17 May 2023 07:00

How Tom Petty punched back at the music biz with “Refugee”

By the time Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers set out to record their third album, Damn The Torpedoes, they were in a legal mess with MCA Records over a contract sale which resulted in Petty losing all of his publishing rights, among other issues. In a drastic strategy to get the label off his back, he filed for bankruptcy and hid the master tapes of the material he, the band, and co-producer Jimmy Iovine were working on every day. That strategy worked, which resulted in a rare triumph for artists in the music business. When Damn The Torpedoes was released, it became their breakthrough, led by “Refugee,” a song Petty crafted the lyrics for in about 10 minutes. Dig in to the incredible story in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


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