The Texas indie rockers recorded both tracks live at the Catacomb in Austin, with “Breakdown” originally being broadcast as part of Tom Petty’s 70th Birthday Bash, a virtual tribute concert that took place last fall.
Back in 2017, Spoon lead singer Britt Daniel explained to Stereogum why “A Face In The Crowd” is his favorite Tom Petty song.
“Divine Fits (Daniel’s other band) played ‘You Got Lucky’ at just about every gig we had. What an insane single. It’s got an intense lyric and the most powerful, creepy guitar riff and somehow Dan was able to tap into that attitude every time. It was the greatest feeling in the world to be in a band that could play that song and pull it off. But since yesterday the song I keep playing is ‘A Face In The Crowd’, a ballad that came out as I was graduating high school and leaving my hometown and most of the people I knew forever. I relive that moment in the song. The minor chords, the vocal, the melody — all haunting and timeless.”
“Breakdown” is Petty’s first single from his 1976 debut album with the Heartbreakers and became a Top 40 hit, while “A Face in the Crowd” appears on the late rocker’s solo debut, 1989’s Full Moon Fever.