When you consider how much money Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers had made for MCA Records by the late 80's that Tom Petty could turn in an album comprised of nothing but Mike Campbell's farts and the suits at the label would smile and say, "Thank you very much, may we have another?"
First off, everything Petty had touched since he hit L.A.a decade earlier had turned to gold and platinum, so when he turned in his first solo album to the label in 1988, the last thing he expected to hear was that MCA Records had rejected his album.
Usually, with an artist of that stature, you never reject anything, but, rather, suggest that he simply try writing a hit single. The goal is to coax the ego and not piss off the same fella who, in a fit of frustration in the studio, punched a brick wall with all he had a few years prior, requiring a team of top-secret bionics specialists led by Oscar Goldman to rebuild the hand.
After all, MONEY.
The guy is MONEY, has made you MONEY, and, if you are smart enough to just stay the f out of his way, will continue making you MONEY for decades.
Just put out the fucking album.
Instead, the executive brain trust at MCA, now full of accountants and James Spader wanna-be's, chose to insult one of their flagship artists.
Devastated, Petty and producer Jeff Lynne dove headlong into the recording of the first Traveling Wilburys album with Roy Orbison, George Harrison and Bob Dylan.
Released in October 1988, Traveling Wilburys' Volume 1 became a Top 5 smash hit, during which time a corporate bloodletting had taken place within the executive ranks at MCA, leading to the hasty exit of those involved in rejecting Petty's solo record.
The revamped A&R staff at MCA took one listen to the "new" Petty record, now titled Full Moon Fever, and loved it!
Keep in mind that the only changes to the "new" album were the addition of two new songs, neither of which became a single, and the new album title/cover shot.