Even The Losers

Album: Damn The Torpedoes (1979)


  • In 1914, Thomas Hardy published a poem which was a bizarre conversation between a dead woman and her dog. The animal was digging at her grave, she thought to pay its respects, until it told her it was simply burying a bone, and had forgotten where she was buried. In life, people we once held dear, often forget us just as easily, and this song is in the same vein.
  • Tom Petty died October 2, 2017, which prompted Rolling Stone to publish Tom Petty's 50 Greatest Songs wherein he put this one down to divine intervention. The uptempo, overtly commercial "Even The Losers" is the third track on the 1979 album Damn The Torpedoes wherein it runs to 3 minutes 59 seconds. Petty married his first wife, Jane Benyo, in 1974, so if "Even The Losers" had any basis in fact, his broken heart had clearly mended by then. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
  • Petty, the sole writer on this track, framed the lyric around an interpersonal relationship, but drew inspiration from his legal battle with MCA Records, which nearly thwarted the album. After the band's record company, Shelter, was sold to MCA, Petty refused to make the move, leading to a flurry of lawsuits that Petty suppressed by filing bankruptcy. A deal was reached, with Petty joining the MCA imprint Backstreet under new terms. The ordeal left some scars, but Petty got to keep a little bit of pride, and a lot more of his earnings.
  • Speaking about Damn The Torpedoes with the New Musical Express in 1980, Petty said: "I wanted to write anthems for underdogs, songs like 'Even The Losers' and 'Refugee'... the theme of the album wasn't self-conscious but when I put it together afterwards I could see it was about standing up for your rights, the ones that everyone has which can't be f--ked with or taken away."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the Song

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"They're Playing My Song

The first of Billy's five #1 hits was the song that propelled Madonna to stardom. You'd think that would get you a backstage pass, wouldn't you?

The Fratellis

The FratellisSongwriter Interviews

Jon Fratelli talks about the band's third album, and the five-year break leading up to it.

Goodbye, Hello: Ten Farewell Tour Fake-Outs

Goodbye, Hello: Ten Farewell Tour Fake-OutsSong Writing

The 10 biggest "retirement tours" that didn't take.

Song Titles That Inspired Movies

Song Titles That Inspired MoviesSong Writing

Famous songs that lent their titles - and in some cases storylines - to movies.

Matt Sorum

Matt SorumSongwriter Interviews

When he joined Guns N' Roses in 1990, Matt helped them craft an orchestral sound; his mezzo fortes and pianissimos are all over "November Rain."