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Echo -- Was it all that bad?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:45 pm
by JakeK
In September 2004, I bought the Tom Petty album "Echo". I never really bothered to listen to it, as I read Tom himself hated it. I tried to give it a listen, but I could only really bond with "Room at the Top".

June 2009, I was going through a rough patch with a friend (yes, I have lost contact with her), and I saw "Echo" in my collection. For a couple years, I forgot I even owned it, so I thought I'd give it a listen. I listened to about the first 5 songs before I remembered I had to pick up my grandma for dinner. (And after dinner, I bought "Let It Roll" by Harrison) I never finished listening to it until...

Yesterday, I was in the car with my mom, and I thought I should listen to "Echo". We both enjoyed it, and there are some really great songs on that album: "Room at the Top", "I Don't Wanna Fight", "About to Give Out", "Won't Last Long"...

All in all, "Echo" is amazing. I should have never thought about rating it the way I did. I wonder if I should give "Last DJ" a thorough listen, too...

Re: Echo -- Was it all that bad?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:49 pm
by kiramdear
That happens to me too. Sometimes I buy a sleeper album that doesn't appeal to me at first, but after some life experiences and a shift in my perspective, the material takes on new significance. A lot of that depends, too, on how receptive you are when you are first exposed to it, as you have discovered. That's one of the beautiful things about art and music and why the real master works are so great - they speak to you about different things on different levels over the passing of time. Much of the Beatles' solo work, for example, affected me that way.

Re: Echo -- Was it all that bad?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:24 pm
by doesitmatter
There are Tom Petty albums I like less than "Echo". I'm not a big fan of "Into the Great Wide Open" for example.

Tom calls it his divorce album but he wasn't ready to dig deep enough with his writing so it's stuck in the middle. But any album with "Room at the Top" and "Swingin'" is a good album in my book.

Re: Echo -- Was it all that bad?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:13 pm
by frickengruvin
I believe there are several great releases on Echo. Petty is by nature, a positive fellow, and I think he frowns on this release because it was such a negative period in his life.....

Horses for courses.....

Music for me is all about emotion, and this one addresses emotion(s) I have had and will no doubt have again....

Glad he can address in a manner that is to my liking......

Re: Echo -- Was it all that bad?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:41 pm
by peewee
I used to play "Billy The Kid" with regularity while in The Shambells -- always a crowd pleaser.

Re: Echo -- Was it all that bad?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:34 pm
by lcjones
Won't Last Long. This One's For Me.

Such good tunes both melodically and lyrically. The Echo album, though, as a whole is not my favorite TPaTh release.

Re: Echo -- Was it all that bad?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:01 pm
by Backpages66
I love Echo and can't for the life of me figure out why people dislike it so. "Swingin" "Billy The Kid" "Free Girl Now" are some of my all time favorite Petty songs. Into the Great wide Open is not one of my favorite albums. While I love Jeff Lynne as a producer ITGWO souds too slick and too polished for me. I know some will say all Jeff Lynne's producing seem too slick, but ITGWO is by far his slickest producing job to date. I loved Jeff's producing on TP's Full Moon Fever, George Harrison's Cloud Nine, & Paul McCartney's Flaming Pie.

I seem to remember hearing that Jeff Lynne was a better producer for just solo artists as opposed to full bands. Sorry this turned into a Jeff Lynne thread.

Re: Echo -- Was it all that bad?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:52 pm
by analogpackrat
I think Echo is one of their best. The emotion behind the songs and the playing is genuine and it shows (actually it "sounds"). I really like the mixing and production, too. No subtle space-filling synth pads, just real musicians playing well. The guitar work is really great overall. The quality of the recording is also some of the best. I can understand why TP might not like it as it probably dredges up all the old feelings from that time in his life, but that's exactly what makes it such a good record.

I listened to it while working today (headphones are required in the cube farm if you need to think). Free Girl Now is one of a few songs that make me want to pick up a guitar and play RIGHT NOW! I finally satisfied that urge when I got home. :D

Re: Echo -- Was it all that bad?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:30 am
by harley
I always liked Echo and thought "About To Give Out" was a bit of a hidden gem as was "Accused Of Love".

The sad thing about the album, for me, was it was kind of obviously the album where Howie slipped away. I seem to recall interviews about that time where they talked about how helpless they all felt. I've never really been in an intervention situation but I can imagine that helpless would be a good description all around.

Re: Echo -- Was it all that bad?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:12 am
by drumbob
I too found Echo pretty dire at first and it took a few years before I could like it, but now I do.

Into The Great Wide Open is terrible for the most part. I dislike Jeff Lynne's lousy production on anything; doesn't matter what it is. I can immediately tell it's his work and it turns me off completely. Usually, I'm not that fussy about production, but Lynne isthe worst.

Re: Echo -- Was it all that bad?

PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:21 am
by analogpackrat
I have to agree with you about IGWO--some great songs, but it seems overproduced and the good songs on it sound watered down somehow.

But I loved Echo from the first time I heard it. I remember downloading the mp3 of Free Girl Now--legally--in 1999 a few weeks before the album's release date.

Here are some youtubes from TPATH's extended stay at the Filmore in SF just before Echo was released. These are some great songs.

Goofed up lyrics in the second verse, but still a great performance:


This is a great slow burning rocker:


Just a beautiful build up in this one:


Mike Campbell's only lead vocal!

Re: Echo -- Was it all that bad?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:12 pm
by JakeK
A great version of "Billy the Kid" is on "Live Anthology"...who's heard it?

Re: Echo -- Was it all that bad?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:58 am
by simer4001
I heard ECHO described as his BLOOD ON THE TRACKS. While the latter is far superior IMO, ECHO still has great moments. ROOM AT THE TOP is a very good song. For me, knowing what the album represents and the pain Tom was experiencing makes the shortcomings on the album tolerable if not part of its charm. SWINGIN' with Howie's harmony is fabulous. Sadness all around on that album. I'm glad you gsve it a play, Jake.

Re: Echo -- Was it all that bad?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:16 pm
by tomt3
I've always thought Echo was one of T.P.'s better efforts. I certainly think its better than anything he's done since, (except for Mudcrutch, which is awesome) Swingin' and Billy the kid are great!

Re: Echo -- Was it all that bad?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:04 pm
by simer4001
After listening again I think the thing I enjoy about the album is the change in emotion. He is so angry on some songs and then so sad on others. Obviously it was just a very bad time in his life.