A Woman in Love (It's Not Me)

Album: Hard Promises (1981)
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Songfacts®:

  • This was released as a single from the album Hard Promises, the fourth studio album for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It had "Gator on the Lawn" on the B-side.

    It is a song of musical contrasts, with gently melancholy R&B verses building into a sudden shift into hard rock. Petty shows his typical bent for a cinematic quality to his storytelling.
  • The bass player here is guest star Donald "Duck" Dunn, a noted session musician for Stax Records who worked in conjunction with the likes of Booker T. & the M.G.'s, The Blues Brothers, Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Albert King, Neil Young, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, Guy Sebastian, Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, and Roy Buchanan. Oh yes, and also Stevie Nicks' and Tom Petty's "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around."
  • Legend has it that John Lennon was scheduled to stop by the studio when Petty and the gang were recording Hard Promises - Petty was thrilled at the possibility of meeting the music icon. But of course, that meeting never happened as Lennon was assassinated before he could make the appointment. This fateful missed meeting is commemorated forever with the inscription "We love you, JL" first on the master copy, and later on every vinyl record. If you have a vinyl, look for it in the blank ring between the grooves and the label.
  • This song was written by Tom Petty and Mike Campbell. Campbell met Petty when Petty was in Mudcrutch, whose drummer Randall Marsh recommended him to Petty for rhythm guitar. Through the years, alongside his work with the Heartbreakers, he's also found time for side projects such as forming his own band called The Dirty Knobs.
  • The video was directed by Jim Lenahan, who handled the band's lighting on tour. The black and white clip shows the band performing in a warehouse with smoke and sunbeams used for artistic effect. Two years later, The Police made their own black an white video with smoke and sunbeams for their song "Every Breath You Take," which won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Cinematography. Both videos were shot in the same place, and had the same cinematographer: Daniel Pearl.
  • When we asked Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers keyboard player Benmont Tench about this song, he said: "I like the way the track breathes. There is a lot of space, there are a lot of places where there's only drums, bass and one guitar playing with a vocal. I like the air in that song. I like the way that the beat picks up a little and then drops down in tempo and picks up for the chorus and then drops back down for the verses. I really like that. I thought it was a brilliant song." (Here's the full Benmont Tench interview.)

Comments: 3

  • John from Springfield IllinoisThis song was written for me this summer.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 26th 1981, "A Woman In Love (It's Not Me)" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #82, and on August 9th, 1981 it peaked at #79 (for 1 week) and spent 6 weeks on the Top 100...
    Its six weeks on the Top 100 were as follows; #82, #80, #79, #88, #96, and on its 6th and final week it was at #100.
  • Mcclaine from Athens, Gahahaha!!!!! thats funny. i feel sorry for the guy in this song because he's doing all this stuff 4 this girl but she aint doing anything back... so yeah hes just changed and stuff for her but now she dont like the way he is.
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