7 Songs You Didn’t Know Tom Petty Has Written For Other Artists

Tom Petty could always offer more than just lyrics to a song, and the multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter did so on a number of songs written for and with artists throughout the 1980s and early 1980s. 90s.

The 1980s were a particularly successful era of songwriting for Petty, where songs written with Heartbreaker guitarist Mike Campbell generally made the cut, while other collaborations were given as 1981 by Stevie Nicks. Bella Donna tap “Stop dragging my heart”.

By the end of the 80s Petty was in full force, writing for the Heartbreakers and for his supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne, and already having his first solo album. full moon fever ready to leave in 1989.

Here’s a look at five songs you didn’t know Petty wrote for other artists during this time.

Stop Dragging My Heart’, Stevie Nicks, with Tom Petty (1981)
Written by Tom Petty and Mike Campbell

Working on his first solo album Bella Donna, Stevie Nicks insisted that Tom Petty be involved. Petty agreed and wrote the song “Insider”, but later decided he wanted to keep it for The Heartbreakers. (Petty later released the song, also featuring Nicks, on the band’s 1981 album Hard promises.) Still trying to find the right song, Petty producer Jimmy Iovine suggested a song he had heard Petty and Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell had written called “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”. Nicks grabbed the song and recorded his vocals on the Heartbreakers recording – Petty’s vocals were cut out except for the chorus, to create the duet.

Learn more about our Behind the Song on “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” here.

“Never Be You”, Maria McKee (1983)
Written by Tom Petty and Benmont’s tench

Produced by his former manager at the time, Jimmy Iovine, featuring Petty, “Never Be You” is a song McKee contributed to the soundtrack of the Walter Hill-directed 1984 film. streets of fire. Originally recorded by Rosanne Cash for the film, it was ultimately McKee’s version that was used in the film (Cash later released her version on her fifth album Rhythm and Romance in 1985.)

“I’ve Made My Decision”, Bob Dylan (1986)
Written by Tom Petty and Bob Dylan

On Dylan’s 1986 album Stunned loaded, which also includes a cover of “They Killed Him” ​​and “Brownsville Girl” by Kris Kristofferson, co-written by Dylan and Sam Shepard, “Got My Mind Made Up” were the only collaborations between Petty and Dylan. Although the album never received rave reviews, released at a lower point in Dylan’s career in the 1980s, “Got My Mind Made Up” was a pocket of Petty-Dylan goodness that deserves some appreciation. Petty and Dylan would perform the song together several times over the years, even at the 1989 Live Aid concert.

“Bravo”, George Harrison (1989)
Written by Tom Petty and George Harrison

Harrison first recorded some of the music for “Cheer Down” during the sessions for his 1987 album Cloud and later completed the lyrics with help from Petty. The song is partly dedicated to Harrison’s wife, Olivia, who would often say “courage, big boy” to him when he got too excited. Co-produced by Jeff Lynne, who also worked on CloudHarrison first gifted the song to Eric Clapton to include on his Joparamedic album, but Harrison’s version was instead featured in the 1989 action film by Mel Gibson and Danny Glover Lethal weapon 2.

“You Got It”, Roy Orbison (1989)
Written by Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne

Released after Roy Orbison’s death, “You Got It” was featured on his 22nd album mysterious girland was co-written with fellow Traveling Wilbury bandmates Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne.

“King of the Hill” Roger McGuinn (1991)
Written by Tom Petty and Roger McGuinn

Written for and with former Byrds frontman Roger McGuinn, “King of the Hill” was released on McGuinn’s sixth solo album Back from Rio. In addition to Petty providing vocals and lyrics to the song, several other Heartbreakers members are featured throughout the album, along with songs written by Elvis Costello and Dave Stewart.

“Dazzled”, Jeff Lynne (1990)
Written by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne

Jeff Lynne, already collaborator of Petty’s, co-produced his first solo album full moon fever in 1989 with Petty and Mike Campbell, as well as the 1991 album by The Heartbreakers In the big wide open. When it was time for Lynne to release her own solo effort, armchair theaterin 1990, Petty was there for him too, co-writing the track “Blown Away.”

Photo: Robert Sebree