KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

Satur-debut – TRAVELING WILBURYS “VOL. 1”

The word “supergroup” is used (and probably over-used) a lot in the music industry, but it didn’t get more “super” than the quintet of George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison, whose 1988 debut Vol. 1 remains a joyous display of singers/songwriters having the time of their lives. It might be unfair to include it in this series since they probably had more than 100 albums under their collective belts by the time of this collaboration, but this is my blog & I make the rules. More than three decades later and I still love every moment of this record. I previously wrote about their 2-album discography in my Two And Through post in 2014, and you can read my comments about Vol. 1 below.

For more information on this series, please read the opening paragraph of the first post, which featured the debut album from Led Zeppelin.

 

 

From TWO AND THROUGH – My Favorite Two-Album Artists:

I don’t think there are many people from my generation who aren’t familiar with Traveling Wilburys, the pseudonymous collaboration between George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison (who sadly passed away shortly after the debut album was released), but I often wonder if younger fans of those individual artists are even aware of this supergroup and, if so, whether or not they take it seriously. Their first single, “Handle With Care,” showcased all of their distinct vocals, both individually & collectively, but most importantly you could hear how much fun the quintet (along with drummer Jim Keltner) was having in the studio. This sense of frivolity continued throughout their debut album, and it’s hard not to smile when you listen to the bouncy “Last Night,” Dylan’s homage to Bruce Springsteen, “Tweeter And The Monkey Man,” Orbison’s ageless soaring vocals on “Not Alone Anymore” and the infectious album closer, “End Of The Line.” There are few albums I can think of that are as full of pure joy as this one

I enjoy both Traveling Wilburys albums and consider them (especially the debut) as essential as just about anything else in the Harrison, Dylan, Petty, Lynne and Orbison discographies.

 

Is there anyone out there who isn’t aware of Traveling Wilburys? If so, and you’re a fan of any/all these artists, you’re in for a treat. For everyone else, how would you rate it against their individual works?

16 comments on “Satur-debut – TRAVELING WILBURYS “VOL. 1”

  1. 80smetalman
    February 8, 2020

    These guys did put the ‘super’ in super-group.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. 2loud2oldmusic
    February 8, 2020

    I love this album. Picked up a 3 disc collection of the Wilburys. I’m not sure how i would rank it among their individual efforts, but it is a must own if a fan of any of the guys.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I picked up that 3-disc collection as well. Until then both Wilburys CDs were turning into collectors’ items because I believe they had gone out of print. For anyone who doesn’t own either album that’s the set they should get their hands on.

      Liked by 2 people

      • 2loud2oldmusic
        February 10, 2020

        I think you are right in the album being out of print. They were hard to find and still are on vinyl. At least I can’t find it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t think they would be scarce on vinyl since the album came out at a time when vinyl was still being pressed regularly even as CDs had become the preferred format. I wonder if either/both Wilburys albums have been reissued on vinyl in recent years. They would probably do really well.

        Liked by 2 people

      • 2loud2oldmusic
        February 12, 2020

        Scarce might not be the best word. They are hard to find in good shape and a cheap price.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That makes sense. People who loved the vinyl version probably held on to it, and anyone who parted with it probably treated the record poorly. There’s no other explanation. If I ever stumble upon a clean copy at a fair price I’ll let you know.

        Liked by 2 people

      • 2loud2oldmusic
        February 13, 2020

        Thanks

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Bill P
    February 8, 2020

    Love this album. I recently introduced Harrison’s “Cloud Nine” album to my wife and kids (they loved it) and I think it is a spiritual cousin to this since it had Jeff Lynne on production and is just as joyous. What it lacks, however, is the haunting voice of Orbison and then the contrasting nasal tones that come from Petty and Dylan. I read once that the whole band came about in trying to just put a special track on “Cloud Nine” but then they had such a good vibe that they realized there was much more than just a song there. Great pick for the week!

    Like

    • Hi Bill. I’m happy to hear that the wife & kids love Harrison’s Cloud Nine. I played that album to death when it was released, and I still love it all these years later. I completely agree about the connection between that and the Wilburys albums, and you can throw Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever into that group as well. I’ve considered writing a post about Jeff Lynne’s production work which I may get to some day…if time permits.

      Like

  4. Alyson
    February 11, 2020

    Will there ever be another group quite as “super” as this one. Some very big names there and it must have been fun but not a case of the “whole being greater than the sum of its parts”. A treat for fans though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m on the fence about whether or not the whole was better than the sum of its parts here. Sure, each artist likely recorded something more essential individually, but I don’t think there’s anything in their catalogs that exudes pure joy the way the first Wilburys album does. No doubt a treat for anyone who hears it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Alyson
        February 14, 2020

        I stand corrected and will obviously have to give them another whirl – It’s been a while. Funnily enough they popped up on the radio yesterday and of course I though of your post.

        Liked by 2 people

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