July 10, 2009

Summer Songs: #8 "Anything That's Rock and Roll"

In Peter Bogdanovich's excellent four-plus hour Tom Petty biopic Runnin' Down A Dream, the director features live footage of Petty and the Heartbreakers performing "Anything That's Rock and Roll" for BBC's Top of The Pops in 1977. With lyrics like "Rockin' pretty steady till the sky went light" and "We got to hip your mama that you got to live free," the song may not be a work of genius, but it sincerely captures the youthful embrace and craving for music and rebellion. Jacob Rubin put it best in the New Republic last year:
His legacy will not be his innovative guitar parts or Byzantine lyrics, but his fearlessness to embrace cliché as a viable recourse of expression, an embrace that has always been the unapologetic heart of rock 'n' roll.
Tom Petty - "Anything That's Rock and Roll" (from Runnin' Down A Dream OST)

Tom Petty

(Photo: Edinburgh, Scotland 1977 via GoneGator)

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