It was an extremely close contest, but Petty's 1994 solo disc Wildflowers won this poll by a hair. Petty cut the solo album over the course of two years with producer Rick Rubin. It's an extremely mellow effort, highlighted by the title track, "You Don't Know How It Feels to be Me," "It's Good to be King" and "Honey Bee."
Rubin insisted the group use no synthesizers and non-acoustic keyboards so they'd have a more organic sound. "The [album's] key virtues are grit and grace, and Rubin's taut, muscular production emphasizes both these gifts," Elysa Gardner noted in the original Rolling Stone review. "Buoyant tracks like 'A Higher Place' and 'You Wreck Me' remind us that Petty and his band were the first to marry the chiming lyricism of the Byrds to a more raw, harder style of rock & roll, prefiguring the approach R.E.M. and others would later use to revitalize contemporary music. . . Wildflowers is worthy of that longstanding impact and evidence that this American boy is moving through middle age with all the gusto and poise that his admirers have come to expect."