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Off the Record: Supergroup group makes powerful music
By Jim Zebora
Meriden Record-Journal — Sunday, November 13, 1988
THE TRAVELING WILBURYS: VOLUME ONE | Wilbury Records Warner Bros
You don’t have to catch the Amnesty Tour to see a supergroup anymore. The Traveling Wilburys will be happy to visit your turntable.
In case you haven’t heard, the Wilburys are a supergroup with a lot in common with Derek and the Dominoes. There was nobody named Derek, and there’s nobody named Wilbury.
But you will recognize names like Bob Dylan (Lucky Wilbury), George Harrison (Nelson Wilbury), Roy Orbison (Lefty Wilbury), Jeff Lynne (Otis Wilbury), and Tom Petty (Charlie T. Wilbury Jr.)
According to Rolling Stone, Orbison and Petty both happened to be at producer Lynne’s house, when Harrison stopped by and mentioned that he needed help with a couple of songs. The quartet dropped over to see Dylan, had a lot of fun, and ended up recording an entire album, which is a pure joy to hear.
Volume One is a wonderful disc, full of powerful, meaningful songs as well as melodic pop ditties. Though each artist is recognizable individually as a singer, the overall sound of the album is very much like Lynne’s own band, the Electric Light Orchestra.
The album’s classic anthem is “Handle With Care,” primarily a Harrison song about success that features alternating vocals with Orbison and ends with a fine dose of Dylan’s harmonica.
The very next cut, “Dirty World,” showcases Dylan as a bluesy growler singing an out-of-kilter love song.
Overall, the mood of the LP is light and joyful as it presents these world-class artists with the best of all possible accompaniment — each other. It’s well worth checking out. B plus.