LISTEN: 5 of Tom Petty's best hits
MANILA, Philippines – Rock legend Tom Petty died on Monday, October 2, leaving his devastated friends, family, and fans with his legacy – more than 20 albums of music released over the 4 decades of his career. (READ: Rocker Tom Petty dead at 66 – family)
Petty released most of his hit singles with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers throughout the '70s and '80s, but he also released solo tracks, plus songs with the Traveling Wilburys – a band composed of Petty, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison.
While Petty wasn't the most acclaimed or controversial rockstar, he produced a steady stream of songs that have touched the hearts of many.
Here are just of few of his most popular compositions.
"American Girl" – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1976)
Even though "American Girl" wasn't a hit when it was first released, it's since become a classic.
"Free Fallin'" – Tom Petty (1989)
Kept alive by John Mayer and many others who have covered it, "Free Fallin'" is a quiet, dreamy song. It's also one that came together pretty quickly, according to Rolling Stone, quoting Petty: "There's not a day that goes by that someone doesn't hum 'Free Fallin'' to me, or I don't hear it somewhere. But it was really only 30 minutes of my life."
"Learning to Fly" – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1991)
A catchy, upbeat tune with relatable lyrics: "I'm learning to fly/but I ain't got wings/coming down/is the hardest thing."
"Refugee" – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1979)
"Refugee" is a classic rock song that set Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers apart in the late '70s, as they strayed away from New Wave and punk rock trends of the era.
"Don't Come Around Here No More" – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1985)
"Don't Come Around Here No More" is nothing like the band's other songs, incorporating synths and even a sitar to the mix.
Bonus: "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" – Traveling Wilburys (The Beatles cover)
One of the songs he performed with superband Traveling Wilburys, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is a Beatles original penned by George Harrison.