Last week the music world lost one of its brightest and most influential stars when Tom Petty died after suffering a heart attack. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers had just concluded a 53-show tour in honor of their 40th anniversary seven days prior at the Hollywood Bowl. While the iconic act loaded each concert with many of their most-beloved songs, there were a number of hits that didn’t make the cut.
What follows is a look at the ten most played songs from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ career that never saw action in 2017. A huge disclaimer is the stats used come from Setlist.FM’s database of 1221 Heartbreakers concerts, which is far from every show the famed band played. However, all 2017 setlists have been confirmed and the large selection of setlists documented on the site does give a good estimate of the band’s touring repertoire throughout the years.
Though Petty and his ensemble were known for switching it up more than your typical legacy act, they stuck to a fairly similar script throughout the run. For reference, there were 15 songs Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers played at each stop on their 40th Anniversary Tour. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers only performed 13 other songs at least once in 2017. With that in mind, here are the 10 most played Petty tunes that the Heartbreakers left on the shelf this year:
1. Listen To Her Heart (Last Time Played – August 31, 2014)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers recorded “Listen To Her Heart” for their sophomore studio album, 1978’s You’re Gonna Get It! While Petty’s label released the song as the LP’s second single, it barely made a dent on the Billboard charts. The first documented performance of “Listen To Her Heart” took place on May 26, 1977 in Glasgow, Scotland. “Listen To Her Heart” was played 440 times as per Setlist.FM between May 26, 1977 and the final version on August 31, 2014; which makes it the 10th most frequently performed song in Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers history.
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2. The Waiting (Last Time Played – June 24, 2012)
In 1981 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers issued Hard Promises after a lengthy battle with the LP’s distributor over the list price. “The Waiting” was the lead single from the album and became a big hit for the group. Petty and his band first played “The Waiting” on January 11, 1980 in Kansas City, Kansas as per Setlist.FM’s stats. It was a staple of many tours that followed, though fell out of favor after a 2008 tour as Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers are only know to have performed the song one time between 2008 and 2017 (June 24, 2012).
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3. Even The Losers (Last Time Played – August 29, 2008)
By 1979 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers had achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic, but the release of Damn The Torpedoes put them over the top and screamed to #2 on Billboard’s album charts. The band is known to have played the LP’s “Even The Losers” 205 times between the first documented version on December 30, 1978 in San Francisco and the final documented live take on August 29, 2008.
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4. I Need To Know (Last Time Played – October 27, 2006)
“I Need To Know” was issued as the lead single from You’re Gonna Get It! in 1978. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers had already been performing the song live ahead of its release with the first documented version occurring on February 23, 1977. Stevie Nicks took a liking to the song and started playing it at her solo concerts in 1981. Nicks teamed up with the Heartbreakers for a 2006 tour. “I Need To Know” was a staple of the run but wasn’t played since.
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5. Here Comes My Girl (Last Time Played – October 1, 2014)
Tom Petty and Heartbreakers’ guitarist Mike Campbell collaborated to write “Here Comes My Girl,” which was the third single off Damn The Torpedoes. On June 23, 1979 the band was thought to have debuted the live version of the song at Sherwood Hall in Salinas, California. Petty and his mates would fit “Here Comes My Girl” into setlists on some tours and left it off for others. While the song was a staple of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ 2012 and 2013 tours, the band only played “Here Comes My Girl” once since (October 1, 2014 at Red Rocks).
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6. Don’t Do Me Like That (Last Time Played – October 11, 2014)
“Don’t Do Me Like That” was yet another single from 1979’s Damn The Torpedoes that Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers didn’t touch over the course of their 40th Anniversary Tour. The group’s first documented live performance of the LP’s lead single took place on March 24, 1979 in Oxford, England. “Don’t Do Me Like That” was last played regularly by the Heartbreakers during their 2005 tour. The final performance of the song took place at The Forum in Inglewood, California on October 11, 2014.
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7. Love Is A Long Road (Last Time Played – June 29, 2013)
In 1989 Tom Petty released his debut solo album, Full Moon Fever. The album went platinum five times over thanks to such hit singles as “I Won’t Back Down,” “Runnin’ Down A Dream,” “Free Fallin'” and “Yer So Bad.” Full Moon Fever also featured “Love Is A Long Road” which quickly became a live favorite after its debut on January 29, 1990. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers played the song often in 1990, 1991, 1995, 2002 and 2003. “Love Is A Long Road” disappeared from the band’s setlists between 2003 and 2013. While the tune was performed at each and every Heartbreakers show in 2013, “Love Is A Long Road” was shelved again after the tour.
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8. Handle With Care (Last Time Played – June 30, 2012)
George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty came together in 1988 to form the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. On November 29, 2002 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers performed the Wilburys’ biggest hit, “Handle With Care,” along with Lynne, Dhani Harrison and Jim Keltner at the Concert For George in honor of George Harrison. Petty & The Heartbreakers went on to add the song to their live repertoire a few weeks later as part of a tour in support of The Last DJ. The band would perform 140 documented versions of “Handle With Care” including at most 2012 shows. However, the Heartbreakers shelved the tune following a June 30, 2012 SAP Arena concert in Mannheim, Germany.
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9. Honey Bee (Last Time Played – June 9, 2013)
Tom Petty issued Wildflowers, his second solo album, in 1994. “Honey Bee” is a hard-rocking track from the LP the Heartbreakers quickly added to their repertoire for their 1995 Dogs With Wings Tour, after famously debuting the song with Dave Grohl on drums for a 1994 visit to Saturday Night Live. The song returned to the rotation in 1997 and 1999 and the disappeared until 2005. “Honey Bee” saw action a number of times between 2005 and 2010 and made two final appearances in 2013, once a piece during the group’s residencies at NYC’s Beacon Theatre and The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles.
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10. A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me) (Last Time Played – October 11, 2014)
In 1981, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers put out “A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me)” as the second single off Hard Promises. The song didn’t make much of an impact on the Billboard charts, but made it into the group’s live repertoire for a number of performances in the early ’80s. Out of nowhere, “A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me)” was brought back in 2002 as a staple of The Last DJ Tour and the 2003 tour that followed. Then, the tune was shelved once more until 2013. After busting out “A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me)” on May 16, 2013 it was played by the Heartbreakers throughout the tour. Two versions were documented in 2014 including what is thought to be the final “A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me)” on August 23, 2014 in Chicago.
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