iJAMMING! album reviews
While the cross-referencing to wine is presented in good humour (and with genuine forethought), the reviews stand seriously on their own; these are the new albums that push my buttons, twist my knobs and otherwise get me off!
Older album reviews are listed here - or use the search engine at left
WHO
TOM PETTY/HEARTBREAKERS
THE LAST DJ
(WARNER BROTHERS)

WHAT
Californian classic gets angrier as he gets older.

WHY
It's not like Tom Petty naturally avoids confrontation. His fans have always known him as someone who 'Won't Back Down.' He's taken regular potshots at the music industry, both in song and in interviews. He refuses sponsorship deals and has never sold his songs to commercials. But never before has he sounded so righteously angry at the world around him – especially the industry he works within. This is one 50-something millionaire rock star with has no interest in giving up the good fight.

You may have heard the title track, opening song and single, 'The Last DJ' which celebrates a lone hold-out broadcaster in a world of increasingly corporate, market-led play listing. (It's an interesting irony that songs like this and Elvis Costello's 'Radio Radio' get airplay even though they criticize the format's bosses; says something about programmers' vanity, I suppose.) But 'The Last DJ' hardly exists in isolation. On 'Money Becomes King,' Petty sings wistfully from the punter's perspective, ardent fan of a musician called Johnny whose "sound was my salvation, it was only everything." Now Johnny has hit the big time, his ticket prices have doubled, and when the narrator and his friends go see him in a big arena, they find themselves "way up in the nosebleeds, (where) we watched him on the screen, they'd hung between the billboards, so cheaper seats could see."

Coming from a man who routinely plays arenas (albeit without the "golden circles" and "lite beer commercials" that he also condemns on 'Money Becomes King'), such condemnation appears vaguely hypocritical. But when Petty adopts the personality of the record biz CEO on the song 'Joe,' it's hard not to share his indignity at the way the industry routinely rapes young hopefuls. "Bring me a girl, they're always the best, you put 'em on stage, and you have 'em undress…she gets to be famous, I get to be rich."

Still, such lyrical venom would sound merely vindictive without music of similar emotion. And throughout The Last DJ, Tom and his long-standing Heartbreakers (with original member Ron Blair now back on bass) have an urgency that's remarkable for such a long-standing band. This isn't reflected in volume, though 'Joe' and the subsequent 'When A Kid Goes Bad' are fiercely modern blues. But it means that even a ballad like 'Blue Sunday', which draws on the classic Californian sounds of a 12-string Rickenbacker jangle, a slide guitar, piano accompaniment and resonant harmonies, feels imbued with a stronger sense of meaning surrounded by so much lyrical purpose. Peer influences are rife: Pink Floyd on 'Joe,' Bob Dylan on 'Have Love Will Travel,' and on the finale 'Can't Stop The Sun,' Petty waxes lyrical in a George Harrison style about how "you may turn off my microphone, but you can't steal what you can't feel." After all these years, it's reassuring to know there are still people out there who, as Petty notes on his credits, "love music just a little bit more than money."
PRIME CUTS
As a musician with morals in a sea of unscrupulous mediocrity, Petty is angry. And he should be. But he's got lots more to fuel his lyrics than rage. As a middle-aged man, he sings the 'Free Falling'-like 'Dreamville', a nostalgic ode to a simplistic childhood. As a father, he worries about 'When A Kid Goes Bad' and offers a painfully heartfelt plea for the Lord to watch over the 'Lost Children'. And as a husband, he sings 'Like A Diamond' and 'You And Me' and seems no less love-struck than the best of us.
WINE?
Classically Californian, perennially reliable, and a benchmark for quality and value over quantity and profit, Tom Petty's new album needs an inexpensive, readily available, dependable and flavorsome wine to match. The Cartlidge & Browne California Chardonnay 2000 comes straight to mind.
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What's new in iJamming!...
(Last updated
Tue, Nov 5, 2002 7:11 pm)

FEATURED ALBUM:
TOM PETTY/HEARTBREAKERS
The Last DJ
FEATURED WINE:
Cartlidge & Browne California Chardonnay 2000
Featured Mix CD:
Back To Mine by New Order
NEW! From the Jamming! Archives: The Jam
Interviewed in 1979
NEW: The iJamming! Interview: UNDERWORLD
"I got it in my head that I was going to die in a cheesy hotel room covered in cat's piss." NOW WITH LIVE PHOTOS
New! Coming and Going
Chapter 3: The Palace
NEW: The iJamming! Interview
RICHARD BUTLER Part 2
NEW! From the Jamming! Archives: Adam Ant
Interviewed in 1978

REMARKS REMADE :
Available Now!
The introduction to the new edition of my R.E.M. biography is here.

A Decade In Dance
BT & BANCO DE GAIA
10 Years (Apiece)
The October Hitlist
30 Albums 10 Songs
HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT
The whole Bloody 1990s cataloge
Last of The Summer Rosês:
Goats Do Roam, Vin Gris de Cigare and Rose of Virginia.
DID BIN LADEN WIN?
10 Reasons To Fear The Worst
From the Jamming! Archives:
PAUL WELLER
interviewed in 1978
"A number one single would be a bit scary."
LEVI'S STROKES EARS
New York's rock'n'roll rescuers play Lowlife - loudly
LUNA at SOUTHPAW
Local legends and international influence come home to party
THE AUGUST HITLIST:
28 Albums Rocking Our World
THE TWO ARE ALRIGHT:
The Who at Madison Square Garden
AREA 2:
A wash-out
24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE
The Movie
The Party
THE HOOTENANNY REVUE REVIEW:
Cedell Davis, Tuatara, and The Minus 5 atthe Knitting Factory
WILSON PICKETT:
Still 'A Man And A Half'
THE JULY HITLIST
30 Albums, 5 Songs, 5 books and a handful of movies
TIMOTHY WHITE
An obituary by Chris Charlesworth
The REZILLOS:
Back On The (Flying Saucer) Attack
THE JUNE HITLIST
30 Albums, 10 Songs, 5 books and a handful of movies.
MAY MUSINGS
Eight Days in A Week's Music:
Ed Harcourt, Vines, Candy Butchers, Timo Maas, Ashley Casselle & Adam Freeland, Aerial Love Feed, and enough little club nights to shake several sticks at.
LONDON MUSING
Tony's (lengthy) trip down nostalgia lane from his visit home at the end of April. Stop-offs include Death Disco, old Jamming! Magazines, life-long friendships, road trips to Brighton, Damilola Taylor and political frustration, Morrissey-Marr, Zeitgeist, Oasis, Dexys, Primal Scream, the current British music scene and more.
The iJamming! interview:
CARL COX
"'Acid Trax' by Phuture came out and I was just 'Okay, forget all hip hop and all old school rare groove right here, this is it.'"
GOLDEN SHOT
hostess 'Lee Patrick' recalls her time as Keith Moon's amour
HEDONISM:
An intrigue of early 90s New York nightlife.
NEW CHAPTER now online
From the Jamming! Archives:
U2 interviewed in 1984.
"It's not U2 that's creating this great art. . .There's something that works through us to create in this way."
iJamming! Wino/Muso:
JOHN ACQUAVIVA
"New world wines are just too techno for me."
The iJAMMING! interview:
DAVID SYLVIAN
"I don't think people realize that life can become so exciting and interesting that it can draw you away for long periods of time from creating music - & why not?"
From the Keith Moon archives:
the JEFF BECK interview .
The iJAMMING! chat:
MARK PERRY

"If I was asked why Sniffin' Glue was so important, it was the way we conducted ourselves, the style of it, just the attitude. It had attitude in abundance didn't it?"
Forgotten Classics:
THE CHILLS: Brave Words
From the JAMMING! archives: PAUL WELLER ON POP
Featured wine region 2:
CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES
TRAVIS.
Fran Healy explains why "you cannot own a song." (And why Liam Gallagher "is going to turn into a really great songwriter.")
Featured Artist Web Site:
LLOYD COLE
From the JAMMING! archives: The Story That Spawned Creation
The iJAMMING! interview:
BOY GEORGE.
"Once you've had your go, what-ever it may be, they want you to piss off, and they can't bear it if you come back, they can't bear it."
The full iJamming! Contents