Tom Petty‘s family has revealed the iconic rocker died of an accidental drug overdose
New Tom Petty music arrived Friday, in the form of greatest-hits compilation “The Best of Everything.”
The albums are companion pieces in the sense that ” ‘American Treasure’ was like your mother’s chicken soup recipe, and this is the cream; this is the finest in the collection,” says his daughter Adria Petty, who compiled the set with sister AnnaKim. While “American Treasure” included mostly lesser-known tracks, “Best of Everything” is “what we thought was the strongest hit work in the canon, culled together in a very specific way. It’s a cool collection of just 100 percent excellent rock ‘n’ roll.”
“The Best of Everything” also includes two previously unreleased recordings: the never-before-heard “For Real” and extended version of the title track, featuring a restored second verse. USA TODAY chats with Adria and AnnaKim about both.
Question: What inspired your father to write “For Real,” and why was it never released until now?
AnnaKim Petty: He wrote it the night before they went into the studio to (record) “Surrender.” He was thinking about (2000 compilation album) “Anthology: Through the Years,” and how far he’d gotten in his career. I don’t think it was released because it was just something they banged out in the studio and forgot about, essentially. We’ve had a lot of debates about whether it was finished or not. The song is raw and really not fussy, … but it felt wrong to mess with it.
Adria Petty: Yeah, it felt like finding an Egyptian relic. We shared it the way we found it.
Q: What about the alternative version of “The Best of Everything?” What’s the story there?
Adria: I’m trying to remember why they cut it down, but I think it was for a movie and they just realized they liked it better (shorter). But it’s such a cool, autobiographical track with that extra verse about the girl that got away. He kept talking about this girl (he grew up with), Cindy Crawford, and he thought it was so funny that her name was Cindy Crawford (like the model/actress). He was always cracking up about that. But he wrote a few songs about this unattainable girl, and hearing that extra verse just seemed like a cool insight into the whole story.
Q: Is there more unreleased material that could see the light of day on future albums?
Adria: Absolutely, there’s tons of stuff. We have volumes of music to go through.
Q: Do you have any other personal favorites included in this set?
AnnaKim: I love “Jammin’ Me,” because it kind of represents the Donald Trump era that we’re in and how media is getting manipulated. It brings back a lot of my childhood when my dad would tell me these crazy stories as a really young kid.
Adria: “Hungry No More” really resonated with me. He’s got this line that says, “Nobody cry for me / ain’t nothin’ to you now / the world will turn somehow.” It’s sort of like, how to be able to get on without him, and there’s some really nice poetry in there.
Q: It’s been a year and a half since your dad passed away. Has it been healing getting to revisit his music in this way?
AnnaKim: It feels really bittersweet for us because we both really looked up to our dad. … It’s still really hard to hear his voice because we don’t really know quite how to process how we feel yet. But it’s magic – he made an entire universe for us to look back on, so we have something of him.
Adria: It gets hard sometimes, and it’s touching and beautiful at times. When we’re listening to these records, they spark a lot of memories for us that are personal and are literally a document and soundtrack of our family and our lives. People who listen to them out of that context also co-opted those songs as soundtracks to their lives – their weddings, graduations, parties, whatever – so we’re now sharing this in common with them. That has been very cathartic to see the music through everyone else’s eyes, so I think we’re making our way through it in a healthy, meaningful way.
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2019/03/01/tom-petty-posthumous-album-the-best-of-everything-new-song-for-real/2990681002/