The Traveling Wilburys – Vol 1

Artist: The Traveling Wilburys
Genere: Folk, Folk-rock
Title: Vol 1
Label:Wilbury Records
Format: Cassette
Musicians:Nelson Wilbury (George Harrison) – vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, slide guitar, backing vocals, Otis Wilbury (Jeff Lynne) – vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, backing vocals, Charlie T. Wilbury Jr (Tom Petty) – vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, backing vocals, Lefty Wilbury (Roy Orbison) – vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica, backing vocals, Lucky Wilbury (Bob Dylan) – vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica, backing vocals, Additional personnel: Buster Sidebury (Jim Keltner) – drums, Jim Horn – saxophones, Steven Gwyther Jones – saxophone,Ray Cooper – percussion, Ian Wallace – tom-toms
Producer:Otis and Nelson Wilbury (Jeff Lynne and George Harrison)
Engineer: Bill Bottrell, Richard Dodd, Phil McDonald, Don Smith

The Traveling Wilburys (sometimes shortened to “The Wilburys”) were a British-American supergroup consisting of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. The band recorded two albums, the first in 1988 and the second in 1990, though Orbison died before the second was recorded. You can read more and about how the name came about, etc. here:
Official website:

The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 is the debut album by the supergroup Traveling Wilburys and was recorded and released in 1988 to commercial success and critical acclaim.
I have the cassette version which I transferred to CD.

1. “Handle with Care” George Harrison (Bridge: Roy Orbison): George Harisson takes lead vocals on this opening track. Great lyrics. “Musically, the song is built around a descending, folk-rock chord pattern and some fine major-key chorus movements. George Harrison handles the verses, and there are also two excellent bridges featuring Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan. Orbison’s section capitalizes on his awesome, operatic vocal pipes, and the effect is wonderful.” The opening chords are reminiscent of Jeff Lynne’s “10538 Overture”, the ELO single from 1972. Casting about for a song idea while relaxing in a garden near Bob Dylan’s recording studio, Harrison was inspired when he noticed a box in Dylan’s garage that was labelled “Handle with Care”. The box also inspired the opening line: “been beat up and battered around.” The complete song quickly followed, with different members of the gathering contributing various lines. The group moved to a recording studio and quickly laid down the basic tracks which were later polished by eventual Wilburys producer Jeff Lynne. The song depicts a conversation between a man and his new found love wherein he is recounting life’s experiences which have affected him, contributed to his loneliness, and his plea to his love to “handle me with care” because of all the things he had been through.
2. “Dirty World” Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan takes lead vocals on this track, again really fun lyrics
3. “Rattled” Jeff Lynne: Jeff Lynne takes the lead here on this track that has an old time drive rock style
4. “Last Night” Tom Petty (Bridge: Roy Orbison): Tom Petty is credited with the lead vocals here with this kind of island sounding song
5. “Not Alone Any More” Roy Orbison: Roy Orbison is on lead here. (One of my least favorite songs on the album).
6. “Congratulations” Bob Dylan: Dylan takes the lead again on this song with great sarcastic lyrics involving bad break-ups between lovers
7. “Heading for the Light” George Harrison (Bridge: Jeff Lynne): George Harrison back on lead here.
8. “Margarita” Bob Dylan/Tom Petty (Bridge: Jeff Lynne): Bob Dylan and Tom Petty share vocal duties on this modern synth based sounding song, also not one of my favorites.
9. “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” Bob Dylan: Yes, Dylan has to lead on these type of songs as is his specialty. “Tweeter and The Monkey Man” is sometimes regarded as a playful homage to the songs of Bruce Springsteen, who was often hailed as “the next Dylan” early in his career. The lyrics include the titles of many Springsteen songs, and the song borrows many of Springsteen’s themes. The setting of the song itself is New Jersey, Springsteen’s home state and the setting for many of Springsteen’s own songs.
Only Petty, Harrison, Dylan and Lynne took part in recording the song. This is the only Wilburys song on Vol. 1 not to feature Roy Orbison on lead or backing vocals. The song tells the story of two drug dealers – Tweeter and the Monkeyman – their nemesis, the “Undercover Cop,” and the cop’s sister, Jan, a longtime love interest of the Monkeyman. Some of the lyrics imply that Tweeter may have changed from being a male to a female, for example: “Tweeter was a boy scout / before she went to Vietnam…”. Later in the song, Jan is quoted as saying of Tweeter, “I knew him long before he ever became a Jersey girl.”
Throughout the ballad, the final demise of Tweeter, the Monkeyman, and the Undercover Cop, as well as Jan’s fate, are examined.
10. “End of the Line”: Vocals  are shared by all on this tune. Its riding-on-the-rails rhythm suggests its theme and the on-the-move nature of the group. It features all the Wilburys, except Bob Dylan, as lead singers; George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison sing the choruses in turn, while Tom Petty sings the verses. The song then expands into a “freight train” rhythm to underscore its theme.


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