Tom Petty's "Full Moon Fever" Released On This Day In 1989

Via Tom Petty was on a roll. After his success with The Heartbreakers followed by more success with the release of "The Traveling Willbury's Vol. 1," he was ready to try going solo, and it all began when he found out Jeff Lynne lived in his neighborhood. They started hanging out and talking music.

In an interview with Spin, Tom said, "The first day I played a song for him that I had written called 'Yer So Bad.' He said he liked it, but how about if I tried a B minor here, and it instantly improved the song. We finished that song the first day and the next day we wrote 'Free Fallin.'' Most of the Heartbreakers were spread all over the country at the time so I grabbed Phil Jones, who plays percussion on some of the Heartbreakers records, and me, him and Jeff went to Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell's garage studio and made demos of these new songs. When I heard them, I thought, 'Hey, these sound like a record. Hmmm. Why not release them as a solo album?' And that was that."

Full Moon Fever went to number 3 on the Billboard charts and "I Won't Back Down," "Runnin' Down a Dream," and "Free Fallin'" were huge hits. Even though the album nabbed 3 Grammy nominations, Petty said he would always be a "Heartbreaker," "I don't think I'll do many solo records, to be honest. We've been together such a long time, it's really like dealing with your brothers, your family. We have our ups and downs with each other, but we all love each other, really. We'll always stay together, I think, as long as we're gettin' better and gettin' something out of it."

Chuck Nowlin

Chuck Nowlin

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