In the decades to come, the 90s should be known as the decade where rock was given a makeover. Turning to the ’80s, it could be said that the reckless abandonment of rock and roll was in dire need of an upgrade, which was accelerated once the reciprocating movement emerged. Hell, some of them worked so well that even some really great songs ended up being relegated to the ranks of the rest.
In any other era, these types of tracks would have been classics of their generation, if not absolute game-changers in their respective fields. When you’re too crammed with classic material, these managed to get lost in the rework, only appearing on ’90s retrospective parties and even on the bizarre compilation album if they’re lucky. It’s a shame too considering some of the awesome cuts we were missing.
Besides being well-written songs, many of them marked a change of guard for rock, either opening things up to a new genre or shifting the rock accent entirely. In the end, some of these are just great songs that only saw the light of day for a little while. You might remember the band, you might even remember the decade … but it’s time to listen to them a second time.
Most of the mainstays of classic rock would have killed for having had Tom Petty’s career in the 90s. Few other acts can claim to have been stars in the 70s and continued to ride the tide and hit two decades. later. While Wildflowers is considered a career highlight for most Petty fans, Honey Bee’s deep cut takes him back to much more gritty territory.
Compared to the usual acoustic sounds of this solo album, this is the kind of down and dirty blues track that is made for the garage rock circuit. Starting off with a fireball from a guitar hit, Petty is in rock star mode for this one, as he tackles the bee metaphor with a sort of bluster you would normally see from someone like Mick. Jagger in his prime.
Aside from a few TV appearances, this track was largely ignored by audiences wanting to hear something like You Wreck Me. While playing it on Saturday Night Live with future Foo Fighter Dave Grohl certainly didn’t hurt. his chances of remembering. Of all the classic schlock rock that was happening around the same time, this is the kind of gritty rock and roll that the Stones wished they could do at this point in their evolution.