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Southern Accents is the sixth studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released on March 26, 1985, through MCA Records. The album's lead single, "Don't Come Around Here No More", co-written by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Its music video featured Alice in Wonderland imagery. The song "Southern Accents" was later covered by Johnny Cash for his Unchained album in 1996.

Southern Accents
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 26, 1985 (1985-03-26)
StudioGone Gator One; Sound City; Village Recorder; Sunset Sound, LA and Church Studio, London
GenreHeartland rock, Southern rock
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers chronology
Long After Dark
Southern Accents
Pack Up the Plantation: Live!
Singles from Southern Accents
  1. "Don't Come Around Here No More"
    Released: February 28, 1985
  2. "Rebels / Southern Accents"
    Released: March 25, 1985
  3. "Make It Better (Forget About Me)"
    Released: June 3, 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Blender3/5 stars[2]
Chicago Tribune2/4 stars[3]
Christgau's Record GuideB–[4]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[5]
The Essential Rock Discography6/10[6]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[9]



Originally conceived as a concept album, the theme of "Southern Accents" became somewhat murky with the inclusion of three songs co-written by Stewart, and several others originally planned for the album left off. Songs cut from the track list include "Trailer," "Big Boss Man," "Crackin' Up" (a Nick Lowe cover), "The Image of Me," "Walkin' From the Fire" and "The Apartment Song." The first four (and a demo version of "The Apartment Song") were later released on Playback, a box set that included familiar songs, outtakes, b-sides and other rarities. A studio version of "The Apartment Song" appeared on Petty's first solo album, Full Moon Fever, released in 1989. "Trailer" was later re-recorded and released in May 2016 by Petty's other band Mudcrutch, on its second studio album, 2.[10] "Walkin' From the Fire" was eventually released on the posthumous box set An American Treasure in 2018. The song "My Life/Your World" from Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) included several of the songs lyrics re written.

While mixing the album's opening track, "Rebels," Petty became frustrated and punched a wall, severely breaking his left hand. Subsequent surgery on his hand left him with several pins, wires and screws holding his hand together.

The album cover features an 1865 painting by Winslow Homer titled The Veteran in a New Field.

A new version of the song "The Best of Everything" with a different arrangement and a previously unreleased verse was released as a single in 2018, before the release of the upcoming eponymous compilation album.

Track listingEdit

All tracks written by Tom Petty, except where noted.

Side one
1."Rebels" 5:21
2."It Ain't Nothin' to Me"Tom Petty, Dave Stewart5:12
3."Don't Come Around Here No More"Petty, Stewart5:07
4."Southern Accents" 4:44
Side two
5."Make It Better (Forget About Me)"Petty, Stewart4:23
6."Spike" 3:33
7."Dogs on the Run"Petty, Mike Campbell3:40
8."Mary's New Car" 3:47
9."The Best of Everything" 4:03
Total length:39:54


Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

  • Tom Petty – lead vocals, guitars, piano, keyboards, percussion, producer
  • Mike Campbell – guitars (lead, slide, resonator, bass on "Rebels"), backing vocals on "It Ain't Nothin' to Me," keyboards, producer
  • Benmont Tench – piano, keyboards, vibraphone
  • Howie Epstein – bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Stan Lynch – drums, percussion, backing vocals on "Rebels"

Additional personnel

  • William Bergman – horn, tenor sax, sound effects, backing vocals
  • John Berry, Jr. – trumpet, horn, sound effects
  • David Bianco – engineer
  • Ron Blair – bass guitar on "The Best of Everything"
  • Dick Braun – trumpet, horn, sound effects, backing vocals
  • Steve Breitborde – photography
  • Sharon Celani – backing vocals
  • Jim Coile – horn, tenor sax, sound effects, backing vocals
  • Malcolm 'Molly' Duncan – saxophone
  • Joel Fein – engineer
  • Dean Garcia – bass guitar
  • Bobbye Hall – percussion
  • Jerry Hey – horn, horn conductor
  • Winslow Homer – artwork, cover painting
  • Garth Hudson – keyboards
  • Jimmy Iovine – producer
  • Clydene Jackson – backing vocals
  • Phil Jones – percussion
  • Martin Jourard – saxophone
  • Dennis Keeley – photography
  • Jim Keltner – percussion
  • Richard Manuel – backing vocals
  • Stephen Marcussen – mastering
  • Marilyn Martin – backing vocals
  • Kurt McGettrick – horn, sound effects, backing vocals
  • Jack Nitzsche – string arrangement on "Southern Accents"
  • Dave Plews – trumpet
  • Robbie Robertson – producer
  • Daniel Rothmuller – clarinet, cello
  • Don Smith – engineer, remixing
  • Greg Smith – horn, saxophone, baritone sax, backing vocals
  • Stephanie Spruill – backing vocals
  • Steele Works – design, cover design
  • Tommy Steele – art direction, design, cover design
  • David A. Stewart – bass guitar, guitar, keyboards, sitar, backing vocals, producer
  • Julia Tillman Waters – backing vocals
  • Maxine Willard Waters – backing vocals
  • Alan "Bugs" Weidel – engineer
  • Shelly Yakus – engineer, remixing


Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1985) Peak
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[11] 25
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 10
UK Albums (OCC)[13] 23
US Billboard 200[14] 7


Single Chart Position
"Don't Come Around Here No More" US Billboard Hot 100 13
US Mainstream Rock Tracks 2
UK Singles Chart 50
"Make It Better (Forget About Me)" US Billboard Hot 100 54
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 12
"Rebels" US Billboard Hot 100 74
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 5


  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ "Tom Petty: Southern Accents". Blender. Archived from the original on June 15, 2008. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  3. ^ Kot, Greg (September 1, 1991). "Through The Years With Tom Petty". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  4. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: tom petty and the heartbreakers".
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin (ed.) (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th edn). London: Omnibus Press. p. 2005. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate. p. 816. ISBN 978-1-84195-827-9.
  7. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 870. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "Southern Accents".
  9. ^ "Tom Petty: Album Guide". Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  10. ^ "2 - Mudcrutch - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic".
  11. ^ " – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Southern Accents". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  12. ^ " – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Southern Accents". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  13. ^ "TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  14. ^ "Tom Petty Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved September 3, 2013.