2. 'Damn the Torpedoes'
Much like Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run a few years earlier, 1979's Damn the Torpedoes was Tom Petty's make-it-or-break-it third record. He was an established live act by this time, but he didn't have an album that lived up to the hype. As the title suggests, he wanted to craft a disc that boldly charged ahead, regardless of the dangers. From the opening notes of "Refugee," it was clear that the album was a masterpiece. The track listing almost reads like a greatest-hits disc from there: "Here Comes My Girl," "Even the Losers" and "Don't Do Me Like That."
"This is the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album we've all been waiting for," wrote Ariel Swartley in the original Rolling Stone review. "That is, if we were all Tom Petty fans, which we would be if there were any justice in the world, live shows for all, free records everywhere and rockin' radio."