Vol. 1

Traveling Wilburys

Wilbury Records / Warner Brothers, 1988


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


For the uninitiated, The Traveling Wilburys were the supergroup of supergroups. Consisting of Tom Petty, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne, that list of names alone will tell you exactly what level of talent is on hand here. Sadly, with only two albums released during their short existence (a mere two years), and only one with Orbison, who died after the debut, they didn't leave us with much of a catalog.

Now 30 years since their Grammy winning debut, we are treated to this anniversary reissue of my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Vol. 1, housed in a die-cut sleeve with the band's logo on one side, and Alberto Tolot's photo of the Wilburys on the other side.

The LP starts out with undoubtedly their most known song, “Handle With Care”, where Harrison handles lead vocal duties as Orbison takes the chorus and Petty, Dylan and Lynne harmonize on the melodic, guitar fueled gem, and “Dirty World” follows where Dylan's rugged vocals guide us through the swampy country and pop influenced rocker. On “Rattled,” Lynne finds himself in the diver's seat with the swift and warm shuffling of the percussion heavy track. Elsewhere, Petty's inimitable pipes are at the center of the breezy “Last Night”, which brings an island groove to the album, and “Not Alone Anymore” is Orbison's shining moment on the harmonic folk rocker.

The second side has the legends having just as much fun on the cautious “Congratulations”, the infectious and jangly “Heading For The Light”, and the blues spirited “Margarita”- another Dylan led tune. “End Of The Line”, the second single from the record, ends the listen with each member but Dylan taking their turn on vocals on the perfect exit that showcases the fluid collaborative effort.

Interestingly enough, this project was initially meant to exist to record one tune, “Handle With Care”. After realizing how strong the song was, they went ahead and recorded an entire album. However, with each member's busy solo careers, The Traveling Wilburys never toured and much of their music was out of print for years. Of course, with only 2 Wilburys still alive, we'll never see a reunion, but we can be thankful that this important piece of rock'n'roll history is still out there and on this version it gets an aesthetic makeover visually.

Rating: A

User Rating: A



© 2019 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Wilbury Records / Warner Brothers, and is used for informational purposes only.