Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”

ALBUM: Greatest Hits

YEAR: 1993

WRITER: Tom Petty

Topped Billboard‘s Album Rock Tracks chart and peaked at number-14 on its Hot 100 singles chart.

Before recording his second solo album, Wildflowers, Tom Petty laid down a bunch of tracks with The Heartbreakers, including “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.” It became the single from the band’s 1993 Greatest Hits album. Keyboardist Benmont Tench tells why drummer Stan Lynch looms large in the story of that song. “I was told that Stan and Tom had just been jamming together and Tom had come up with that riff and Stan had locked into that rhythm. So Tom said, ‘Look, I think we can make a song out of this.’ We went in with Rick Rubin before the Wildflowers record was made. It was actually the last stuff we recorded with Stan and he went out with a bang. He’s astounding on that track. The groove on that track is really swampy and just so fine.”

Benmont Tench celebrates his 64th birthday today (September 6th).


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