Into The Great Wide Open

Where Tom’s vocal on a song like Refugee or Rebels is like a sharpened steel, his voice here sits more in that butterscotch place that he could employ when he wanted to dial the energy back. Even in the chorus, he doesn’t lean into any vibrato, doesn’t crack or pinch his voice and just lets the melody wash over you. And it’s a song that doesn’t need vocal pyrotechnics because all the explosions in this song come from that wonderful turnaround, the tonal shift in the chorus, and one of the best narrative lyrics Tom, or anyone, ever wrote. Whereas songs like “Something Big” or “Dogs on the Run” have a loose narrative that leave plenty to the listener’s imagination, this one is a much more fully realized and theatrical lyric. It’s Tom following the flow and seeing where the story takes him.

Today’s episode covers the title track from “Into The Great Wide Open”. There is one piece of profanity in the episode when Tom is telling a story.

You can listen to the song here:

If you want to see the official video, you can check that out here:

For the brilliant live version from Take The Highway, look here:

And if you’ve never seen Tom’s acceptance speech at the 2016 Musiccares Person of the Year event, check that out here:

The Tom Petty Project is a proud member of The Deep Dive Podcast Network, which you can find on Twitter:

Don’t forget to follow me on social media, like, subscribe, and please, leave a rating if you like the show:





All music, including the theme song, provided by my very best friend Randy Woods. Check him out at

Logo provided Ed Booth, who you can find here:

The Tom Petty Project is not affiliated with the Tom Petty estate in any way and when you’re looking for Tom’s music, please visit the official YouTube channel first and go to for official merchandise.

A last very special thanks to Paul Zollo. Without his book, Conversations with Tom Petty, this podcast wouldn’t be nearly as much fun to research.

Support this show

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *