3. 'Full Moon Fever'
Tom Petty was a superstar in the 1980s, but for much of the time, he was creatively unfulfilled. Living up to the promise of Damn the Torpedoes was tough, and when 1987's Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) stiffed at the record stores, it was beginning to seem like he was on a downward trajectory. He decided to make some big changes, bringing in his Traveling Wilburys partner Jeff Lynne to produce his first solo album. Members of the Heartbreakers did play on the album, but Lynne and Petty wrote all the songs together. (Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch wasn't included, and he was quite furious with the situation.)
The result was a commercial juggernaut, landing classics "I Won't Back Down," "Free Fallin'" and "Runnin' Down a Dream" onto the charts and MTV. It cemented Petty as a rock giant, and when he played the Super Bowl in 2008, 75 percent of the songs came from the album. He never had another album this huge, but it didn't matter. After this one, he could sell out arenas all over the country until the end of time.