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Tom Petty’s ‘Wildflowers & All the Rest’ Project to Be Released in Multiple Configurations This Fall

The editions range from a basic set containing the original 1994 "Wildflowers" album plus a disc of unreleased studio songs to "super deluxe" editions with 70 studio, live and demo tracks.

tom petty wildflowers all the rest
Mark Seliger

A project that has long been teased before and since Tom Petty’s death, “Wildflowers & All the Rest,” has finally found its place on the release schedule, with multiple configurations pulling together the rocker’s original 1994 album with a multitude of unreleased songs, alternate versions, live tracks and home demos.

Four different editions of the long-awaited set will be released on Warner Records Oct. 16, raging in size from a basic version with 25 tracks on two CDs or three LPs to the most deluxe packages with 70 numbers on five CDs or nine LPs.

In heralding the news Thursday morning, Warner and the Petty estate released a recording unheard until now, “Wildflowers (Home Recording).” It’s the third preview track for the collection, following two other similar home demos of the songs “You Don’t Know How It Feels” and “There Goes Angela (Dream Away)” that came out this summer as Adria Petty, the musician’s daughter, indicated the once-stalled project was now on the fast track for 2020. A new video for the “Wildflowers” demo featuring unseen footage of Tom at home was concurrently released, co-directed by Alan Bibby and Jonny Kofoed from material shot by Martyn Atkins during the making of “Wildflowers.”

Although it was not one of his most blockbuster albums, “Wildflowers” was considered one of Petty’s most personally revealing albums and is oft-cited by fans as a favorite, as it was for the musician himself, who had frequently discussed plans to revisit material in the vaults for an expanded version prior to his death in October 2017. It was officially a solo album, although it featured contributions from the Heartbreakers, including Mike Campbell, who co-produced with Rick Rubin and Petty. At points prior to its release in 1994, Petty was toying with plans to make it a double-album, although he was convinced to narrow it down to a single disc that included the hits “You Don’t Know How It Feels” and “It’s Good to Be King.’

These new collections were produced by produced by Ryan Ulyate, Petty’s longtime co-producer and engineer and, since the singer’s death, the principal keeper of the archives. It’s described as having been jointly curated by Adria and Annakim Petty, his daughters, and his wife, Dana Petty, along with Campbell and Heartbreakers keyboard player Benmont Tench.

Among the materials on the “Super Deluxe” edition are a written introduction by Rubin, an essay by longtime Rolling Stone writer David Fricke, and a track-by-track guide written by critic Jaan Uhelszki (currently a movie star with her prominent role in the new Creem documentary) pulling together quotes from many of those who worked on the original album.

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Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers & All the Rest” cover art Courtesy Warner Records

As with many archival rock projects being released in multiple configurations, unpacking exactly what is on each edition and which to purchase involves a bit of effort, although fans who were hoping Petty would complete this project five or 10 years ago are hardly going to consider sorting it out time ill-spent.

At its most basic level, the non-deluxe version of “Wildflowers & All The Rest” includes two CDs: one containing the original 15-track album and a second with 10 studio tracks that didn’t make the cut. This “All the Rest” disc consists of “Something Could Happen,” “Leaving Virginia Alone,” “Climb That Hill Blues,” “Confusion Wheel,” “California,” “Harry Green,” “Hope You Never,” “Somewhere Under Heaven,” “Climb That Hill” and “Hung Up and Overdue.”

(The three-LP vinyl version of this basic edition splits “Wildflowers” onto two discs. Any version will be welcomed by vinyl enthusiasts, as the original album has long been out of print in that format.)

The “Deluxe Edition” takes those two CDs and adds two more. Disc 3 is labeled “Home Recordings/Demos” and includes 15 tracks. The fourth disc is “Wildflowers Live,” consisting of 14 renditions of the material culled from Petty & the Heartbreakers performances over the years.

The “Super Deluxe Edition” is described as a “direct to consumer” (i.e., not available in stores) set. It adds a fifth CD: “Alternate Takes (Finding Wallflowers),” with 16 additional studio tracks, including the B-side “Girl on LSD” and an acoustic version of “Cabin Down Below.” The packaging gets much more elaborate at this level, too, with the printed material now hardbound, plus extras like a replica 1995 tour program, cloth patch, handwritten lyric reprints and numbered certificate of authenticity. The set is described as a limited edition, although no pressing number was immediately offered.

The number of pressings is being cited for the most exclusive edition, the “Ultra Deluxe Limited Edition”: it’s just 475 copies (and also available only in Petty’s online store, at $499). This edition is vinyl-only, with nine LPs that duplicate the content of the “Super Deluxe Edition,” but with a series of extras for the serious collector, from a handmade necklace to an exclusive illustrated lyrics book to an otherwise unavailable 7-inch “You don’t Know How It Feels” single.

The “Wildflowers” packages joins two other major album-centric box sets due this fall, collections themed around the Rolling Stones’ “Goats Head Soup” and Prince’s “Sign O’ the Times” (with a Beatles “Let It Be” commemorative box still hanging in the air as a question mark for fans).

Full track lists for the various discs in the “All the Rest” set, in their CD configurations:

1). Wildflowers
Wildflowers
You Don’t Know How It Feels
Time to Move On
You Wreck Me
It’s Good to Be King
Only a Broken Heart
Honey Bee
Don’t Fade on Me
Hard on Me
Cabin Down Below
To Find a Friend
A Higher Place
House in the Woods
Crawling Back to You
Wake Up Time

2). All The Rest
Something Could Happen
Leaving Virginia Alone
Climb That Hill Blues
Confusion Wheel
California
Harry Green
Hope You Never
Somewhere Under Heaven
Climb That Hill
Hung Up and Overdue

3). Home Recordings
There Goes Angela (Dream Away)
You Don’t Know How It Feels
California
A Feeling of Peace
Leave Virginia Alone
Crawling Back to You
Don’t Fade on Me
Confusion Wheel
A Higher Place
There’s a Break in the Rain (Have Love Will Travel)
To Find a Friend
Only a Broken Heart
Wake Up Time
Hung Up and Overdue
Wildflowers

4). Wildflowers Live
You Don’t Know How It Feels
Honey Bee
To Find a Friend
Walls
Crawling Back to You
Cabin Down Below
Drivin’ Down to Georgia
House in the Woods
Girls on LSD
Time to Move On
Wake Up Time
It’s Good to Be King
You Wreck Me
Wildflowers

5). Alternate Versions (Finding Wildflowers)
[only available on 9-LP and 5-CD formats]
A Higher Place
Hard on Me
Cabin Down Below
Crawling Back to You
Only a Broken Heart
Drivin’ Down to Georgia
You Wreck Me
It’s Good to Be King
House in the Woods
Honey Bee
Girl on LSD
Cabin Down Below (Acoustic Version)
Wildflowers
Don’t Fade on Me
Wake Up Time
You Saw Me Comin’

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Tom Petty “Wildflowers & All the rest” 9-LP Super Deluxe Edition Tom Petty Store