November 1, 1994. It took half a decade for Tom Petty to follow up his solo debut, 1989’s Full Moon Fever, but Wildflowers was worth the wait.
To celebrate the album’s 25th anniversary, here’s a half-dozen Wildflowers facts you probably weren’t wise to.
- Although credited to Petty as a solo album, Wildflowers featured every member of the Heartbreakers, save drummer Stan Lynch. Producer Rick Rubin wanted Petty to have more creative freedom, so he brought in his bandmates as session musicians, not co-writers.
- So who played drums? Ringo Starr did, on the song “To Find A Friend.”
- Ringo’s not the only star who featured on the album: Beach Boy Carl Wilson sings backing vocals on “Honey Bee”
- 15 songs made the cut for Wildflowers; a handful that didn’t ended up on the She’s The One soundtrack in 1996.
- Another song that didn’t make the cut, “Girl On LSD,” ended up as a b-side on the album’s lead single “You Don’t Know How It Feels.” Petty’s new label, Warner Bros., didn’t want the drug reference-heavy, controversially-titled song on the album proper.
- Don’t hold your breath: in 2015, a two-disc Wildflowers 20th anniversary re-release was announced. It still hasn’t hit shelves.