Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers have announced an extensive new posthumous box set titled An American Treasure in tribute to their late leader, Tom Petty—who died suddenly in the early hours of October 3rd, 2017 at the age of 66 as a result of an accidental prescription drug overdose. The Tom Petty An American Treasure set is due to be released on September 28th via Reprise Records, less than a week shy of the first anniversary of Petty’s passing. It also marks the first posthumous release of any kind from Petty’s camp.
The name, of course, is appropriate for its subject. While Petty left us all too soon, he made an indelible mark on American music and popular culture, recording countless hits, touring relentlessly across multiple decades, collaborating with some of the world’s greatest musicians, and otherwise cementing himself as one of the most iconic artists of a generation.
According to Rolling Stone, the early news of the box set was revealed via a SiriusXM broadcast yesterday evening. However, anticipation for a surprise from Petty’s camp had been growing throughout the day on Monday after a mysterious countdown clock had appeared on TomPetty.com, ticking down the seconds until the official announcement at 10 a.m. EDT this morning.
The new box set will include 60 (!) previously unreleased studio and live recordings of the band, obscure recorded tracks, and alternate takes on some of the band’s more popular songs. The material included in the compilation was selected by members of Tom Petty’s surviving family, including his wife, Dana Petty, and their daughter, Adria Petty, alongside Heartbreakers members like Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench and the band’s longtime recording partner, Ryan Ulyate. The set also features custom cover artwork by prominent street artist Shepard Fairey, the creator of the iconic Barack Obama 2008 “Change” posters, the ubiquitous Andre The Giant “OBEY” stencil, and more.
As Adria Petty and Dana Petty explain about this “labor of love” in its announcement press release,
Everyone involved in this project chose each track with tremendous care and deep respect for the body of work Tom Petty created over the course of 40 years. He also accumulated a wealth of unreleased music in his vaults, and we have collectively uncovered one gem after another that will keep us all listening and discovering new facets of Tom’s talent for many years to come. We can’t wait to share with Tom’s fans this musical portrait of an artist who deeply affected our culture and indelibly touched the lives of fans the world over.
The first single from An American Treasure is “Keep A Little Soul”—a previously unreleased recording from 1982 sessions, which resulted in Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ classic album, Long After Dark. The song is available for digital download today when you pre-order your copy of An American Treasure. Watch the video featuring rare never-before-seen footage of the band below.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Keep A Little Soul” [Official Music Video]
The Tom Petty An American Treasure compilation will be available for purchase on September 28th. In addition to the extensive 60-track release, a less-expensive, less-extensive version will be released for purchase as a two-disc set. Pre-orders are for the Tom Petty An American Treasure set are available now. For more information, head to Tom Petty’s website.
[H/T Rolling Stone]