The Traveling Wilburys

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.

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