Friday, November 14, 2008

Album Of The Day #111: TRAVELING WILBURYS, VOL. 1 - The Traveling Wilburys

Title: Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1
Artist: The Traveling Wilburys
Label: Wiblury/Warner
Released: 1988
Songs: Handle With Care/Dirty World/Rattled/Last Night/Not Alone Anymore/Not Alone Anymore/Congratulations/Heading For The Light/Margarita/Tweeter And The Monkey Man/End Of The Line
Written by: The Traveling Wilburys
Produced by: Otis & Nelson Wilbury
Thoughts: I was originally going to write this as a complete joke and actually use the Wilbury names that they gave themselves, but I thought that was a little much and I decided to go with a straight up review.
This has to be one of the greatest albums of all time. The group comprised of George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison…and how could you go wrong with that? All of them threw their egos out the door and did it for fun, which completely shows throughout the record. What really sticks out is that all of them make significant contributions; with at least one song by each member (although I guess Tom got a free pass). George and Bob have the most, with three each, but why should they not? They are the best songwriters out of the five.
However, the most annoying thing is Bob’s songs. Down In The Groove, one of his absolute worst albums came out in the same year as this, 1988. The album, a hodge-podge that only included two solo Dylan compositions, could certainly have been made so much stronger with just one of his songs. Although, we have to be thankful that the Wilburys lit the fire that Dylan apparently needed and used to make Oh Mercy. Still, was the Dylan that wrote “Tweeter And The Monkey Man” really the same man that wrote “Had A Dream About You Baby”?
George’s songs are very much in the vein of Cloud Nine. “Handle With Care”, “End Of The Line” and “Heading For The Light” could easily have found homes on that album.
Now, the rest of it is pretty good, like Roy’s amazing “Not Alone Anymore”, Jeff’s “Rattled” and the full-group collaborations, “Last Night” and “Margarita”.
Even if you do split them up and attribute a song to each member, you can see that all members still made significant contributions and none of them would sound good without some missing part.

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