BURBANK, CA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Tom Petty has signed an exclusive recording contract with Rick Rubin's American Recordings. The agreement keeps Petty within the Warner Bros. Records family – his last four albums were on the Warner Bros. label, including 1994's multi-platinum, Grammy-winning Rubin-produced "Wildflowers" – and Rubin recently brought his American Recordings label back to Burbank.
"Having Tom on American is a dream come true for me," commented Rubin, "Tom is the consummate craftsman when it comes to recording, and has written great songs consistently for thirty years."
Rubin is excited to be expanding upon the working relationship he has with Petty and the Heartbreakers, who, in various combinations, have worked with the producer on numerous projects. "Tom Petty and the Hearbreakers is the quintessential American rock band," Rubin added, "and being a great rock and roll band has become a lost art."
"We are delighted that Tom has chosen to continue his relationship with
Warner Bros. Records and that he will be working with Rick," said WBR
Chairman & CEO Tom Whalley. "They are both incredibly talented and have created some of the greatest music of our time."
The first release under the new agreement will be "Highway Companion," Petty's third solo and 18th overall career disc. Due out on July 25 and featuring 12 new Petty compositions, "Highway Companion" was produced by Jeff Lynne with Petty and Mike Campbell; Lynne also produced the multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated Petty albums "Full Moon Fever" (1989) and "Into the Great Wide Open" (1991) (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers).
The first radio track is "Saving Grace," which was world-premiered in front of 20-million people on ABC-TV's Dallas vs. Miami NBA Finals on June 8. A special video stream of "Saving Grace" is now available at tompetty.com.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are currently on their 2006 U.S. summer/fall concert tour. This year, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Campbell, Benmont Tench/keyboards, Ron Blair/bass, Scott Thurston/guitars, harmonica, backing vocals, and Steve Ferrone/drums – will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of their self-titled debut album. For this 30th anniversary, Academy Award-winning director/screenwriter Peter Bogdanovich has signed on to direct a comprehensive feature/film documentary about Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.
Over the past 30 years, Petty & the Heartbreakers have sold more than 50-million records, been nominated for 16 Grammy Awards, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, the first year the band was eligible. Late last year, Billboard magazine presented Petty with its 2005 Century Award, the publication's highest honor for creative achievement. He recently kicked off his second season of his critically acclaimed XM Satellite Radio show, "Tom Petty's Buried Treasure." –Bob Grosswiner and Jane Cohen