Fans are chomping at the bit for the October 16th release of the Tom Petty box set, Wildflowers & All The Rest. The “Deluxe Edition” features 15 home studio recordings made by Petty and is rounded-off with 14 live performances of songs from Wildflowers, recorded on various tours from 1995 to 2017, along with 16 studio recordings of alternate takes of Wildflower's songs.
Rick Rubin, Petty's co-producer for the set spoke about the album, which resulted in over 60-hours of recorded music and a 25-track original double album delivered to Warner Bros. Records. Rubin recalled the nine-month process in creating Wildflowers, telling The Los Angeles Times, “We sat in office chairs and Tom would either play me recorded demos or play new songs on acoustic guitar. We returned to Tom’s roots, his comfort zone, with musicians making a human connection in the moment.”
Rubin, who was aware how much Petty resented authority, was confused how easily Warner exec Lenny Waronker was able to talk Petty out of releasing the set as a double-disc: “I was surprised Tom was open to this suggestion as he notoriously bucked any kind of voice of authority. Lenny was different though, and as Tom had so much respect for both Mo Ostin, who signed him, and Lenny, the always-tasteful music producer, he followed (their) advice. They picked the right songs. But I have to say, a few months ago I listened to the other half, the 10 (unreleased) songs, and I had to turn it off after three or four, because I was thinking, “Goddamn — that song was good too! Maybe we made a mistake here.'”