Tom Petty Countdown #58: “Even The Losers”

Here we are again in the Heartbreakers’ late70’s, early 80’s comfort zone when their Midas touch was nearly unparalleled in the rock world. “Even The Losers” is a piece of bittersweet reflection, one man looking back at a youthful romance that still exerts a powerful hold on him after all these years. With details that only somebody who has lived through it could possibly know, it’s a particularly poignant work.

Musically it’s not anything revolutionary, but it’s buffed up nicely by producer Jimmy Iovine until it’s rock-radio ready. The rhythm section of Ron Blair and Stan Lynch are in fine form, but overall it’s just a workmanlike band performance.

That’s fine though, because the music stays out of the way of Petty’s reminiscing. Every time he looks back, he sees two kids hopelessly in love, so the eventual outcome of the romance still bewilders him. The self-deprecating refrain is a resignation to the truth: That this girl was probably leaving him from the moment they met. “Even The Losers” is a stirring testament to those times when our perception and our reality form the widest chasm available, times that usually occur when we’re in love.

(For the full e-book of this list, Breakdown: Tom Petty’s 100 Best Songs, check out the Amazon links below.)



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