This was mostly recorded in Los Angeles in 1985, but some tracks were recorded earlier, some as early as 1978. Two very notable tracks were recorded in 1981; Needles and Pins and Insider. They are notable because they feature Petty in a duet with Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks. They had recorded several tracks together, including the hit "Stop Dragging My Heart Around", and did a few shows together. They each have very unique voices, and they combine for a great sound. "Insider" in particular is a softer tone that lets their voices be the complete focal point.
The classic Heartbreakers lineup does most of the playing here; in addition to Petty's guitar & lead vocals, there's Mike Campbell on lead guitar, Howie Epstein on bass, Benmont Tench on keyboards and Stan Lynch on drums. The band is extremely versatile, and play with an ease that sets quite an atmosphere for the live crowd.
Highlights include "Breakdown", with Petty letting the crowd sing the entire first verse and chorus on their own before taking the song back. "Southern Accents" is a soft, beautiful song; "Shout" is a full on party. Petty is a master of his crowd, getting them in whatever mood he needs them in.
This is earlier Petty at his finest. For many, Full Moon Fever was their big introduction to Petty, this album was mine. The songs are each extensions of the originals, they aren't note-for-note matches, they expand on the source material and bring out something more. If you're a Petty fan, you will not be disappointed by this album.