Welcome to PuR’s Love Crypt, spotlighting the underrated, secretly classic albums & songs that didn’t always get the attention they deserved upon release but are worthy of adoration & a listen. Basically, if Love Crypt were a Beatle it would be George Harrison. Now join us under the radar to meet some beautiful dark horses…
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: You Can Still Change Your Mind (1981)
“You Can Still Change Your Mind” was written by Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell with Tom Petty and originally appeared on their Hard Promises album in 1981. It sounded noticeably different than the typical Heartbreakers fare up to that point for while it possessed a snarlingly magnificent signature Petty vocal, the tune itself was a lushly melodic Beach Boys style tearjerker. And with harmonies provided by Stevie Nicks and her long time backing singer Sharon Celani, “You Can Still Change Your Mind” quite literally sounded like the physical embodiment of a slow burning Southern California sunset. It’s just a total stunner. Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench himself has said that he loves it and that he thinks “it’s absolutely beautiful”. Tom did too and hoped it could be released as an actual single…but the powers that be weren’t having it. According to Petty, “That’s sort of Mike’s tribute to Brian Wilson. I loved it and worked really hard on that track. No one could hear it as a single. People had a mental picture of what we should sound like and if you played them something that didn’t sound like “Refugee” or “American Girl” or “Even The Losers”, they were puzzled”. More’s the pity because it would have been an absolute treat to hear it played live on a regular basis with thousands of people singing along. Oh if only…so, so miss this guy.
Pete Yorn: “On Your Side”(2001)
Pete Yorn’s 2001 debut album Musicforthemorningafter was the recipient of a fair amount of critical acclaim upon release. It was power pop ( Yorn especially loved the band Sloan) with both Smiths and Springsteen style flourishes and inflections. The album ended up achieving Gold status which is pretty damn good for any full length much less a debut. Yorn also had the misfortune of having to play songs from it at one of our yearly business conferences when I was with Virgin Entertainment Group as we ate dinner. And though we were basically a bunch of record store nerds who loved him, I’m guessing that had to have sucked for him a little.
“On Your Side” arrives late on the album, at track #11 to be exact. It’s 5 minutes of shuffling melodic regret and Johnny Marr-esque strumming with a delicate flush of synthesized strings and sounds both a little drunk and a little lost. But while it’s ache is palpable, even tear inducing, there’s still something oddly consoling about it. Either way it’s just a timeless and truly lovely thing.