Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will be releasing a new studio album titled ‘Hypnotic Eye’ with a planned release before the end of the summer.
Rolling Stone journalist David Fricke, recently previewed the 11 tracks with Petty and says the material as a “return to the concise Sixties-rock classicism and drive” of the group’s first two albums, 1976’s ‘Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ and 1978’s ‘You’re Gonna Get It!’
“I knew I wanted to do a rock ‘n’ roll record,” Petty said. “We hadn’t made a straight hard-rockin’ record, from beginning to end, in a long time.”
Petty began work on ‘Hypnotic Eye’ with his band mates in August 2011 and it is now completed after three years. Petty says about the periodic recording schedule, “You must get the songs. It takes time to write 10 or 11 really good songs.” That first run of sessions in 2011 yielded several new originals that Petty put aside after deciding they were too close to “the blues bag” of 2010’s Mojo. And he wasn’t sure about “American Dream Plan B” even after he first played it with his bandmates.
“Silence,” he says, recalling their response. “I said, ‘Listen, I think we have something here, but we’re going to have to get excited about it.’ ” In fact, Petty adds, laughing, the Heartbreakers loved the song – he just had to drag the affirmation out of them. Petty also acknowledges that while he is the undisputed leader and songwriter, the Heartbreakers hold a vital, unspoken veto in the studio: “They can’t hide it. If they’re not lighting up, something’s wrong. It would be very hard to make this record without a band that has been together this long, with those kinds of instincts. I’m relieved to have that.”
Titles of songs on the album are “American Dream Plan B,” “Faultlines,” “Red River,” “Burn Out Town” and “Shadow People.” Petty co-produced the new record once again with Ryan Ulyate and Heartbreaker guitarist Mike Campbell.
The band plans a tour after the release of the album, and we may see two other Petty-related recording projects this year. A deluxe version of his 1994 solo album ‘Wildflowers’ with 10 extra tracks could be released in time for Christmas. Rolling Stone also reports that a live album featuring performances from Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 2013 New York City and Los Angeles residencies also may be in the works.