The 10 Best Tom Petty Songs

Tom Petty was one of the greatest songwriters America has ever had the good fortune to produce. His death will be felt as a massive loss for years to come. Across 40 years and more, this toothy, blonde son of Gainesville, Florida put together a staggering array of incredibly melodic expressions of joy, pain, hope, defiance, and most of all love. His music intertwined with the fibers of your being. His songs overflowed with empathy. You innately recognized yourself and your own experiences in them as soon as you heard them in the car, on the radio, in the grocery store, through a pair of headphones or at a concert.

Petty was an artist who relished in the catharsis. In all of his best songs, no matter how distraught, how achingly sad, you knew there’d come that moment where he’d give the microphone over to you to belt out your feelings at full throat. He encouraged it. “You can stand me up at the gates of hell / But I won’t back down!” And on the joyous songs, the ballads, the odes to eternal devotion, you could practically drown in them. “Yeah, she looks so right / She is all I need tonight!”

To call Petty prolific is a massive understatement. With so many decades, so many albums, so many singles, and so many deep cuts to cultivate, pick apart, and enjoy, it’s almost impossible to know where to start and where to end.

10. “Learning To Fly”

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Into The Great Wide Open “gave us some of our most evergreen songs,” Petty told his biographer Warren Zanes. The most evergreen among them was that album’s opening track “Learning To Fly.” Written ELO wizard with Jeff Lynne, the song has a heady vibe that’s elevated thanks to a tasteful slide guitar solo tacked into the middle. The lyrics are far more esoteric and ethereal than a normal Petty number. It’s mostly a series of images: A dirty road, a setting sun and a town lit up. If there is a theme to be found, it’s all about optimism in the face of brutal adversity. “Well some say life will beat you down / Break your heart, steal your crown / So I’ve started out, for God knows where / I guess I’ll know when I get there.”

9. “Runnin’ Down A Dream”

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“Runnin’ Down A Dream” is one of Mike Campbell’s finest hours. From the explosive descending riff that kicks the song off, to the incendiary solo that kicks in around the three-minute mark and rages and roars until slowly fading out into the distance. The dreadlocked-Robin to Petty’s platinum blonde Batman is egregiously overlooked when the conversation kicks up around who reigns King amongst the greatest living guitar players on the planet. “Runnin’ Down A Dream” is about as effective a case as anyone could make for his candidacy.

8. “Lost Without You”

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It’s a true testament to Petty’s gifts as a songwriter that one of the best pieces of music he ever created was never formally committed to tape, or, if it was, has yet to be offered on a studio release. The only way you could’ve heard “Lost Without You” before the singer dropped his Live Anthology set back in 2009 was if you picked up a bootleg recording of one of his shows with the Heartbreakers back around ’93. It’s a damn shame too, because its one of the most pain-racked, explosive songs he ever wrote. The object of his affection is leaving, and no matter how much he begs, pleads, and promises — “One of these days, I’m gonna get my sh*t together / stop screwing up” — he can’t convince her to come back.

7. “It’s Good To Be King”

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People who love Petty’s 1994 “solo” album Wildflowers really love Wildflowers. To those acolytes, the Rick Rubin-produced project is hands-down, without question, the best thing he’s ever done. With its pastoral sound, and backward-looking pose, it touched something in those who craved to return to the simpler, more carefree years of their youth. While Wildflowers is stuffed with some incredible music — “You Wreck Me,” “You Don’t Know How It Feels” and the title track for instance — for my money, the best song on the record is the sprawling, melancholic “It’s Good To Be King.” Mike Campbell’s guitar solo on this track ranks amongst the finest ever committed to tape and during Petty’s live shows, the song became a dazzling centerpiece of his act.

6. “Free Fallin’”

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There is hardly a more joyous feeling in the world than belting out the chorus to “Free Fallin’” amongst a crowd of hundreds or thousands of people. The song itself is a rather mundane tale of two kids, a good girl and a bad boy, falling in love with one another in sunny Southern California. It started out, apparently, as a joke during a jam session with Jeff Lynne. The two were playing around one another when Lynne just happened to throw out the title phrase. Petty picked up on it and the rest, as they say, is history. “It was so light, so removed from struggle,” Petty told biographer Warren Zanes. “I hadn’t felt that in some time. It was like I hadn’t taken a deep breath in I don’t know how long. But I think you can hear me taking one in there.”

5. “Refugee”

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“Refugee” might take the prize for the best opening to a Tom Petty song, which is a helluva feather in its cap. The springy guitars, the whirling organs, the snapping snares, and then that long, string of words that takes you a moment to really full get a grasp on. “We got somethin’, we both know it, we don’t talk too much about it / Ain’t no real big secret, all the same, somehow we get around it.” Wait, hold on, what? Oh, chemistry! They’ve got chemistry. Proceed Tom. Hit us with that monster chorus that begs to be screamed at the tops of our voices. “Don’t have to live like a refugee!”

4. “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”

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“Mary Jane’s Last Dance” might be the only time in the history of popular music history when an artists added a new song to a collection of their greatest hits, and it actually qualified on the merits. Throughout the ’90s when many legacy acts began re-packaging their singles and musical success on compilation discs, the record labels typically asked the bigger names for new offerings to help goose the marketing campaign. These songs typically sucked. For his own 1993 collection, Petty gave them this Wildflowers castoff which totally ruled. There’s so much ear candy here it’s almost impossible to highlight it all. The harmonica, the gritty guitar lines, the vocal harmonies. “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” also has the added bit of intrigue about being about weed. Or it doesn’t. According to Mike Campbell, “A lot of people think it’s a drug reference, and if that’s what you want to think, it very well could be, but it could also just be a goodbye love song.”

3. “Breakdown”

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The one that started it all. The first single from Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers’ first album and the first to enter the Top-40. “Breakdown” came together pretty quickly. Petty whipped it up in the studio on a piano and the rest of the band joined in behind. Mike Campbell added that distinctive guitar riff, playing in only at the end at first, but then threading it through the rest of the track, giving it that steady simmering vibe that makes it so compelling. The supreme confidence that Petty portrays in this song is stunning. In it, he’s practically daring his girlfriend to walk out on him, or to open up and “breakdown,” because after all, “It’s alright if you love me / It’s alright if you don’t / I’m not afraid of you runnin’ away honey / I get the feeling you won’t.”

2. “American Girl”

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Mike Campbell has claimed that Petty and the rest of the Heartbreakers recorded “American Girl” on the 4th of July. It’s a story that sounds almost too good to be true, but I really would like to believe. As one of the biggest, most beloved and widely recognized songs of Petty’s career, the one he’d regularly use to close down his incredible live shows each and every night, “American Girl” signified a shift in how he approached songwriting. “It was the start of writing about people who are longing for something else in life, something better than they have,” he explained. “The words just came tumbling out very quickly.” The musical DNA is derived equally from the Byrds and Bo Diddley, practically American institutions. The verses relay a story as old as America itself, hope for a greater future somewhere out…there. “After all it was a great big world / With lots of places to run to.”

1. “I Won’t Back Down”

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An epic anthem of defiance. A statement to the world and everyone in it that “you can stand me up at the gates of hell / But I, won’t back down!” No matter what obstacles you might be facing in your life, throw this song into the rotation, and you’ll feel like you can drive your head through a two-foot-thick concrete wall. “I Won’t Back Down” is the second track on Petty’s best album Full Moon Fever, and the one that carries the greatest impact. From the chugging rhythms, the warbly slide guitar solo, the effervescent backing harmonies, the way Petty sings “Heyyyyyyyyy baby / There ain’t no easy way out!” it all combines together to create this towering monolith of hope and joy.

As it turns out, “I Won’t Back Down” got a major assist from “the quiet one” in the Beatles, George Harrison, who added his own special musicianship, and the exact pharmacological concoction that Petty needed to complete the track. “I had a terrible cold that day,” Petty recalled. “George went to the store and bought a ginger root, boiled it and had me stick my head in the pot to get the ginger steam to open up my sinuses, and then I ran in and did the take.”

A New Michael Jackson Album Is Releasing This Month

It’s been three years since Michael Jackson’s posthumous Xscape LP arrived, but fans can look forward to a new album from the late king of pop dropping this month. Coming courtesy of the Michael Jackson estate and Epic/Sony Records, Scream is being touted as the “perfect collection of 13 all-time electrifying dance classics and fan favorites.”

So while the compilation boasts a number of Jackson’s greatest tunes, Scream also welcomes a never-before-heard track titled “Blood On The Dance Floor x Dangerous (The White Panda Mash-Up).” The delivery acts as a “five-song mash-up,” Michael’s newest material following the aforementioned Xscape.

You can go ahead and stream “Blood On The Dance Floor x Dangerous (The White Panda Mash-Up)” above, and be on the lookout for more surrounding Michael Jackson’s Scream, which is due out September 29.

Here Are All the Winners of the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards

The 2017 MTV Video Music Awards are live right now at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Kicking off last night’s festivities is Kendrick Lamar and his very lit performance of “DNA.” and “HUMBLE..” Lamar also leads the pack as the most nominated artist with eight nods, while The Weekend and Katy Perry take second with five each. Check out the list of winners below.

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) WINNER
Bruno Mars – “24K Magic” (Atlantic Records)
Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful” (Def Jam)
DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts” (Epic Records/We The Best)
The Weeknd – “Reminder” (XO/Republic Records)

Bruno Mars (Atlantic Records)
Kendrick Lamar (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope)
Ed Sheeran (Atlantic Records) WINNER
Ariana Grande (Republic Records)
The Weeknd (XO/Republic Records)
Lorde (Republic Records)

BEST NEW ARTIST (Presented by Taco Bell®)
Khalid (RCA Records) WINNER
Kodak Black (Atlantic Records)
SZA (TDE/RCA Records)
Young M.A (3D)
Julia Michaels (Republic Records)
Noah Cyrus (Records)

Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez – “We Don’t Talk Anymore” (Atlantic Records)
DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts” (Epic Records/We The Best)
D.R.A.M. ft. Lil Yachty – “Broccoli” (Atlantic Records)
The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey – “Closer” (Disruptor Records/Columbia Records)
Calvin Harris ft. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean – “Feels” (Columbia Records)
Zayn & Taylor Swift – “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)” (Republic Records) WINNER

Shawn Mendes – “Treat You Better” (Island Records)
Ed Sheeran – “Shape of You” (Asylum/Atlantic Records)
Harry Styles – “Sign Of The Times” (Columbia Records)
Fifth Harmony ft. Gucci Mane – “Down” (Syco Music/Epic Records) WINNER
Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm” (Capitol Records)
Miley Cyrus – “Malibu” (RCA Records)

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) WINNER
Big Sean – “Bounce Back” (Def Jam)
Chance the Rapper – “Same Drugs” (Chance the Rapper LLC)
D.R.A.M. ft. Lil Yachty – “Broccoli” (Atlantic Records)
Migos ft. Lil Uzi Vert – “Bad & Boujee” (300 Entertainment)
DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne – “I’m The One” (Epic Records/We The Best)

Zedd and Alessia Cara – “Stay” (Interscope) WINNER
Kygo x Selena Gomez – “It Ain’t Me” (Ultra/Interscope)
Calvin Harris – “My Way” (Columbia Records)
Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber and MØ – “Cold Water” (Mad Decent)
Afrojack ft. Ty Dolla $ign – “Gone” (Wall Recordings/Latium/RCA Records)

Coldplay – “A Head Full of Dreams” (Parlophone/Atlantic Records)
Fall Out Boy – “Young And Menace” (Island)
Twenty One Pilots – “Heavydirtysoul” (Fueled by Ramen/Atlantic Records) WINNER
Green Day – “Bang Bang” (Warner Bros. Records)
Foo Fighters – “Run” (RCA Records)

Logic ft. Damian Lemar Hudson – “Black SpiderMan” (Def Jam)
The Hamilton Mixtape – “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)” (Atlantic Records)
Big Sean – “Light” (Def Jam)
Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful” (Def Jam)
Taboo ft. Shailene Woodley – “Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL”
John Legend – “Surefire” (Columbia Records)

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) (Scott Cunningham) WINNER
Imagine Dragons – “Thunder” (KIDinaKORNER/Interscope) (Matthew Wise)
Ed Sheeran – “Castle On The Hill” (Asylum/Atlantic Records) (Steve Annis)
DJ Shadow ft. Run The Jewels – “Nobody Speak” (Mass Appeal Records LLC) (David Proctor)
Halsey – “Now or Never” (Astralwerks/Capitol) (Kristof Brandl)

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) (Dave Meyers & the little homies) WINNER
Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm” (Capitol Records) (Mathew Cullen)
Bruno Mars – “24K Magic” (Atlantic Records) (Cameron Duddy & Bruno Mars)
Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful” (Def Jam) (Aaron A)
The Weeknd – “Reminder” (XO/Republic Records) (Glenn Michael)

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) (Spencer Graves) WINNER
Bruno Mars – “24K Magic” (Atlantic Records) (Alex Delgado)
Katy Perry ft. Migos – “Bon Appetit” (Capitol Records) (Natalie Groce)
DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts” (Epic Records/We The Best) (Damian Fyffe)
The Weeknd – “Reminder” (XO/Republic Records) (Creative Director: Lamar C Taylor / Co-creative Director: Christo Anesti)

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) (Company: Timber/Lead: Jonah Hall) WINNER
A Tribe Called Quest – “Dis Generation” (Epic Records) (Company: Bemo/Lead: Brandon Hirzel)
KYLE ft. Lil Yachty – “iSpy” (Atlantic Records) (Company: Gloria FX/Leads: Max Colt & Tomash Kuzmytskyi)
Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm” (Capitol Records) (Company: MIRADA)
Harry Styles – “Sign Of The Times” (Columbia Records) (Company: ONE MORE/Lead: Cédric Nivoliez)

Kanye West – “Fade” (Def Jam) (Teyana Taylor, Guapo, Jae Blaze & Derek ‘Bentley’ Watkins) WINNER
Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj – “Side To Side” (Republic Records) (Brian & Scott Nicholson)
Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) (Dave Meyers)
Sia – “The Greatest” (Monkey Puzzle Records/RCA Records) (Ryan Heffington)
Fifth Harmony ft. Gucci Mane – “Down” (Syco Music/Epic Records) (Sean Bankhead)

Future – “Mask Off” (Epic Records/Freebandz/A1) (Vinnie Hobbs of VHPost)
Young Thug – “Wyclef Jean” (300 Entertainment/Atlantic Records) (Ryan Staake & Eric Degliomini) WINNER
Lorde – “Green Light” (Republic Records) (Nate Gross of Exile Edit)
The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey – “Closer” (Disruptor Records/Columbia Records) (Jennifer Kennedy)
The Weeknd – “Reminder” (XO/Republic Records) (Red Barbaza)

Ed Sheeran — “Shape of You”
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee — “Despacito Remix” ft. Justin Bieber
Lil Uzi Vert — “XO Tour Llif3″ WINNER
Shawn Mendes — “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back”
Fifth Harmony — “Down” ft. Gucci Mane
Camila Cabello — “OMG” ft. Quavo
DJ Khaled — “Wild Thoughts” ft. Rihanna + Bryson Tiller
Demi Lovato — “Sorry Not Sorry”

Fans Share Their Most Touching Moments With Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

Yesterday, Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington died by committing suicide at a Los Angeles residence. Shortly after the news came in, fans began sharing personal anecdotes of how his music got them through tough times, as well as sharing stories and photos of meeting the rock legend in person.

From the life-making moment of Bennington singing you “Happy Birthday,” to keeping your post-concert keepsakes on display 15 years later, it’s clear that the singer was an important figure in many fans’ lives.

13 year old me loved Linkin Park with a passion. Chester Bennington and Linkin Park was the first actual band/artist I listened to when I turned around 11, and the angst-filled lyrics fueled my formative years haha. Their music is what has formed the rest of my music taste today. I listened to them for a good while too, well past the middle-school phase and halfway into high school.

It sucks looking back on those lyrics, as I have done all of today while drowning myself in his music. 7 years later and the lyrics mean something else, now that this has happened.

RIP Chester. I’m glad you got to share a moment of his life with him OP

I hope he knew how much he meant to a lot of people who were (or are) struggling with rough times and uses LP’s music to help cope. Thirteen-year-old me hates you, btw.

My headphones were glued to my ears back then. Hybrid Theory was my jam, and I’ve discovered tonight that I still know an astounding amount of lyrics.

I’m genuinely glad he isn’t suffering anymore. But the best had been if he hadn’t suffered at all. He held my hand through some really, really shitty years, and I got through it. I wish he could have gotten through his.

Their live shows – even before the album was released – were pretty much album-quality. There are some videos from that time period and you can tell that even with a shitty camera mic and the effect the venue has on the shape of the sound in recording that everything is coming through clearly. They all listened to each other during performances and constantly adjusted levels on the fly – their “DJ” (he’s really a live producer, and he’s goddamned brilliant) Joe Hahn – he didn’t just push buttons and scratch records. He was handling inputs and levels before they went out to the house. That’s about half-speculation, but I’m pretty confident in it. I was privileged to see them as the bottom-of-the-bill act in a little venue called Ziggy’s in Winston Salem NC in September of 2000. It was them (only about two dozen or so people in the place for their set), then ReHab (before they released their popular album), then Twiztid, then Kottonmouth Kings.

NOBODY was there to see Linkin Park because nobody had any clue who the hell they were.

Five minutes into their set and everyone in the place was just standing still, staring. It was pretty surreal. I’ve never heard live sound like that before or since, and I’ve seen some setups that probably leveraged millions of dollars worth of equipment to try and distribute good sound out to the audience. I’ve never heard it “click” like it did at Ziggy’s that night. Every sample could be heard, the voices were at correct levels even though Chester was screaming at the top of his lungs three feet away from Mike who was using a voice pitched barely above speaking volume. You could tell that performing live was just how they did things. The record sounded like the show. Never heard anything else like it.

Mike and Chester were at the merch table after the set, and while I only spoke to Mike in passing I spent a good ten minutes telling Chester that within a year they were going to sell a million records and sell out coliseums. He acted like there wasn’t a chance in hell. He gave the impression that he was sure he was going to be screaming into the void like that for years to come.

…and they left it all on the stage too. Completely burned that fucker down, upstaged the three acts that they were “supporting” all to hell. The only other thing I remember from that night is that ReHab brought along strippers to dance on stage while they did their thing. If you were to tell me that actually Twiztid and KMK cancelled their sets at the last minute, I’d hesitate to argue the point. I sure don’t remember it.

But I remember that LP show better than almost any other show I’ve seen, and I have seen some crazy fucking shows. I saw a guy get thrown through a wall during a house show. I was running sound for MDC at a show that didn’t have a stage, and the pit started to crush in on the band…shit got aggressive pretty fast. I remember little clips like that, from big stand-out moments, most of them within the last ten years.

The LP show was seventeen years ago – I was dropping out of college for the first time when this picture was taken – and I remember so much. I’ve written a lot about it in the last 24 hours, look through my post history if you want…there’s probably a couple of thousand words just reflecting on how that show impacted me.

Such amazing talent. Such incredible drive, and consistency. He could scream on pitch for like 30 seconds and then hit a clear note after a pause of only a sixteenth to an eighth. People talk shit about his lyrical content, whatever. The fact is that in any time period, given any singing job, he’d have risen to the top. He had the range, the sustain, the drive and the will. Raw talent and hunger. But he was also affable, chill, funny, and kind.

…and I wish he weren’t gone.

My wife read to me the news about Chester, and I was like “You know that song that you love, ‘When life leaves you blind? That’s him.” She then got a lot more sad.

Chester singing Rolling in the Deep by Adele was one of those moments I realised he wasn’t just all about the screaming.

As one of the comments pointed out Chester starts of in the wrong key and Mike smiles and corrects him on the piano, a cute moment.

Hip-Hop / R&B Is Officially More Popular Than Rock Music in the U.S.

While it may not come as a surprise to some, it’s official – hip-hop and R&B is more popular than rock music in the U.S. for the first time in history.

According to a semi-annual report published by Nielsen Music, R&B and hip-hop make up 25.1% of all music consumption in the U.S., while rock claims 23%. For the first time since Nielsen started keeping tabs on American music consumption, hip-hop and R&B have overtaken rock.

Rock still leads when it comes to album sales, claiming 40% of all album sales in the country, but as we all know, physical record sales are decreasing as more and more people consume their music via streaming.

Hip-hop and R&B account for just over 29% of all on-demand streams across the U.S., which is the only field that’s growing noticeably. The genres are almost as popular on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music than rock and pop combined.

One of Nielsen Music’s other findings was that Americans are obsessed with Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. album that was released earlier this year – it was named the most popular album in the U.S. for the first part of 2017.

Foo Fighters Announce New Album Concrete and Gold

Rock staples Foo Fighters have announced their ninth studio album, Concrete and Gold, which is due to release on Sept. 15 via Roswell Records and RCA Records.

The band teamed up with producer Greg Kurstin for the new album, who is known for his work with pop artists such as Adele and Sia. Darrel Thorp will mix the record, who has previously worked on Beck and Radiohead records. Concrete and Gold will feature the single “Run,” which the band released earlier this month.

Frontman Dave Grohl said the band wanted to make “the biggest sounding Foo Fighters record ever … a gigantic rock record” that sounds like “Motorhead’s version of Sgt. Pepper … or something like that.” Grohl added that he wants to merge the classic Foo Fighters sound with “Greg’s big brain and all of his sophisticated arrangements and composition.”

Concrete and Gold is available for preorder now. Take a look at the album artwork and tracklist below. Fans can purchase tickets for these shows starting on June 29 at 10 a.m. local time.

Concrete and Gold Tracklist:
01. T-Shirt
02. Run
03. Make It Right
04. The Sky Is A Neighborhood
05. La Dee Da
06. Dirty Water
07. Arrows
08. Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)
09. Sunday Rain
10. The Line
11. Concrete and Gold

Here’s the Full List of Exclusive Record Store Day 2017 Releases

The full list of exclusive releases for this year’s Record Store Day has been unveiled, and it’s pretty extensive.

Record Store Day, a day dedicated to supporting local independent record stores, will take place this year on April 22—about a week from now. A ton of bands and labels release RSD exclusives, and this year there’s something for everyone. Major releases include rare David Bowie LP sets, an unreleased Smiths demo, 12” Prince singles, an Andre 3000 Beatles’ cover and rare singles from both Madonna and Patti Smith. There will also be a new live EP from Animal Collective that they recorded in a Brazilian rainforest, plus live albums from Bruce Springsteen, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and The Grateful Dead. You can also look forward to RSD exclusives from Fleetwood Mac, AIR, Against Me!, Alice in Chains, Danny Brown, Johnny Cash, Cheap Trick, Miley Cyrus, The Lumineers, Sia, Spoon and even a fantastic tote bag from Run the Jewels. Oh, and the Space Jam soundtrack is getting reissued on vinyl.

We know it’s a lot. You may want to spend the afternoon looking through the full list here.

The US Music Industry Had Its Biggest Year Thanks to Music Streaming Services

In a recent sales and revenue report, the Recording Industry Association of America estimated that the American music industry experienced its biggest gain since 1998 last year. The report notes that retail revenues from recorded music in the United States grew 11.4% in 2016, reaching $7.7 billion thanks to an increase music streaming. In 2016, paid music streaming services saw a doubling of subscriptions with the emergence of different platforms and better services. But with the increase sales of physical products and digital downloads continue to fall significantly. With the report noting although the increased revenue, what is being earned now is merely half of what it was in 1999.

Ticketmaster Hopes New ‘Verified Fan’ Program Will Weed Out Ticket Bots

While there is now a federal law on the books banning ticket-buying bots in an attempt to give real, live humans a better chance at scoring admission to popular events, these automated scalpers are squirrelly little suckers. In an effort combat this problem, Ticketmaster is launching a new program that will use ticket buyers’ profiles to help verify they’re actually humans.

Ticketmaster is rolling out the “Verified Fan” program now after testing it on smaller tours recently, and says it’s working well so far: so far: A Ticketmaster exec tells Recode that only 1% of tickets sold through this program have ended up on the secondary market.

The Verified program has so far focused only on concert pre-sales, since bots tend to swoop in to try to snatch up tickets as early as possible.

The software asks users for information like a phone number, email, and social media accounts so it can determine the humanness of the customer. Once you’re a verified human, Ticketmaster lets you know.

“Bots are about speed, and if you make distribution about speed, you’re fighting a very hard battle,” Marcus told Recode. “If you make it about identity, it’s much different.”

Depending on how well Verified Fan cuts down on ticket bots, Ticketmaster may use the program outside pre-sales.

U2 Releasing 30th Anniversary Edition of The Joshua Tree

This year marks the 30th anniversary of U2’s incredibly influential album, The Joshua Tree. Some might argue that Joshua Tree is the U2 album, a sort of alpha and omega. First they announced The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, wherein U2 will play the album in it’s entirety, and then expanded that tour, which was all incredibly exciting news, as it was. But if that wasn’t enough, U2 has announced the reissue of their seminal album in a massive, sprawling packaging.

This new reissue will feature demos, studio outtakes, B-sides and the recording of a Madison Square Garden concert from 1987. It will also feature new remixes of six of the original songs from producers like St Francis Hotel, Jacknife Lee, Daniel Lanois, Steve Lillywhite, Brian Eno and Flood. The packaging varies in a few different formats: a super-deluxe box set (vinyl, digital and CD), a two-disk deluxe set (CD and digital), and standard editions in digital, CD and vinyl. The physical copies of the super-deluxe box sets will include exclusive, unseen personal photography from The Edge, taken during their 1986 photo shoot in the Mojave Desert.

The Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary Edition releases on June 2. The vinyl super-deluxe box set is incredibly expensive, but super worth it, we imagine.

The Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary Edition

The Joshua Tree
01. Where the Streets Have No Name
02. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
03. With Or Without You
04. Bullet the Blue Sky
05. Running to Stand Still
06. Red Hill Mining Town
07. In God’s Country
08. Trip Through Your Wires
09. One Tree Hill
10. Exit
11. Mothers of the Disappeared

The Joshua Tree Live at Madison Square Garden 1987
01. Where the Streets Have No Name
02. I Will Follow
03. Trip Through Your Wires
04. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
05. MLK
06. Bullet the Blue Sky
07. Running to Stand Still
08. In God’s Country
09. Sunday Bloody Sunday
10. Exit
11. October
12. New Year’s Day
13. Pride (In the Name of Love)
14. With Or Without You
15. Party Girl
16. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
17. “40”

“One Tree Hill” 2017 Remix (St Francis Hotel)
“Bullet the Blue Sky” 2017 Remix (Jacknife Lee)
“Running To Stand Still” 2017 Remix (Daniel Lanois)
“Red Hill Mining Town” 2017 Mix (Steve Lillywhite)
“With or Without You” 2017 Remix (Daniel Lanois)
“Where The Streets Have No Name” 2017 Remix (Flood)

“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (Lillywhite Alternative Mix ’87)
“One Tree Hill Reprise” (Brian Eno 2017 Mix)
“Silver and Gold (Sun City)”
“Beautiful Ghost/Introduction to Songs of Experience”
“Wave Of Sorrow (Birdland)”
“Desert of Our Love”
“Rise Up”
“Drunk Chicken/America”

“Luminous Times (Hold on to Love)”
“Walk to the Water”
“Spanish Eyes”
“Deep in the Heart”
“Silver and Gold”
“Sweetest Thing”
“Race Against Time”