This week, it’s the turn of one of the best supergroups there ever was, and probably ever will be
This week, we look at the The Travelling Wilburys, and their first album, ‘Vol. 1’. This band were probably one of the best rock groups of the 80’s, and they had one of the best band lineups of all time.
The band was made up of some of the biggest artists of the past decade or so, and consisted of; George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty, with Jim Keltner on drums. However, due to the popularity of each member, they decided to keep their names away from the project for as long as possible, and instead, created pseudonyms to make fans focus on the musical content, rather than the members of the group. Their stage names were as follows; Nelson, Otis, Lucky, Lefty and Charlie T Wilbury, respective of the list of members above. At first, drummer Jim Keltner did not receive a nickname, due to his lesser status, but was later named as Buster Sidebury.
The band got together by chance really, and formed off the back of an idea that Harrison and Lynne came up with whilst producing Harrison’s ‘Dark Horse’ album. Originally, the band got together just to record a B-Side for the album, but they got on so well, they decided to form the supergroup. Harrison and Lynne took the biggest roles, and they produced each Wilburys album, alongside their duties as a member of the band.
This band really showcased the talent of each member, and their talent was the main focus of the band. It wasn’t just instrumental talent that they were showing off, as they also showed off their songwriting capabilities, and each member took a near-enough equal share of the songwriting for the band. This album featured some of the band’s biggest hits, with ‘Handle With Care’, ‘Tweeter And The Monkeyman’ and ‘End Of The Line’ all featuring on the album. Below is a full tracklist for the album, and who wrote each song;
- Handle With Care (Harrison, Orbison)
- Dirty World (Dylan, Harrison, Orbison, Lynne, Petty)
- Rattled (Lynne)
- Last Night (Petty, Orbison)
- Not Alone Anymore (Orbison)
- Congratulations (Dylan)
- Heading For The Light (Harrison, Lynne)
- Margarita (Dylan, Petty, Lynne)
- Tweeter And The Monkeyman (Dylan)
- End Of The line (Harrison, Lynne, Orbison, Petty)
- Maxine (Harrison) (2007 bonus track)
- Like A Ship (Dylan) (2007 bonus track)
This band is one of few bands in history to feature 4 guitarists and a bassist. And although it may seem like too may guitars in one band, each member had the ability, and the talent to bounce of the others, and come out with such a magnificent record. Each member brought their own styles into the mix, and that’s what makes this band so good. Usually supergroups have a couple of good songs, and then disappear, but this band stayed around for a while, and managed to produce some truly wonderful songs. Dylan brought his harmonica, Harrison brought his electrifying slide playing, Petty brought his skilled bass playing, Lynne brought his iconic sound, and wonderful producing abilities, and then Orbison brought that distinct voice, that is so instantly recognisable.
Sadly, due to other commitments for Harrison, and the tragic death of Roy Orbison during the recording of their second album, The Travelling Wilburys never reached their full potential, but the short time they were around, he noise they made was truly fantastic.