Musical Appreciation

Musical Appreciation: Tom Petty “I Won’t Back Down”


Welcome to Musical Appreciation. On October 2, we lost another icon. Tom Petty suffered from cardiac arrest and passed away the same night. This fucked people up. Tom Petty is one of the most significant artists of the past 40 years, both solo and with his band The Heartbreakers. He was at the forefront of heartland rock, a sub-genre of rock rooted in classic rock, folk, Americana with songs about the blue-collar American and their struggles. Today’s Musical Appreciation is one of many Tom Petty classics that resonates with people even now, being used in sports and politics. This is I Won’t Back Down.

I Won’t Back Down was Tom Petty’s first solo single without The Heartbreakers and the lead single for his solo album Full Moon Fever. Before he recorded the album, someone set his house on fire, leaving him without a home and on the road. This gave Tom Petty plenty of inspiration for many songs on the album, including this one. The whole vibe of the song is very breezy thanks to the instrumentation that’s damn near close to sounding like a mid-tempo country song and the Tom Petty himself, who comes off as very likable and approachable. It doesn’t hurt that the chorus is extremely catchy.

The title of the song tells you everything you need to know. It’s the embodiment of the fighter’s spirit, of standing your ground in the face of adversity. Tom Petty will never back down, even at the gates of Hell. Anyone can apply this attitude to themselves. We’re all bound to face obstacles and pitfalls in this little game called life and the best thing to do when faced against such obstacles and pitfalls is to not quit and soldier on. I Won’t Back Down, one of Tom Petty’s best songs and a timeless classic. Thank you for the great music and my condolences go out to your family and friends.

And that was Musical Appreciation. next time, we’ll talk about Baba O’Riley. For real this time. No push backs, no postponing.



I’m Your Puppet-James & Bobby Purify

Centerfold-J. Geils Band

Armageddon It-Def Leppard

Blessings-Lecrae ft Ty Dolla Sign

One thought on “Musical Appreciation: Tom Petty “I Won’t Back Down”

  1. Aw, I still miss Tom Petty. 😦 And this is a great song to do a Musical Appreciation of, especially since Sam Smith is back on the charts and Smith’s first hit, “Stay with Me,” interpolated its melody into his chorus.

    Out of curiosity, what do you think of the Traveling Wilburys, Petty’s supergroup with Jeff Lynne, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, and Roy Orbison?

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