The Traveling Wilburys

Were The Traveling Wilburys a short-lived gimmick or a legitimate musical force? It’s terribly easy to be cynical and dismiss the Wilburys as the former. After all, how many times have we seen an all-star group of musicians come together for a few easy hits? The “fake” all too often flows from such gatherings in waves.

But with the Wilburys, the music tells the story. The Traveling Wilburys were the real deal, a genuine band that just so happened to be made up of some of rock’s greatest talents. Ex-Beatle George Harrison’s band in spirit, all of their band in practice, the Wilburys – featuring Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne – recorded two excellent albums that have become overlooked not because the music isn’t worth remembering, but because they’ve been out of print for so long.

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Traveling Wilburys The Band

October 13th, 2007

The Traveling Wilburys were a short-lived country rock group of the late 1980s who, although they made some great music, would be little more than a footnote in music history if it wasn’t for the individual fame of each member.

Respected stars Tom Petty of the Heartbreakers and Jeff Lynne of ELO and the Move were joined by a small host of bona fide rock legends.

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Almost 20 years after they formed and with two band members dead, super group The Traveling Wilburys have scored their first UK number one album.

Made up of legendary musicians George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, The Traveling Wilburys never made it past number 14 on the album charts when they were recording in the late Eighties and early Nineties.

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For audiophiles, music heads and casual fans alike the storied conception of the Traveling Wilburys is fascinating. They have come to be known as an example of how restraint and casualness as opposed to verbosity and excess can be the best way to utilise the talent pool of a super group. This is made abundantly clear with Rhino’s impressive reissue of their only two albums that also includes a selection of bonus tracks, illuminating liner notes both fictional and biographical and a DVD that includes a documentary of the Wilburys short life span and all their music videos brought together.
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Traveling Wilburys Tracklisting

September 27th, 2007

Find out the Traveling Wilburys Collection Tracklisting.
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THE Traveling Wilburys – Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne – happened by accident when Harrison was asked for a B-side. When he came back with Handle With Care featuring the all-star cast, the label knew they had a monster on their hands.Even more miraculously, the first album, Vol 1, has a kind of innocent, easygoing charm that overcomes the expectations created by those taking part.

A second album, Vol 3, recorded after the death of Orbison, wasn’t as much fun, but by that time Petty and Dylan were invigorated by their success and recording some of their best albums in years.

Both Wilburys albums had been out of print for some time until this new two-CD collection, plus DVD. While Handle with Care and End of the Line were the band’s best songs, the first album has treats for Dylan-ologists with Congratulations and Tweeter and the Monkey Man (a Springsteen satire/salute, at a guess), a good quality Harrison song in Heading for the Light, and a classic Orbison vocal on Not Alone Any More.

Alas, two previously unreleased tracks don’t add anything to the picture.

Traveling Wilburys Volume 1 Review

September 27th, 2007

This is the worst review ever produced, and to top it off, it was courtesy of Rollingstone. Can you believe this bad review? Lies I tell you!

Two of the original five Wilburys have moseyed on, mortality-wise: George Harrison and Roy Orbison. But what really sounds boneyard-bound on these reissues is Jeff Lynne’s production. In the late 1980s, he produced every other record on rock radio (i.e., the non-Phil Collins ones), giving them all the same fussy synths and sugary guitars. According to legend, Lynne got work because he was a nice bloke with zero ego, brilliant at soothing divas in the studio. But “Handle With Care” and “Margarita” show why the 1980s were the dregs of major-label rock sonics. The first Wilburys album has a few good Dylan lines, but the only real keeper is “Tweeter and the Monkey Man,” an outrageous self-parody disguised as a Springsteen rip, as funny as “Desolation Row.” Download it now for your next Dylan mix CD.

If it had taken place during the 1970s, the teaming of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and ELO mastermind Jeff Lynne would have towered over supergroups like Blind Faith and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. But in 1988, when Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1 appeared, Dylan was perceived as being in decline, Harrison was far removed from his post-Beatles landmark All Things Must Pass, Orbison was ancient history to most fans and Petty had yet to release the career-revitalizing Full Moon Fever. On top of that, the assembled legends deliberately downplayed the whole thing, adopting tongue-in-cheek fake names and subsuming their instantly recognizable styles into the leveling context of Lynne’s production.
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The Traveling Wilburys Collection

September 27th, 2007

It’s a story so far-fetched it’s almost unimaginable. George Harrison, needing a B-side for a song off 1987’s Cloud Nine, enlisted the help of Jeff Lynne, who helped produce the album. Lynne, as it turns out, was producing an album for Roy Orbison, and the two legends agreed to lend Harrison a hand. Ready to start songwriting, Harrison fetched his guitar, which just so happened to be at the house of Mr. Tom Petty. You see where this is going, and you were warned that it sounds unbelievable…
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After being out of print for more than a decade, the two studio albums from all-star band the Traveling Wilburys will return to the marketplace in a variety of formats June 12 via Wilbury Records/Rhino, has learned.
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