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

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30. "The Wild One, Forever"

The soulful centerpiece on the Heartbreakers' debut is one of Petty's finest early ballads. "I think with that chorus, we were trying to make it sound like the Rascals," Petty said. It tells the story of a one-night stand that never got a chance to grow into something more, a wistful sentiment amplified by subtle, majestic playing by Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench and, low in the mix, a cello part by Ron Blair. "He doesn't play the cello," Petty said of Blair. "He just fashioned out enough that he could play the chorus."

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