"I Won't Back Down" is the first single from Tom Petty's first solo album, Full Moon Fever released in 1989. The song was written by Petty and his writing partner for the album, Jeff Lynne. It reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Album Rock Tracks chart for five weeks, starting the album's road to multi-platinum status.
Petty recalled the recording of this song to Mojo magazine: "At the session George Harrison sang and played the guitar. I had a terrible cold that day, and George went to the store and bought a ginger root, boiled it and had me stick my head in the pot to get the ginger steam to open up my sinuses, and then I ran in and did the take."
A message of defiance against unnamed forces of difficulty and possibly oppression, the lyric is set against a mid-tempo beat:
The music video, directed by David Leland, was shot on March 22 and 23, 1989 on a sound stage at Pinewood Studios and released on April 24, 1989. George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Mike Campbell and Ringo Starr are featured in the video along with George's famous painted stratocaster "Rocky". Starr is depicted in the video as playing the drums on the song, though in reality, drumming was...