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Into The Great Wide Open: 10 Tom Petty Songs For Your Next Run

We remember Tom Petty with 10 of his best songs.

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Photo courtesy of Steve White Photos /

Paying Tribute To The Late Tom Petty

In the documentary Runnin’ Down a Dream, there’s a passage where Tom Petty and his distributor are at a crossroads about the price of his band’s fourth album Hard Promises. The distributor wanted to charge $9.98 to capitalize on his newfound fame, while Petty and company wanted to charge $8.98 to make the album more affordable for fans.

When neither party would budge, the band suggested they could simply title the album Eight Ninety Eight—as this would make it fairly difficult to charge more. Thereafter, the distributor yielded, and the album went on sale for $8.98. Suffice to say, it’s not a coincidence that one of Petty’s signature songs is “I Won’t Back Down.” With this in mind, we’ve rounded up a few of his finest moments for your upcoming runs (and anywhere else you need a little determination).

The list below touches on several obvious selections—early hits like “American Girl” and later hits like “The Last DJ”–as well as solo cuts like “Free Fallin’.” Elsewhere, you’ll find Glen Campbell covering an overlooked gem, a Johnny Cash song on which the Heartbreakers perform uncredited backing duties and a single from supergroup The Traveling Wilburys—in which Petty played alongside George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.

There’s no shortage of adjectives that could be applied to Tom Petty and his output: timeless, distinctive, versatile and so on. Above the others, what stands out most to me is his tenaciousness—in having a vision and seeing it through. Again, it’s not a coincidence that he’d title a track “Runnin’ Down a Dream.” Put simply, Petty’s music below is mighty, but his example may be even mightier.

Put both to work where you need them.

Here are a few selections with which you can get started:

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Mary Jane’s Last Dance – 85 BPM

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Learning to Fly – 117 BPM

Tom Petty – I Won’t Back Down – 114 BPM

Glen Campbell – Walls – 120 BPM

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – American Girl – 114 BPM

The Traveling Wilburys – Handle with Care – 115 BPM

Tom Petty – Runnin’ Down a Dream – 169 BPM

Johnny Cash – I’ve Been Everywhere – 113 BPM

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – The Last DJ – 132 BPM

Tom Petty – Free Fallin’ – 86 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at Run Hundred. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo and era to find the music that best fits their particular workout routine.


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