We will soon be approaching the first anniversary of the sudden passing of Tom Petty. Petty proved during his lifetime that he was an incredibly prolific artist. His musical vault will soon be re-opened: it was announced today, July 11, that a new 60-song box set, ‘An American Treasure’ will be released in September.
The package, compiled by Petty’s widow Dana, daughter Adria, his two longest serving bandmates — guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench — and longtime engineer Ryan Ulate, will be released September 28.|
It consists of unreleased live and studio recordings across four CD, as well as a 52-page booklet containing rare and previously unpublished photographs of Petty and his bandmates, family and friends. The booklet also features detailed, track-by-track liner notes by journalist Bud Scoppa, who drew upon previous interviews with Petty and new conversations with Campbell, Tench, Ulyate, as well as Adria and Dana.
In addition to the four-CD set, there will also be an abridged two-CD set, a “Super-Deluxe” four-CD box set and a six-LP vinyl collection (available on Nov. 23), as well as standard and deluxe digital downloads.
News of the release first trickled out yesterday, with Petty’s SiriuisXM station unveiling the title, release date, and the debut single,”Keep a Little Soul,” which was recorded in 1982. A mix of album tracks, outtakes, alternate takes, B-sides and live material, each CD of ‘An American Treasure’ is devoted to a specific decade in Petty’s career. All newly released recordings have been mixed by Ulyate from pristine transfers of the original studio multi-track masters.
Of particular note, are cuts from Petty’s 1994 solo album ‘Wildflowers,’ which was rumoured to be an archival project he was working on at the time of his passing. That album, one of his most successful, and still among his most popular, was originally slated to be a double album, and as early as 2014, it was reported that an album called ‘Wildflowers: All the Rest’ would feature songs Petty had left-off the released LP.
Of the five ‘Wildflowers’ tracks included on ‘An American Treasure,’ only three are previously unreleased. It’s possible that a full-‘Wildflowers’ expanded release might still be revisited in the future.
“Keep a Little Soul” is an outtake from the sessions for 1982’s ‘Long After Dark’ and bears the hallmarks of the Heartbreakers in that era. You can see the entire track listing for ‘An American Treasure,’ as well as pre-order the release here: http://www.tompetty.com/news/american-treasure-box-set-1772051