I have written before about the number of singers whose sound has obviously been influenced by Bob Dylan. One singer who might be both one of the most obviously Dylanesque, and one of the most successful of those who emulated the master, is Tom Petty. I discovered him about the time he began to receive widespread attention, with the release of the second Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album, You're Gonna Get It, in 1978.
The song that best illustrates my point is I Need to Know, one of several great tracks (and the first single) on You're Gonna Get It. From the first line of the first verse, Petty's atonal whine is truly worthy of the master.
Another great track from the same album is Hurt, where you'll hear some of the instrumental sophistication that marked the band's later work. The lead/rhythm guitar combo is particularly striking. I really like the sound the lead player makes with the subtle licks on the chorus of this track.
You may recall that it was only a year later, when Damn the Torpedoes was released, that Petty rocketed to superstardom. And although both Petty and the band obviously matured between the release of their second and third albums, Petty really didn't change his vocal style at all. Listen to the chorus on Here Comes My Girl, and the chorus and bridge on Even the Losers, just to name two spots where if it had been Dylan singing, you wouldn't have been able to tell any difference.
A lawyer who likes to write music commentary.