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6 Degrees Entertainment

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Damn the Torpedoes
(Tom Petty, et al / Blu ray / NR / 2010 / Eagle Rock)

Overview: Unweaving the creative process behind this all-American rock 'n' roll gem this 56-minute documentary presents newly filmed interviews from Heartbreakers Tom Petty Mike Campbell Benmont Tench and Ron Blair as well as co-producer Jimmy Iovine and engineer Shelly Yakus.

Blu ray Verdict: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' 'Damn the Torpedoes' was the third album the band put out. Released in 1979 by MCA Records, it garnered huge, and critical acclaim becoming the band's breakthrough album. Indeed, in 2003, the album was ranked number 313 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time!

The album itself lasts only 40 minutes, but in the 95 minute presentation here (which includes 45 minutes of deleted scenes not shown on the original TV broadcast) we get to hear music that never made it to the album. And in some cases the musicians themselves haven't heard it in over 20 years either!

Archival footage of Petty and the band performing in the 1970s is great, known but great, but the lions share of this Blu-ray is Petty and the other members of the band - Mike Campbell, Ron Blair and Benmont Tench - sitting at a huge mixing board with producer Jimmy Iovine and engineer Shelly Yakus.

As they play back the original tapes, each points out hidden gems of sound. Stuff like, well, did you know that it's Jim Keltner's "shaker" that made one of the tracks the hit it was? And in a few cases the musicians continued to play even as Yakus was fading out the record. For the first time in a long time, we finally get to hear what happened after the fadeout on a few songs! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.