Breakdance Album Cover

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Breakdance Album Cover
Single by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
from the album Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  • 'The Wild One, Forever' (US, 1976)
  • 'Fooled Again (I Don't Like It)' (US, 1977)
  • 'Luna' (Germany)
  • 'Strangered in the Night' (Spain)
ReleasedNovember 1976
StudioShelter Studios (Hollywood)
Songwriter(s)Tom Petty
Producer(s)Denny Cordell
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers singles chronology
'Anything That's Rock 'n' Roll'

'Breakdown' is the first single from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' self-titled debut album. It became a Top 40 hit in the United States and Canada.[3]

Played live, Petty sometimes incorporated 'Breakdown' with Ray Charles's 'Hit the Road Jack'. A live recording of this variation appears on The Live Anthology.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers original[edit]

Track listings[edit]

  • 7' Single (US, 1976)
Breakdance Album Cover
A. 'Breakdown' – 2:39 = background vocals were sung by fellow Shelter Records artist Phil Seymour who also sang on American Girl.
B. 'The Wild One, Forever' – 3:01
  • 7' Single (US, 1977)
A. 'Breakdown' – 2:39
B. 'Fooled Again (I Don't Like It)' – 3:54
  • 7' Single (Germany, 1977)
A. 'Breakdown' – 2:42
B. 'Luna' – 3:59
  • 7' Single (Spain, 1978)
A. 'Breakdown' – 2:42
B. 'Strangered in the Night' – 3:32

Chart performance[edit]

Electric Breakdance Album

Chart (1977-78)Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[4]40
US Cash Box Top 100[5]33
Canada RPM Top Singles[6]40
Electric breakdance album

Album appearances[edit]

  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1976)
  • FM (1978)
  • Pack Up the Plantation: Live! (1985)
  • Greatest Hits (1993)
  • Playback (1995)
  • Anthology: Through the Years (2000)
  • Mojo Tour 2010 (2010)

Breakdance Album Cover Art

Grace Jones version[edit]

Single by Grace Jones
from the album Warm Leatherette
B-side'Warm Leatherette'
ReleasedOctober 1980
Length5:30(album and 12' version)
3:00 (single edit)
Songwriter(s)Tom Petty
Producer(s)Chris Blackwell, Alex Sadkin
Grace Jones singles chronology
'The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game'
'Demolition Man'

Jamaican singer Grace Jones recorded a reggae re-imagining of the song on her 1980 album Warm Leatherette. Petty wrote a third verse of the song specifically for Jones to record; 'It's OK if you must go / I'll understand if you don't / You say goodbye right now / I'll still survive somehow / Why should we let this drag on?'[7] The song was edited from its full, 5:30 album version to a 3-minute-long track on single release. It was released as a US-only single in July 1980 but didn't chart.

Track listing[edit]

80's Breakdance Album

  • 7' single
A. 'Breakdown' – 3:00
B. 'Warm Leatherette' – 4:24
  • 12' single
A. 'Breakdown' – 5:30
B1. 'Breakdown' (edit) – 3:10
B2. 'Warm Leatherette' – 4:24
  • 7' promotional single
A. 'Breakdown' (stereo edit) – 3:00
B. 'Breakdown' (mono edit) – 3:00

Other cover versions[edit]

  • 'Breakdown' was covered by Suzi Quatro on her album If You Knew Suzi.. (1978).
  • The Replacements on their 1985 live album The Shit Hits the Fans.
  • A live acoustic version of 'Breakdown' appeared on Missy Higgins' 2009 More Than ThisEP featuring Brett Dennen.[8]
  • Flaw performed a live cover of 'Breakdown' while touring 2010.[9]
  • The song was performed live by Foo Fighters while on their 2011 Wasting Light World Tour.
  • Christina Perri performed this song on her 2011-2012 Lovestrong Tour.
  • Austin Allsup covered this song on The Voice Season 11.
  • Gary Allan regularly sings this in concert.
  • In 2017 Lydia Lunch & Cypress Grove covered the song on their album Under The Covers.[10]


  1. ^ abIra A. Robbins (January 1983). The Trouser Press guide to new wave records. C. Scribner's Sons. p. 227. ISBN978-0-684-17943-8.
  2. ^Greenwald, Matthew. 'Breakdown - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Song Info'. AllMusic.
  3. ^Joel Whitburn, Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles: 1955-2010, Record Research, 2011.
  4. ^'Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (Billboard Singles)'. AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-01-17.
  5. ^Cash Box Top 100 Singles, February 11, 1978[permanent dead link]
  6. ^'Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada (Top Singles - Volume 28, No. 24, March 11, 1978)'. Retrieved 2012-01-17.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^Joey Michaels. '3349. 'Breakdown' by Grace Jones'. Archived from the original on 2013-10-12. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  8. ^'MISSY'S NEW EP 'MORE THAN THIS' by Missy Higgins on Myspace'. Retrieved 2012-01-17.
  9. ^'FLAW @ TREES DALLAS 5/20/10'. YouTube. 2010-06-07. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  10. ^'Under The Covers CD Rustblade – Label and Distribution'. Rustblade. Retrieved 2017-06-23.

External links[edit]

  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
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