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Tom Petty ‘Eye’ing summer release for new album

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers have tentatively set the release of their next album, Hypnotic Eye, for summer. The album, recorded at Petty’s home studio in Malibu, CA and the Heartbreaker’s LA rehearsal space, will contain 11 tracks and will be released on Reprise Records. The disc was co-produced by Mike Campbell in addition to Tom Petty and Ryan Ulyate.

Rolling Stone reports that the album is a return to Petty’s “concise Sixties-rock classicism and drive of his first New Wave-era albums 1976’s Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and 1978’s You’re Gonna Get It.”

“We hadn’t made a straight hard-rockin’ record, from beginning to end, in a long time,” Petty tells Rolling Stone. “You must get the songs. It takes time to write 10 or 11 really good songs.”

Eye will be the band’s first studio record in four years, following 2010’s Mojo. Petty and the Heartbreakers have been working on the project periodically since August 2011, even setting aside some songs that sound too close to “the blues bag” of Mojo.

“We hadn’t made a straight hard-rockin’ record, from beginning to end, in a long time.”

One song that Petty hasn’t decided upon including on the record is called “American Girl Plan B,” a followup to his 1977 hit “American Girl.”

Eye may not be the only release Petty fans will see this year. A two disc reissue of his 1994 solo album, Wallflowers, could be out by Christmas. The 20th anniversary release will contain ten previously unreleased songs, including “Somewhere Under Heaven,” which Petty claims, “I did not remember writing it, recording it, anything. And it was really good–uptempo but very unusual, in some strange time signature.”

A live album, culled from the band’s theater residencies in New York and LA last year, is also hanging around, although no time frame for release has been announced.

Petty promises to hit the road this year to support Hypnotic Eye although no further details were revealed.