Listen To Tom Petty's Mellow Acoustic Demo Of 'You Don't Know How It Feels'

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

July 1, 2020

Tom Petty's estate has unveiled one of the music legend's earliest demos for his 1994 hit, "You Don't Know How It Feels."

The peek into Petty's creative process is part of an ongoing project surrounding his Wildflowers album archives.

Before his death in 2017, Petty was reportedly planning a tour to celebrate the Wildflowers album. He also hoped to release an expanded double-album version of Wildflowers containing songs that didn't make the initial cut.

The "You Don't Know How It Feels" demo contains only Petty's vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica and tambourine.

While the final studio version of the song feels much jauntier than the demo, both versions were recorded at about the same tempo. Petty's vocal melody on the demo is also well in line with the final version, although the song has an heartbreaking vulnerability to it without the drum and bass accompaniment.

Wildflowers was in large part written about Petty's crumbling marriage to Jane Benyo, his wife of 20 years.

Petty and Benyo's daughter Adria Petty recently told Rolling Stone that "You Don't Know How It Feels" contains some of her dad's favorite lyrics of his career.

She says he was particularly proud of the second verse lines "I'm so tired of being tired / Sure as night will follow day / Most things that I worry about never happen anyway."

"My dad was such a great storyteller and so good at being economical with words — he saw more potential in that line as the climax to the album," she said.

Photo: Getty Images

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers & Tom Petty
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