Tom Petty Vs. 38 Special – Ultimate Classic Rock Hall of Fame, Round One
Two bands with Florida roots face off in our latest Ultimate Classic Rock Hall of Fame battle. Will Jacksonville’s own 38 Special or Gainesville product Tom Petty move on in this fan-voted competition? The choice is up to you!
Every month, our readers decide which of eight legendary artists or bands will be honored for their contributions to the classic rock genre. Petty first came to fame in the late ’70s with a group of hometown collaborators known as the Heartbreakers, releasing a pair of million-selling, career-making albums in ‘Damn the Torpedos’ and ‘Hard Promises.’ By the turn of the ’90s, the Heartbreaks were in the midst of a run of three consecutive platinum sellers. Yet somehow Petty’s solo projects had become an even bigger draw: ‘Full Moon Fever’ and ‘Wildflowers,’ released in ’89 and ’94 respectively, would move eight million copies in the U.S. alone. The period also saw Petty collaborating with the all-star Traveling Wilburys group on a pair of projects. More recently, Petty has returned to work with the Heartbreakers for the widely anticipated ‘Hypnotic Eye,’ due in July.
38 Special, meanwhile, sold three million albums in the early ’80s, powered by a pair of frontmen in Donnie Van Zant and Don Barnes who grew up as neighborhood friends. (Van Zant’s older brother Ronnie was Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s original frontman; his younger sibling Johnny took over after Ronnie died in a plane crash.) Together, Don and Donnie would help 38 Special create the Top 10 smash ‘Caught Up in You'; Top 20 favorites like ‘If I’d Been the One’ and ‘Back Where You Belong'; and radio favorites such as ‘Hold On Loosely‘ and ‘Fantasy Girl.’ Barnes later had a stint away from the group between 1987-92, during which time 38 Special scored another Top 10 hit with Max Carl, ‘Second Chance.’ Barnes later came back, and Van Zant has since left the road, though he continues to write and record with 38 Special.
So which of these two Sunshine State acts will move on to the next round of this UCR Hall of Fame competition? It’s up to you! You can vote once an hour between now and Sunday, June 15 at 11:59 PM ET. The next inductee into the Ultimate Classic Rock Hall of Fame will be announced on July 1. Be sure to read our official rules.