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Excellent Good Fair Poor : COMPACT DISCS

January 21, 1986|ROBERT HILBURN | Compiled by Terry Atkinson

"Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers." MCA. If you're putting together a classic CD rock collection, you're going to want this band represented. But don't fall into the trap of thinking its strengths didn't surface until 1979's "Damn the Torpedoes," the group's first Top 10 LP. While Petty's writing showed added sophistication during the band's "Torpedoes"-through-"Long After Dark" period, there's a captivating intensity and desire in tracks like "Strangered in the Night" and "American Girl" that make this 1976 debut an essential work--one that signaled the arrival of a valuable American rock vision. 1/2

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