The Traveling Wilburys

In the eighties, I made no secret of my dislike for a lot of music during that period. When I heard The Traveling Wilburys in 1988 it was like an oasis in the desert. A band that contained George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty. I went out and bought the album Traveling Wilburys Volume 1 and wore it out. There is not a song on that album that I didn’t like.

George Harrison started the group with Jeff Lynne and eventually, they picked up Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty…not a bad choice of additions. Just hearing Bob Dylan sing lines like “You don’t need no wax job, you’re smooth enough for me If you need your oil changed, I’ll do it for you free” was the worth the price of the album.

Handle with Care was the first single and it went to #2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs charts. I was surprised when I researched the other charting songs of The Wilburys first album… End of the Line went to #2 on Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs, “Last Night” #5, “Heading For The Light” #7 “Inside Out” #16

Tweeter and the Monkey Man is my favorite song off of that album. Bob taking playful jabs at Bruce Springsteen. The song reminded me of some of his earlier work.

Hearing Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan singing together was something I never thought I would ever hear. Roy’s voice was magnificent as always and it is sad that he died two months after the album’s release.

On the second album, Vol 3 of course… the songs as a whole were not as strong but I still like the album. They did miss Roy’s vocals and presence. Again Dylan sang my favorite song on the album with “If You Belonged To Me” with Dylan sounding vulnerable.  She’s My Baby went to #2  and The Wilbury Twist got some radio play but nothing like Handle With Care.

They also recorded two other songs Runaway and Nobody’s Child which was recorded for a benefit album. They did an excellent job of Nobody’s Child.

This helped revive the career of Orbison…unfortunately he didn’t get to enjoy the success of his solo album and hit “You Got It.”

Two bright spots in the late eighties for me was The Traveling Wilburys and Keith Richard’s solo album Talk Is Cheap.

I really wish older rockers would try to do this sort of thing now. Let’s say Fogerty, McCartney, Young, Richards, and throw in a younger David Grohl…or fill in your own names…No it wouldn’t be the same but I would like to hear the results.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

4 thoughts on “The Traveling Wilburys”

  1. “In Jersey everything’s legal as long as you don’t get caught.”– that is my favorite song on that album too- and yes I totally agree not a bad song on that album. Volume 3- above average but not a classic like the first one. Roy was missed for sure- he was only 52 but didn’t he seem twenty years older?…. I nominate Elvis Costello to be a part of a new Wilbury’s type group he seems to be one who plays well with others. Since Elvis and Paul have worked well together before that would be a good starting point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t that line great! Roy did seem so much older you are right. …Costello would be great. I’m surprised some of the older ones haven’t tried something like it since… I picked Grohl because like him or not he does respect all the ones before him…he would be my new Petty.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Grohl yes I agree would be a great pick- and you need a younger guy like Petty was at the time. They all seemed to be having fun- I loved the video when Dylan rode by on his bicycle. ,, ok so we have Grohl- Elvis and McCartney- we need two more we can manage the group….. I see them touring also…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. One way of doing it would be matching up to the old ones. McCartney and Harrison, David Grohl and Tom Petty, Elvis and Lynne? Springsteen and Dylan?… Hearing Bob Dylan singing the Wilbury twist was worth the price of admission also

        Liked by 1 person

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