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

45. "Waiting for Tonight"

When Tom Petty recorded "Waiting for Tonight" with all of the Heartbreakers during a break in the sessions for Full Moon Fever, the tune had all the makings of a breakout single, from yearning melodies and lyrics about lost love to sublime backup vocals by the Bangles, who were actually in the midst of breaking up at the time. But amazingly, Petty held on to the track for years, finally including it on his 1995 box set, Playback, where it was a standout. Mike Campbell vividly recalls the session. "I love the 12-string part on it. It's very Byrds-y, and I play bass on this track," he says. "We had this track, and we thought, 'We've got to get some singers in here.' It was funny having the Bangles come in. Watching them do the backgrounds was an experience. They were so great, and in between takes, they just chatter. They all four just talk at once. You can't even keep up with the conversation and then one, two, three, four, and boom! They're right on the singing." 

Back to Top