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Tom Petty — Runnin' Down A Dream
Album: Full Moon Fever
Avg rating:
7.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3688









Released: 1989
Length: 4:16
Plays (last 30 days): 0
It was a beautiful day, the sun beat down
I had the radio on, I was driving
Trees went by, me and Del were singing
'Little Runaway', I was flyin'

Yeah, runnin' down a dream
It never would come to me
Working on a mystery
Going wherever it leads
Runnin' down a dream

I felt so good, like anything was possible
Hit cruise control and rubbed my eyes
The last three days the rain was unstoppable
It was always cold, no sunshine

Yeah, runnin' down a dream
It never would come to me
Working on a mystery
Going wherever it leads
Runnin' down a dream

I rolled on, the sky grew dark
I put the pedal down to make some time
There's something good waiting down this road
I'm picking up whatever is mine

I'm runnin' down a dream
It never would come to me
Working on a mystery
Going wherever it leads
Runnin' down a dream

Yeah, I'm runnin' down a dream
It never would come to me
Working on a mystery
Going wherever it leads
I'm runnin' down a dream
Comments (264)add comment
One of his best rockers, maybe tops. 
The ending guitar solo is genius and so Metal🤟🏻

Ya, but BillG plays the post 2010 songs, and they are VERY under-rated. Try ‘em. I love Mojo, especially First Flash ofFreedom
 GHoffmeyer wrote:


Agree 1000%.



I love the early stuff, but when the mid 80's hit his music got really lame.  And yeah, it's overplayed everywhere and especially this song.  Bleh.
 S-curvy wrote:

Well RP, I didn't think it would ever happen, but you've done it, you've committed the classic commercial radio sin:  Radio Paradise has over played the snot out of Tom Petty.  This was at least the 2nd TP tune I've heard since midday, and being aware of Bill's penchant for TP, there were probably other cuts too.  As is well known, too much of something...is TOO much.

I now hate Tom Petty. 



Agree 1000%.
Ok - I love that on a TP song we’re riffing on Keef, my hero. So who’s got his autograph? In’Life’? I do!
Too much Tom Petty, almost as much as too much Talking Heads.   Really good bands,  yes.  Great bands overplayed way beyond all others here?  No.
 folkes.tom wrote:


Back in the '70s one of my friends walked past Keith in Manhattan. He told me that Richards looked like the walking dead then. He will out live us all.   



Keith is like the Energizer Bunny! ...he just keeps rollin' on!  
So utterly missed as an artist....  but what he left behind is so fulfilling, exciting, and valuable.
Excellent!
 Proclivities wrote:

It might even be Keith Richards.


Back in the '70s one of my friends walked past Keith in Manhattan. He told me that Richards looked like the walking dead then. He will out live us all.   
One of the best driving songs ever, from a great road-trip soundtrack album! I can never forget driving my cherry old Chevy from Boulder all the way down to Boca Raton, where my brother and his wife were living at the time, the summer of '90, after I'd just got back from two years in Shizuoka, on a long vacation before Grad School at CU... As I watched the sun set near Pensacola, realizing I was still a long ways from South Florida, this song came on. I cranked it all the way up, put the pedal down, and made some time. Thanks, TP & RP!
 unclehud wrote:

You ain't kidding.  Probably cost me $200 in speeding tickets.


So glad to hear that $200 gets you multiple tickets where you are from. Around here that's one economy ticket. 
the man's on fire with that guitar
Love me some Tom Petty!
 dandueck07 wrote:
Congrats dude from a happily married couple celebrating 40 years today.. And we finally saw Tom in 2014. My wife's a fan.
 

Just one of those hard rocking songs that should get played while driving, fast, with the widows down and going nowhere in particular. 
Damn blow them speakers out
Rock on Tom
just foot tapping great, simple pleasure.
Any song that makes my butt muscles sore from chair-dancing rates at least a "9" in my small (and getting smaller) world.  The fact that it got lots of airplay on the stations I once listened to BRP (Before Radio Paradise) has never lessened its impact on me.

And I'm okay with the listeners who don't feel the same way - my wife doesn't love Tom Petty the way I do, and we're still happily married after 39 years 
Not Tom's best song. I love him anyway.
Absolutely love the video of this song. And the song. Miss TP.
 benobro wrote:
K-DST !
 
Right on!  Joe Cocker is up next.
 uksminas wrote:
 
SEQUEL COMING SOON!
Aah Tom how can you be gone? It's too hard. Have loved you and the music for 40 years and it can't get plucked from your heart so easily.
Love this track and wish I had got to see you more.
I miss our good times we had, sometimes just you, me and the bedroom door to dance with, as I turned the music WAY UP LOUD. It's ok, I had cordless headphones.
I guess I miss part of my youth, the part he took with him.

RIP Guy, you earned it.
There's a new country song that's a nice tribute to the man. 'You, Me, and Tom Petty'. Google gets confused and can't find the artist, but it's nice. I think he'd like it.
c.
There are "commercial songs" that are so-named because they get played the hell out of them on commercial radio.

Then there are "commercial songs" that get played the hell out of them because...well, because they are just so damn good. This is one of those tunes. And RP knows that.
Every time this starts I want to steal a car and go rally it around San Andreas running down Ballas.
Attention CD listeners...
One of his best songs
 ExploitingChaos wrote:


Friendship with Tom Petty has ended!!!
 

RP played him twice since midday? Way to go RP!
K-DST !
What a loss to music.  RIP Tom Petty.
the consummate rock song from the consummate rock star 
An acquaintance of mine did the cel animation in this video.  Great video.
Plenty of Road Trips from Santa Fe, NM to San Fernando Valley 1983-2016, Tom Petty ALWAYS kept me company the entire journey....woooooosh
 S-curvy wrote:
Well RP, I didn't think it would ever happen, but you've done it, you've committed the classic commercial radio sin:  Radio Paradise has over played the snot out of Tom Petty.  This was at least the 2nd TP tune I've heard since midday, and being aware of Bill's penchant for TP, there were probably other cuts too.  As is well known, too much of something...is TOO much.

I now hate Tom Petty. 
 

Friendship with Tom Petty has ended!!!
I don't listen to Tom Petty much since he died. I can't explain why. 
 S-curvy wrote:
Well RP, I didn't think it would ever happen, but you've done it, you've committed the classic commercial radio sin:  Radio Paradise has over played the snot out of Tom Petty.  This was at least the 2nd TP tune I've heard since midday, and being aware of Bill's penchant for TP, there were probably other cuts too.  As is well known, too much of something...is TOO much.

I now hate Tom Petty. 

 
Just because you heard it on the radio doesn't mean it's bad music.  I, for one, miss Tom Petty.  Would I like to hear a few more deeper cuts?  Yes, but this is still a great song.
I always though the lyric was "runnin down the drink", which I have done on occasion.  Then I assumed it was "running down the drain".
 S-curvy wrote:
Well RP, I didn't think it would ever happen, but you've done it, you've committed the classic commercial radio sin:  Radio Paradise has over played the snot out of Tom Petty.  This was at least the 2nd TP tune I've heard since midday, and being aware of Bill's penchant for TP, there were probably other cuts too.  As is well known, too much of something...is TOO much.

I now hate Tom Petty. 
 
You hate Tom Petty because you heard him twice in one afternoon (and you're sure there were others you probably missed).

I'm not sure that RP is the issue here.

(edit:  Today followed by Throw Your Hatred Down.  lol  I'm guessing that's not a coincidence.)
 S-curvy wrote:
Well RP, I didn't think it would ever happen, but you've done it, you've committed the classic commercial radio sin:  Radio Paradise has over played the snot out of Tom Petty.  This was at least the 2nd TP tune I've heard since midday, and being aware of Bill's penchant for TP, there were probably other cuts too.  As is well known, too much of something...is TOO much.

I now hate Tom Petty. 

 
H8 is a strong word and you got there so easily. 
 S-curvy wrote:
Well RP, I didn't think it would ever happen, but you've done it, you've committed the classic commercial radio sin:  Radio Paradise has over played the snot out of Tom Petty.  This was at least the 2nd TP tune I've heard since midday, and being aware of Bill's penchant for TP, there were probably other cuts too.  As is well known, too much of something...is TOO much.

I now hate Tom Petty. 

 
But doesn't this song rock, just a little bit??
One of my 9-year-old daughter's favorite songs. We play it before every cross-country meet (and many other days, too!). This song is part of our family history now. From an 8 to a 10.
Well RP, I didn't think it would ever happen, but you've done it, you've committed the classic commercial radio sin:  Radio Paradise has over played the snot out of Tom Petty.  This was at least the 2nd TP tune I've heard since midday, and being aware of Bill's penchant for TP, there were probably other cuts too.  As is well known, too much of something...is TOO much.

I now hate Tom Petty. 
Living in Hawaii and paddling out to perfect surf this song by my Floridian brother is always playing in my head .....Perfect surf music!{#Bananajam}{#Drummer}{#Bananajam}{#Dancingbanana}
Thank you for everything Tom Petty.  You made my life more enjoyable and fun.
RIP Tom....
 Proclivities wrote:

It might even be Keith Richards.

 
: )         {#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}    Thanks for the Music Tom  
 AndreasKristian wrote:
In a Spaceship in the year 3000 on the way to Mars...someone will be listening to Tom Petty.
 
It might even be Keith Richards.
 dew34 wrote:

That is really funny         {#Bananajam}{#Roflol}{#Motor}

 
I can only imagine.  
Fantastic way to close out the week.....
Oh yea! 
 finoufk wrote:

sure, with a little help from his friend and co writer Jeff LYNNE !   A great man, to much under rated ...

 
The Tom Petty documentary I watched on Netflix several months ago was quite a time investment at four hours (!) but I enjoyed every minute of it and recommend it highly.  Part two (2nd half) has some footage from the Wilburys period that gave me goosebumps.
Thanks, kcar, for the Ben Hur gif.  Does seem to fit, doesn't it?

Not much of Tom Petty’s catalogue that I can unreservedly say like, but this track is belting. 


A very nice follow up to the Kathleen Edwards tune that preceded it.  She is definitely channeling a little TP in Back To Me.  Benmont Tench, keyboards for the Heartbreakers, helped Ms. Edwards out on that album.
Barely gets a "meh" from me. Sorry. 
 twcarlin wrote:
Great segue from Ramones I wanna live!

 
Yeah....great guitar rif!!
Can't say I was ripping it up across the Beartooth Pass, but I cranked this up on cassette when it first came up out when I was a student - pelting around Windsor Great Park in a beloved Valencia Blue '70 Triumph Vitesse mkII.

Great Home Counties Road Trips is a book that will never be written, but I had fun, thanks to Tom and the boys.
 kcar wrote:

{#Roflol}

Charlton Heston in chariot racing scene in
(I'm officially addicted to gifs)

 
That is really funny         {#Bananajam}{#Roflol}{#Motor}
 ScottN wrote:

Great song...and there are a few Billy Idol I like and, imo, would fit on RP.

  
Eyes without a face is better than this piece of crap imo.
Go TOM.....
Great segue from Ramones I wanna live!
 DanFHiggins wrote:
Damn fine rocker that one is!  {#Bananajam}

 
The right narrative buildup, and then ZAM! - kicks in with a sweet riiff on the way out. Stands the test of time well.
"Yeah, Runnin' down the drain..."
Forever reminds me of the time I was blazing down the highway in my '61 Impala after I'd come back from my first two years in Japan, racing to get through the Florida panhandle to Boca, where my bro lived at the time, THIS cranking on my Mitsubishi tape deck, JAM!
I was sublime.
Great song... And cool transition from "I Wanna Live"... 
In a Spaceship in the year 3000 on the way to Mars...someone will be listening to Tom Petty.
wow cool                gotta 10 this
 catnip wrote:
I remember when this came out they played it on the radio a bit. At one end of my room I had an old Hitachi music centre (remember them?) with some tidy speakers, at the other a 70s Wharfedale amp with a couple of equally old Wharfedale Diamonds, linked (improbably) with a radio-cassette player. The combined sound was colossal, slightly phasing the acoustic guitar. According to my sister, Mr. Petty was audible from the bus stop, a good two hundred yards away. I was so proud.

I am older now.

The neighbours probably don't hate me so much.

But it's still a great song... 

 
I can relate! Possibly the reason I wear hearing aids today (don't tell my Audiologist, I don't need the lecture!).
Tappin' the left foot while pushin' the accelerator with the right!
Smart dude too.  Or at least he surrounds himself with sharp people.

I hear Petty's influence in War on Drugs.  Anybody else? 
Damn fine rocker that one is!  {#Bananajam}
 unclehud wrote:
One of the best driving songs ever written.  Imagine if Charlton Heston had this blasting during Ben Hur.

 
{#Roflol}




gif of chaotic chariot race from "Ben Hur" starring Chuck Heston





(I'm officially addicted to gifs)
 2020sk wrote:
Why have I always thought this was someone else? Obviously I never listened to the voice (or read the title, for that matter) before wondering why on earth radio paradise are playing Billy Idol? (Silly me!)

 
Great song...and there are a few Billy Idol I like and, imo, would fit on RP.
Why have I always thought this was someone else? Obviously I never listened to the voice (or read the title, for that matter) before wondering why on earth radio paradise are playing Billy Idol? (Silly me!)
Love it, love it, love it!!!!
 unclehud wrote:
One of the best driving songs ever written.

 
Damn straight! Unadulteratedly a great tune 25 years later
One of the best driving songs ever written.  Imagine if Charlton Heston had this blasting during Ben Hur.
my 10 might be generous, but this just nailed my mood right now and my toes are a-tappin' !
 snap_dragon wrote:
Tom's very best song in my humble opinion

{#Drummer} 

 
sure, with a little help from his friend and co writer Jeff LYNNE !   A great man, to much under rated ...
 Mosay wrote:
Fantastic segue to this from I Wanna Live by the Ramones. Gave me shivers

 
same segue today!
 
 bev wrote:
That last bit, the guitar bit at the end? You know, where Campbell is just mightily wailing away? We used to queue that bit up (tape cassette rewind anyone?!) and play it over, and over and over ...and yes...we were often very wasted and it was always fantastic and my brain would float off into some other space, and every time I hear that riff it takes me right back there and man, yeah, it effin' rocks. All the way. This is rock and roll. Somebody say "Amen"!

 
Yeah.  What you said - except the wasted part, and the brain floating away.  But, yeah the guitar at the end - sublime, transcendent.
I was just coming on to post the same sentiment! You said it: THIS IS ROCK AND ROLL!  I was blessed to see them play an incendiary show at Red Rocks some years back, and happy to jam this ANYtime...
-------- 

bev wrote:
That last bit, the guitar bit at the end? You know, where Campbell is just mightily wailing away? We used to queue that bit up (tape cassette rewind anyone?!) and play it over, and over and over ...and yes...we were often very wasted and it was always fantastic and my brain would float off into some other space, and every time I hear that riff it takes me right back there and man, yeah, it effin' rocks. All the way. This is rock and roll. Somebody say "Amen"!

That last bit, the guitar bit at the end? You know, where Campbell is just mightily wailing away? We used to queue that bit up (tape cassette rewind anyone?!) and play it over, and over and over ...and yes...we were often very wasted and it was always fantastic and my brain would float off into some other space, and every time I hear that riff it takes me right back there and man, yeah, it effin' rocks. All the way. This is rock and roll. Somebody say "Amen"!
Good energy. Typical Tom...but mediocre at best. Like the newer Mojo stuff far better. 
I remember when this came out they played it on the radio a bit. At one end of my room I had an old Hitachi music centre (remember them?) with some tidy speakers, at the other a 70s Wharfedale amp with a couple of equally old Wharfedale Diamonds, linked (improbably) with a radio-cassette player. The combined sound was colossal, slightly phasing the acoustic guitar. According to my sister, Mr. Petty was audible from the bus stop, a good two hundred yards away. I was so proud.

I am older now.

The neighbours probably don't hate me so much.

But it's still a great song... 
Tom's very best song in my humble opinion

{#Drummer} 
Music like this made high school tolerable.
 Cynaera wrote:
Another Tom Petty song that makes me drive too fast, sing too loud, and out-stubborn people at four-way stop signs.
 

Miss you so much, Cynaera...

love this song...
 
 MTachyon wrote:
Best drivin' song ever! {#Motor}
 
You ain't kidding.  Probably cost me $200 in speeding tickets.
Best drivin' song ever! {#Motor}
yeah !   one of my favorite pop/rock song ever.... Tom is really good on that one, with a little help from his friend Jeff Lynne !    {#Bananajam}
 bjsimpson wrote:
Help! Someone has taken over RP and transformed it into a classic rock station!!!!! Please give us back the old RP.
 
Wipe off the tears drama queen.
Thanks for  the PSD option.  I love this song.
I love Tom Petty..  and it has very little to do with sharing a birthday and a love for the greener things in life ;)  I haven't heard a song by him yet that I can't appreciate.  This is definitely one of my nostalgic favorites!
Outstanding ! Powerful and evocative - memories from an amazing road trip around the Western US  climbing, skiing and mountain biking in 1989. Speaks to the idea of the open road and limitless possibilities. 
GTA San Andreas
Fantastic segue to this from I Wanna Live by the Ramones. Gave me shivers
Yes, the song does finish quite nicely....yes.
Help! Someone has taken over RP and transformed it into a <gasp> classic rock station!!!!! Please give us back the old RP.
My god, this is so much fun, just loving it !

Thanks again RP !
What about Radar love

 
ajlept wrote:
On my "Driving Tunes" playlist. Goes good with "Let It Roll" - Little Feat, "Runnin' with the Devil" - Van Halen, "Hitchin' A Ride" - Boston, etc. Oh yeah, can't forget "Take It Easy" by the Eagles.
 


 coyotexxx2 wrote:


1989 now qualifies as a golden oldy?  My lord I am getting old.  I like this song more now than I did then. 
 

There are songs that are only a year or two old that are golden oldies. It is called Runnin' Into the Ground.{#Frustrated}
 Nerubo wrote:
This is a really great song.  

It's also hard to listen to while driving. The lyrics ("I put the pedal down to make some time") and the fast paced-guitar combine to make it very hard to go the speed limit. Not that I would ever break the speed limit...

 
One of my all-time fave guitar solos. Would kill to play like that at will. 
Ha ... After wheel in the sky I cranked the grace mondo even higher ...
She can't take any more captain ...
 McGrego wrote:
I like Tom Petty but been there, done that.  I don't really want to listen to golden oldies.  I was hoping as a new listener this thread of music would be left to the millions of stations playing mainstream moldy oldies.
 

1989 now qualifies as a golden oldy?  My lord I am getting old.  I like this song more now than I did then. 
I like Tom Petty but been there, done that.  I don't really want to listen to golden oldies.  I was hoping as a new listener this thread of music would be left to the millions of stations playing mainstream moldy oldies.
Love it!
Good!
 Cynaera wrote:

You should burn copies of that - I'd buy one! {#Music}
 
!  I have to share that my sister Nancy suggested the same concept......I guess music is free now   Fortunately RP plays all the good ones
 ajlept wrote:
On my "Driving Tunes" playlist. Goes good with "Let It Roll" - Little Feat, "Runnin' with the Devil" - Van Halen, "Hitchin' A Ride" - Boston, etc. Oh yeah, can't forget "Take It Easy" by the Eagles.
 
You should burn copies of that - I'd buy one! {#Music}
On my "Driving Tunes" playlist. Goes good with "Let It Roll" - Little Feat, "Runnin' with the Devil" - Van Halen, "Hitchin' A Ride" - Boston, etc. Oh yeah, can't forget "Take It Easy" by the Eagles.


Another fine song ruined by being overplayed on broadcast radio.
Another Tom Petty song that makes me drive too fast, sing too loud, and out-stubborn people at four-way stop signs.


 finoufk wrote:

Would this song be as great without the litte help from tim's friend : jeff lynne (from ELO) ?


 
One more Petty Classic song.   I agree that Jeff Lynne should just take his millions and retire.

this is also the most FUN song of Tom's vast catalog to PLAY...  {#Bananajam}

Never gets old