Produced by Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, and Mike Campbell. Recorded mainly in the M.C. Studios, also using Rumbo Studios, Sunset Sound, Devonshire Studios, Conway Studios and Sound City Studios for additional recordings.
After the 1987 album Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough), which was neither the most successful with the Heartbreakers, nor did it transcend the charts as the previous albums had been doing, nor did it sell as expected, Tom began to haunt the idea of making a solo album, although he also had the opportunity to join George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, and Bob Dylan to create The Traveling Wilburys. Some of them would be essential for this first release of Petty outside his band.
Although Full Moon Fever is listed as his first solo work, the truth is that several of his fellow Heartbreakers, such as keyboard player Benmont Tench or bassist Howie Epstein, participate in it, but it is also that his inseparable right hand, Guitarist Mike Campbell is the one who contributes the most to the album through his instrument and also doing co-production with Tom and Jeff.
The rest of the album’s compositions border on a very good level, but the first half of the album is indeed so overwhelming that the good work of the second is overshadowed by such greatness. In that first half are still “Love Is A Long Road” and “Feel a Whole Lot Better”, the aforementioned version of The Byrds, and that does not seem so necessary in an album that is extremely brilliant with the artist’s own compositions .
From the second half stand out “Depending on You” and “The Apartment Song”, both with an agile rhythm and wonderful vocal melodies, and of course that ending reserved for “Zombie Zoo”, in which the good guy from Roy Orbison collaborates. Its inclusion in the choirs acquires a very special connotation, and that is that Orbison passed away before Full Moon Fever was launched on the market in April 1989.
Although Tom Petty is an artist who gradually got used to good sales figures in his country, the truth is that with Full Moon Fever his career took on another dimension. With him, so far he has obtained five platinum records in the United States, six in Canada and one gold in the United Kingdom.
The album climbed to No. 3 on the US charts and No. 8 on the UK Charts, which has had a major impact on the two major music markets globally.
The figures obtained with Full Moon Fever had a positive impact on his future, since his next work with the Heartbreakers, Into The Great Wide Open (1991), also became a best seller.
You can listen to the full album below: