“Everybody’s had to fight to be free …”

damn the torpedoes

October 19, 1979 ~ Following a vicious legal battle with MCA Records, the third Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers album, Damn The Torpedoes, is released on the label’s new subsidiary, Backstreet Records.

After releasing two albums, the band’s label, Shelter Records, was sold to MCA. Petty refused to go along, leading to a spate of lawsuits that played out while the band was recording the album. After Petty declared bankruptcy, he and the label came to an agreement where the band recorded for Backstreet, which would be dedicated to Petty.

Produced by Jimmy Iovine, it’s a breakthrough album, selling over 3 million copies in America and reaching #2 on the Albums chart.