24 October 2013

24th October - Traveling Wilburys' Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1

Artist – Album: Traveling Wilburys – Traveling Wilburys vol. 1
Released: 24th October 1988
Sounds Like: The league of super best friends

The most super of all supergroups, the Traveling Wilburys saw Nelson (George Harrison), Otis (Jeff Lynne), Lefty (Roy Orbison), Charlie T. (Tom Petty) and Lucky (Bob Dylan) team up in a constellation of stars that is unlikely to ever be bested. Throw in the fact that it was produced at one half of the Eurthymics’ home studio, and that the liner notes were written by Michael Palin, and it’s enough to make even the most cynical of music fans’ head explode. Ignoring the silly Wilburys backstory, our heroes really joined forces when Lyne, Harrison and Orbison were having dinner together (as you do). Harrison needed help with the b-side to his ‘This Is Love’, and they agreed to jointly record ‘Handle with Care’ over at Bob Dylan’s house (as you do). The result was so brilliant that they decide to lay down a whole album, and the band was completed when Harrison went over to Petty’s house to pick up his guitar and roped in the Heartbreaker (as you do).

Vol. 1 is noteworthy because of the stellar cast assembled, but it’s special because it’s actually just an album of mates having a laugh together. ‘Handle with Care’ may have been the first and best of their tunes but its not short of competitors – ‘Dirty World’ is a riot with its vehicular euphemisms (“You don't need no wax job, you're smooth enough for me, If you need you oil changed I'll do it for you free”), ‘Margarita’ is propelled by flighty guitar licks and glorious harmonies, whilst Roy Orbison on the soaring ‘Not Alone Any More’ and Bob Dylan on ‘Tweeter and the Monkey Man’ contribute arguably their best performances since their sixties and seventies heydays. ‘End of the Line’ at the end of the album is a belter, with the, ahem, mature stars wittily commenting on their age – “Well it's all right, even if you're old and grey, Well it's all right, you still got something to say”

It might not technically be the best album released on this day – that accolade would probably have to go to Don McLean’s American Pie or Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness – but goddamn it is a lot of fun.

Albumaday... rating: 8/10

1.       Handle with Care – 3:20
2.       Dirty World – 3:30
3.       Rattled – 3:00
4.       Last Night – 3:48
5.       Not Alone Any More – 3:24
6.       Congratulations – 3:30
7.       Heading for the Light – 3:37
8.       Margarita – 3:15
9.       Tweeter and the Monkey Man – 5:30
10.   End of the Line – 3:30 

Listen to ‘Margarita’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UEu5iusUOE

Also released on 24th October:
1971: Don McLean – American Pie
Also released on 24th October:
1995: Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

Also released on 24th October:
2003: The Cat Empire – The Cat Empire

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