On 2nd October 2017, Tom Petty died following a heart attack. His unexpected passing marked one of the blackest days of the year, since Tom always felt like someone who would always be there and always be part of life’s fabric. The fact that he left behind a marvellous body of work – most of which never seems to age – means that in some way, he’ll always be a part of millions of lives, but the idea that we’ll never hear a new Tom Petty album is very hard to comprehend, especially so soon after critically acclaimed works like ‘Hypnotic Eye’ and ‘Nobody’s Child.
Those last records featured tracks that were potentially as solid as anything Petty had ever recorded, lending weight to the fact that he was one of the finest and arguably most consistent songwriters of his generation.
Looking back, the three years between the disco and pop oriented sounds of 1976 and the majestic jumble of influences that fill 1979 are a huge gulf. By 1979, disco was on it’s last legs, punk had firmly given airtime to what we now think of as new wave and the pop music of the day was about as strong as it had been since 1975.
Singer-songwriter Edward O’Connell released his debut album in 2010 to unanimous approval from power pop/retro pop aficionados. As for the world at large, the album did indeed remain ‘Our Little Secret’. While all of the influences were worn blatantly upon his sleeve – literally, too: the front cover parodied Nick Lowe’s ‘Jesus of Cool’, the rear paid a gentler homage to Tom Petty’s ‘Damn The Torpedoes’ – O’Connell’s gift for melody shone brightly through each of the album’s songs and the love for his forebears couldn’t be any more flattering.