Thirty years of immaculate stagecraft, boxed

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Score 4

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Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – The Live Anthology
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It’s ironic – given Tom Petty and co.’s reputation as crowd-pleasing rockers – that no reasonable live album lurks in their back catalogue. This release overcompensates handsomely, delivering 48 sharp, gorgeous-sounding missives that document ensemble brilliance and Petty’s chiming, hook-happy American-everykid songwriting. (The deluxe edition adds 14 cuts, along with DVD extras and more.)

Artfully patched together from scores of concert tapes, the set consistently catches the band in full flight, intensifying rather than replicating the studio versions (especially a bone-crunching, Stonesy take on the Dylan co-write “Jammin’ Me”). There’s a dozen fine covers, too, including a crazed take on Them’s psychotic R’n’B showpiece “Mystic Eyes”.

LUKE TORN

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Pic credit: PA Photos