The Song That Ruined Tom Petty’s ‘Almost Perfect Album’

Imagine going up to your favorite artist to talk about your favorite song and having them go, ‘Well, it could have had better lyrics, or it could have sounded a bit different, but glad you enjoyed it.’ That would come as a shock as it’s the best thing you have heard from them. Still, I guess it’s how it goes when as artists, they have the behind-the-scenes knowledge of how a track comes together and how it could have sounded better if they had just tweaked a bit in it to fit their idea of perfect.

For instance, Tom Petty’s debut solo album ‘Full Moon Fever,’ which received critical acclaim and brought him so many fresh ears who wanted to listen to his music, contained some problems that the singer wished to change. In a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone, Petty shared the one track that ruined his near-perfect debut album, which might shock fans who love the track wholeheartedly.

“It’s funny,” the late musician said before sharing the song he hated. “Sometimes, ten years later, I like something I didn’t like before or vice versa. But I hate Zombie Zoo.’ I do not understand how that got on the record in 1989’s ‘Full Moon Fever,’ when I had better stuff that didn’t get on the record.” Even though many years had passed since the album’s release, Tom still had regrets about including the track in his debut album.

He added, “What frame of mind produced that? I don’t understand. Because normally, I would have thrown that away. God knows we’ve thrown away far better. That was nearly a perfect album until the very end.” Usually, the singer could identify immediately if the track was good enough to make it to his albums. However, on this occasion, even though he had many other songs that were a better fit, he chose to go with ‘Zombie Zoo.’

Music is all about taste, though, isn’t it? Even if something is regarded as bad by most people, there will still be some who love it nonetheless. That’s the beauty and the curse of the industry. Most artists are in the game to gain recognition and be loved by most people with every new release, while others just don’t give the number of streams that much power.

However, there is also the artist’s side where they sometimes put out things that they might not be a hundred percent happy about. Yet, one track that could have been better doesn’t ruin the whole aura of the album that gained critical acclaim, does it? Most people will focus on the greatest parts of a body of work. In this case, Tom Petty’s debut album ‘Full Moon Fever’ was a fantastic go at starting in the industry, and maybe not so good ‘Zombie Zoo’ was a part of that initial try.