Top ten best deep cuts by Tom Petty

Not all of Petty's great songs were singles.
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No. 3 - “ONE STORY TOWN” (1982)

“One Story Town” completes a little musical triptych running from “What Are You Doing in My Life” to “I Need to Know” and ending with this track from his often-overlooked fifth album Long After Dark. This one moves away from concerns about love to a broader concern about being stuck, not simply in romance, but in life.

By this point, the Heartbreakers' original bassist, Ron Blair, had left the band and was replaced by Howie Epstein. Blair, who would rejoin the band after Epstein’s death in 2002, was a fine player. But Epstein’s arrival hearkened a stronger floor on which Campbell and Tench could craft their soaring guitar and keyboard flourishes, as well as fuller harmonies. That is instantly apparent on “One Story Town.”  The song opens with one of Petty’s most succinct statements of his career – “I’m all for standing up, I’m breaking free – I don’t want fate handed down to me.”

No. 2 - “TIME TO MOVE ON” (1994)

Wildflowers, Petty’s second solo album, is jam-packed with some of his very best songwriting. Though there are rockers (“Honey Bee” was one of the songs that just missed making this list) the album is built on its softer ballads. “Time to Move On” is a beautiful, loping song that looks to the future with about as optimistic an eye as Petty ever showed.

Though a solo album, the Heartbreakers were very much present. They sometimes switched roles, as on this track where Campbell picked up the bass, leaving Petty alone on guitar. This is one of the brief excursions into country, but it remains firmly grounded in Petty’s unique pop sensibility. “It’s time to move on, it’s time to get going – What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing – But under my feet, grass is growing – It’s time to move on, it’s time to get going.” Petty was essentially a musical institution by this point, but he was ever restless for a new way to serve up his music.