"Can't try any harder than you tried for me"
You’re Gonna Get It! finds Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers in a darker, slightly more sinister mood than their debut. Production wise, it remains in the same ballpark, and the songwriting is of a similar level, but it’s just a little more narky and unsettled. It’s actually a really smart approach to differentiating between the first and second album, without feeling the need to make a quantum leap forward in sound and songwriting. Hey let’s just shift the mood of a few of the songs, and you’ve got a completely different album!
With this in mind, it’s perhaps not surprising that only a couple of songs on You’re Gonna Get It! that sound like they’d fit utterly seemlessly on their debut, and it’s no accident that these were chosen as singles. Confirm to the established fans it’s business as usual on the singles, but subtly alter the formula on the album itself. It’s an approach that works, and you’ve really got to ask yourself why more acts don’t follow the same process when it comes to their ‘difficult second album’.
Released between their well received debut and the band’s mega-selling definitive album, You’re Gonna Get It! can be unfairly overlooked when considering the output of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but it’s a fine rock and roll album, and the only reason it’s not talked about more, is the lofty standards of the band’s overall output. This results in You’re Gonna Get It! becoming something of a hidden gem by the band, and one of those albums that you only realise how good it is while you’re actually listening to it. I mean that twin guitar intro on “Too Much Ain’t Enough” is worth the price of the album on its own, but because it’s not on Damn the Torpedoes, far too many people forget about it. That is until the next time they hear it.
In retrospect You’re Gonna Get It! does find Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers operating on a similar level to their much admired debut, and still strapped to a rocket, ascending towards the brilliance of Damn the Torpedoes. It’s a solid little album that doesn’t outstay it’s welcome, but doesn’t fall victim to creative burn out like so many second albums do.