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On This Day, April 24, 1989: Tom Petty released his first solo record, ‘Full Moon Fever’

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On This Day, April 24, 1989…

Tom Petty released his first solo album, Full Moon Fever.

Although it wasn’t billed as a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers record, most of the Heartbreakers were on the album, as were Petty’s Traveling Wilburys bandmates Jeff LynneGeorge Harrison and Roy Orbison, who passed away before the album’s release.

Petty’s label MCA Records and leader Irving Azoff originally refused to release the Full Moon Fever, believing there were no hit songs on it, but when management at the label changed, that decision changed as well.

The album wound up landing a trio of hit songs, including “Free Fallin’,” which peaked at #7, “I Won’t Back Down” and “Runnin’ Down a Dream.”

Full Moon Fever went on to be a huge success for Petty, peaking at #3 on the Billboard album chart. It was also certified five-times Platinum by the RIAA, and in 2019, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Tom Petty’s music will be celebrated with a new tribute album, Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty, dropping June 21.

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