Tom Petty’s final studio recording

2014 saw the release of Hypnotic Eyes, Tom Petty’s final studio album, a collaboration with The Heartbreakers that turned out to be his final release. Petty spent a significant portion of his final year on Earth working on a friend’s project, even though he wasn’t producing any of his work before his passing.

Petty’s tragic tragedy on October 16, 2017, took his life. The singer-songwriter overindulged in medications to end his agony following a hip injury that left him in excruciating pain, which resulted in an unintentional overdose. His family released a statement saying it, “is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his overuse of medication. We feel confident that this was, as the coroner found, an unfortunate accident.”

Petty attempted to push through the discomfort despite sustaining an injury that ought to have required him to take time off for hip surgery and recuperation. A month before Petty passed away, he produced Chris Hillman of The Byrds’ record and started a long tour with The Heartbreakers.

For many years, Petty and Hillman had been friends, and the endeavor was a labor of love. Hillman knew he had to perform at his best. If not, the frontman of The Heartbreakers would have found a reason to leave the endeavor.

Before Petty’s demise, Hillman discussed the album with Ultimate Classic Rock and said the following: “Tom was on board and I really had to get it together. I just wasn’t thinking that way. But maybe that was a good thing, just approaching it without pressure. I don’t know where that pressure would come from at my age after all of these years. I figured if Tom wasn’t hearing it or it wasn’t what he thought it would be, he probably would have gotten out of it ever so graciously.”

According to Hillman, they went into the recording sessions with a level of composure that they had not had in their younger years. They adhered to the daytime and only recorded for a few hours each day, which Hillman said “worked great,” as opposed to laboriously working through the night on Bidin’ My Time.

At this same point in their careers, they would put more emphasis on enjoying the event than worrying about becoming commercially successful. During the same interview, Hillman expressed gratitude for: “It was just so much fun. Bottom line is that I’m not chasing a career. I’m not getting on the charts, but it was a great time making this record. If it’s the last one I make, that’s fine. I couldn’t ask for a better last hurrah.”

Even though he is still alive, Hillman hasn’t put out a record since working with Petty on their album. Even though the endeavor went mostly unnoticed, the album allowed these two close friends to strengthen their relationship and spend important time together before it was too late. After Petty passed away, Hillman said:

“I loved Tom so much. He was such a blessing in my life. Tom touched everyone with his beautiful music. I am praying for his family, bandmates and friends.”

Listen to Bidin’ My Time below



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