Tom Petty's 50 Greatest Songs

His hits have defined rock radio since the Seventies, and he never stopped writing great music. Here's the definitive guide to his best songs

Load Previous

37. "Shadow of a Doubt (A Complex Kid)"

With a heraldic intro recalling the Who and an opening line that evokes the Drifters ("There goes my baby ..."), this paean to a moody, mysterious girlfriend in open-A tuning came together quickly in the studio. Petty's punk-Dylan lyrics were amusing – "And when she's dreaming/Sometimes she sings in French/But in the morning/She don't remember it" – but the emotion of "Shadow of a Doubt" rings true. As Petty sums it up, "It's a good rock & roll song." 

Back to Top