Compiling our list of Tom Petty Albums Ranked Worst to Best wasn't easy. After all, the late Petty's steady reliability over his last decades made him a rock 'n' roll rarity.

Whether you picked up a Tom Petty album in the midst of punk, the zenith of grunge or the apex of EDM, you knew you were going to get melodic, thoughtful songcraft built on the granite foundation of ’50s and ’60s rock. That said, staying locked in this glorious tradition may have prevented Petty and the Heartbreakers from exploring new creative avenues.

They constructed fewer blinding works of genius than their heroes Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones, but they also didn't contribute nearly as many clunkers as those guys. That gave Petty one of the most consistently satisfying catalogs in rock. So an exercise like this, in which we attempt to rank Petty's studio albums in order of quality, can become a bit of a challenge.

In many cases, one edged out another because of a slightly more tuneful highlight or moderately less-dated production. Even the lowest-ranked records offer some great music, and, unlike many classic rockers, many of his later albums hold their own against the records upon which he made his name.

We should note that all of his studio albums (whether co-credited to the Heartbreakers or to Tom as a solo act) are included in our list of Tom Petty Albums Ranked Worst to Best. Now, damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead!