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Wilburys set to travel, again.

I had missed out on a good time back in the 1988.  I don’t hink I was old enough to get it when the Wilburys first hit the stage.  I mean, come on, I was only 11 years old.  Prior to today my opportunites to hear the music have been hit and miss, with their albums not being readily available.  Oh, maybe you haven’t heard?  The definitive Traveling Wilburys’ CD/LP/DVD sets come out today.The reviews we’ve read on this baby are nothing short of brilliant.  If you are a Wilbury fan, and what Beatle fans wouldn’t enjoy the music, for the sake of music feel of the starr-studded side project that almost everyone loved, especially George Harrison.  If you are hesitating at the thought of purchasing this set please go get your head examined this morning, take a pill, and then run to your local music store and pick this hot little number up today, because the Wilburys should be traveling out of your stereo right now.  Go out and pick it up man.

Be careful though, and pay attention to which edition you are picking up.  The Wilbury set comes in several different configurations, so make sure that you get the one that you want. 

The Traveling Wilburys collectible packages will be available in four configurations. Each configuration is a remarkable commemoration of this unique group.

  • Standard Package – Features 2 CDs (Volumes 1 and 3) with bonus tracks, bonus DVD of content and a 16-page collectible book.
  • Deluxe Edition Set – Linen-bound deluxe edition features 2 CDs (Volumes 1 and 3) with bonus tracks, bonus DVD, and a 40-page collectible book with photos, original liner notes, new liner notes and a uniquely numbered certificate of authenticity.
  • Vinyl Edition – Features 2 vinyl releases of Volumes 1 and 3 with an additional 12-inch featuring bonus tracks, a collectible album-sized book, plus additional postcards/posters.
  • Digital Edition Bundle – Features downloadable editions of both CDs (Volumes 1 and 3) with bonus tracks, video content and an interactive booklet.  

Here’s what we’ve read.

Nelson, Otis, Charlie T. Jr., Lefty and Lucky were never household names on the order of, say, John, Paul, George and Ringo. But in 1988, the alter egos of George Harrison, Jeff Lynne (ELO), Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan were lighting up airwaves and sales charts as the Traveling Wilburys.

The supergroup’s double-platinum-selling debut album, Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1, reached No. 3 on the Billboard album charts and spawned two hit singles, Handle With Care and End of the Line. Then came the playfully titled Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 3 two years later. (“That was George’s idea,” says Lynne, who co-produced both albums with the former Beatle, who died in 2001. “He said, ‘Let’s confuse the buggers.’ “)

The two much-treasured albums, complete with four bonus tracks and a DVD of home movies from the sessions, are being reissued Tuesday by Rhino as The Traveling Wilburys Collection, after more than 10 years’ absence.

Maxine and Like a Ship, featuring Harrison and Dylan, respectively, on lead vocals, are previously unreleased outtakes from Vol. 3. “They were completed, except for some harmonies, so I asked George’s son, Dhani, to do his father’s parts, which was nice,” Lynne says.

The third bonus track, Nobody’s Child, was recorded for Nobody’s Child: Romanian Angel Appeal, a charity album Harrison’s wife, Olivia, put together to help Romanian orphans. The fourth song, Runaway, was a B-side to a British single (She’s My Baby).

The DVD features the original music videos, along with a 24-minute documentary told in the group’s own voices. Fans will savor home videos shot during the recording of both albums, showing everything from writing sessions to vocal tracking to fun with the guys.

“George loved the Wilburys,” Petty says. “He treasured it, really. He missed having a band.” Adds Olivia Harrison: “He was happy to play music with anyone — Dhani’s school friends, me. He just wanted to play.”

Harrison floated the idea of putting together a band of “over-40s,” possibly called The Tremblers, while recording his hit solo album Cloud Nine with producer Lynne, recalls engineer Richard Dodd. The name eventually evolved.

“He and Jeff used to call gadgets in the studio ‘wilburys,’ like, ‘Let’s give that sound a trembling wilbury,’ ” Olivia says. “One night, they said, ‘Oh, if you had a band, you could call it the Traveling Wilburys.’ “

The opportunity came to create that band in April 1988, when Harrison needed to record a B-side for his single This Is Love. While in Los Angeles, he popped in on Lynne, who was working on Orbison’s Mystery Girl album, to ask for help.

“Jeff told him, ‘I can’t do it right now, I’m with Roy,’ ” recalls Orbison’s wife, Barbara. “But George was very smooth. He asked Roy, ‘What are you doing tomorrow?’ and Roy said, ‘Whatever Jeff is doing,’ and George said, ‘Well, I need Jeff’s help.’ “

After a quick phone call to Dylan, Harrison secured a studio — Bob’s garage — for the following day.

Petty had co-written Orbison’s You Got It and was pals with Harrison. “By the time we got to Bob’s, the band was falling into line,” Petty says. “It just wasn’t official.”

The reluctant Dylan was brought into the fold after Harrison, who had the tune but no lyrics, played him the song. When Dylan asked its name, “George looked around and spotted some words on a touring case in the garage: Handle with care,” Lynne says.

“We wrote the words over dinner,” Petty says. “Bob grilled us some chicken, and we wrote the words together in the garden.”

The song was recorded that night and presented to Warner Bros. Records chief Mo Ostin, who insisted that Harrison not waste it but continue recording an entire album.

With only 10 days to record before Dylan went on the road, Harrison, Lynne and Petty convened in Orbison’s dressing room at a show in Anaheim, Calif., to ask the singing legend to formally join the group. When he said yes, “we were so excited, we were like kids, jumping up and down and shouting and screaming,” Lynne says.

The album was recorded in Los Angeles at the home studio of The Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart and released five months later to universal acclaim.

The project was bittersweet — Orbison died just two months later, before the recording of the second disc — but the experience had been extraordinary for all involved. “It was a nice vacation from the spotlight,” Petty says. “We were sharing the load together.”

Harrison was happy to have the camaraderie, his widow says. “They had such great skill and brought out the best in you, and they were people you wanted to do your best for. That’s really what it was about for him, and probably for all of them.”

Source: USA Today


13 Responses

  1. Matt is right, any Beatle fan worth his weight in jellybeans should have the Wilbury discs. If you do not already have this collection, you will be rewarded, if you do-you probably do not have the Del Shannon tunes. Del was asked to join, when he declined, Roy Orbison stepped in. Some good stuff here.

  2. i think the Travelling wilburys were very important for George after the Beatles.i think he felt this group really like an his creation.apart from George,in this group we can remember very famous names:Jeff Lynne,Tom Petty,Roy Orbison,Bob Dylan,i can remember “You got it”by Orbison,and it’s really nice song.but,i can also remember a nice Ringo’s tribute for John Lennon singing andplaying with the Travelling wilburys a Beatles song,in particular a John’s song:”I call your name”.it ‘s nice that Lynne told Dhani for being his father George during the recordings of this set.Dhani looks like George,so much and i hope he will playing and singing like his dad!

  3. The Wilburys were so fresh. I loved every song. This set nearly has it all. You have to track down the 12″ single extended mixes of “Handle With Care” and “The End Of The Line” as well as the instrumental mix of “New Blue Moon” which appeared on the “She’s My Baby” CD-single.

    Ulla mentions a few Wilbury-sounding songs like Ringo’s “I Call Your Name” and Roy’s “You Got It” and there are ton of others from Petty’s album with “Freefalling” and George’s “Poor Little Girl,” “Cheer Down,” and “Cockamamie Business”. Don’t forget the two Threetles tracks “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love” which have that distinctive Jeff Lynne-sound. Great memories during that period from about 1988 thru 1992.

  4. the wilbury’s was george’s creation ….it was a time when people started talking about the beatles again…..after ringo vanishing after old wave, paul doing broadstreet, john passing……this was a good time……ringo’s first solo tour in 89′, paul’s flowers in the dirt and world tour, george’s cloud 9 and 2 wilbury’s albums…..george’s tour of japan….time takes time, off the ground, live in japan, all leading up to the beatle’s anthology………george came back in a very big way…..it was a special time……i know john is gone and we all miss him, but george is gone too and he was as much a beatle as john…..novembey 29th is as depressing as december 8th, to me……ya’ know john would have made a fine wilbury……actually elvis was almost one…rca records was going to give george an elvis song, seldom heard .for them to sing along with but i didn’t happen……it was a little less conversation…..and it #1 all over the world in 2002….

  5. I have always kept a mental list of people who would have made good Wilburys…

    Neil Young (may have been too political to be a Wilbury)
    Eric Clapton (George said he wasn’t Wilbury material though)
    Ringo Starr
    Del Shannon (too bad he took his own life)

    any others?

  6. hey raj, cool list how bout’…… george even mentioned carl perkins…….dion……. billy preston…jim keltner was…..donovan….joey molland.{ bad finger}….pete best?……..denny laine?……del…….dave edmunds….johnny cash….jerry lee lewis…..chuck berry….little richard…..dave gilmour { pink floyd}…..myself { in my dreams}……

  7. FOR AWC1967:well,i can tell you with no problem,that i missing terribly sweet George,too!everytime i look at him in some videos or tributes,it makes me crying! you know,for me John and George were like the basement of a temple!no one and i tell NO ONE could ever replace them!i told that George felt the Travelling Wilburys like an his own creation,because for the very first time he created an own group(i already knew!)and he could deciding which kind music playing and singing without be always the third!remember,that George always sung songs written by John or Paul(“i’m happy just to dance with you”is written by John!)now,with this group he could feeling himself the first!even if he was not so ambitious!like Paul,for example)

  8. for Raj:sorry,if i mentioned few songs,but my culture is in development!;-) i think always there’s something to learn by someone or something.you know,im younger than you so when the Travelling wilburys written those other songs i was a child!so,i can remember few songs,but anyway,i think it is something!

  9. FOR awc:

    Yeah, I forgot those too!!! Awesome list. There must be a Wilbury Hall of Fame somewhere with an honorary members wing.

  10. Has anyone actually seen the vinyl re-release? My pre-order was cancelled.

  11. i would also adding that there’s a sir Paul’s cover of one Buddy Holly song:”Maybe baby”that he playied and recorded with Jeff Lynne,and published in his 2004 album:”Run devil run”(this cover was used for a soundtrack for an English film called:”Maybe baby”like the song,this song was sung even by John Lennon in acoustic way and published in “The lost Lennon tapes vol.1″in 1971.)i heard sir Paul version cause of the film and i didn’t know was a Buddy Holly song!but John’s version i never heard before until i found it and i heard it in a Russian website!i was very lucky!

  12. sorry people,”Run devil run” was published in 1999!

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