers, Petty broke through in the 1970s and went on to sell more than 80 million records.
In addition to being a prolific songwriter, Petty also created powerful interpretations of other's songs.
"96 tears was the first song my dad taught me to play".
Known for a slurred, relaxed vocal delivery, a scarecrow pose and swaying dirty-blond hair, Petty's no-frills sound was inspired by The Beatles, the Byrds and Dylan. With so many Billboard Top 100 hits, it's hard to come up with a greatest hits list, but here are seven of the most notable songs in his acclaimed repertoire. Once Petty was found unconscious and unresponsive in his Malibu, Calif. home, he was rushed to UCLA Santa Monica hospital. But learning the song was a frustrating process as it took the band more than 100 attempts to get right. A multi-platinum artist, a rock pioneer and musical influence is just a few of the titles that have been bestowed upon Petty.
In 2005, the band released a two disc DVD Soundstage concert produced by WTTW Channel 11, that included a number of blues tunes, including "Little Red Rooster", first recorded at Chicago's Chess Records at 2120 S. Michigan Ave.in 1961. The episode, written by Mike Scully, featured the guest voices of such rock stars as Petty, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and it was the job of the show's Eric Reyes to design Petty's character. "I think we have shown them (West Coast people) that the Southern music does not have to be a boogie freak".
The 80s was a golden period for the band with major hits like "You Got Lucky" and "Change of Heart". "I Won't Back Down", which peaked at No. 12 in 1989, was briefly used in George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign, according to rollingstone.com.
"It was the music you wanted to hear in your auto", wrote Mark Ronson on his Instagram account.
Following the dissolution of Mudcrutch, Petty sought out a lineup of talented and varied musicians to establish the eponymous Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. "To me, American music was all about listening in the auto", Petty told Rolling Stone.
Everyone there, including myself, have Tom Petty to thank for that memory. It would be the year of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. ("Burnt Out Town" had another glorious Petty couplet: "This is a burnt out town/ New emperor, same clothes.") It was his only album to hit #1 on the Billboard 200.
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