I posted this review on entertainment forums a long time ago, but forgot about it. A conversation about the Wilburies this afternoon reminded me of it, so I'm posting it now.
The Traveling Wilbury's were a super-group formed by Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne in 1988. Yes, the year I was born was also a good year for music. According to www.wilburys.info the band started when George Harrison was recording his solo record Cloud Nine. Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra was his producer, who was also producing Roy Orbison's album, and got Roy Orbison to sing on one of George's songs. Bob Dylan's studio was the only empty studio around so they had to use that, and Harrison's guitar was left at Tom Petty's house. So they all ended up getting together and making an album. This was it.
Nelson Wilbury (George Harrison)- Lead and backing vocals, lead guitar, co- producer
Otis Wilbury (Jeff Lynne)- Lead and backing vocals, guitars, keyboards, production
Lucky Wilbury (Bob Dylan)- Lead and backing vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Lefty Wilbury (Roy Orbison)- Lead and backing vocals, acoustic guitar
Charlie T. JNR. Wilbury (Tom Petty)- Lead and backing vocals, acoustic guitar
Sideburys- Not technically in the band, but played alongside the Wilburys:
Jim Keltner- Drums
Jim Horn- Saxaphones
Ray Cooper- Percussion
Ian Wallace- Tom toms on Handle With Care
Handle With Care- A perfect opener. Harrison sings the verses, while Orbison sings an amazing bridge, the "I'm so tired of being lonely.." part. The Harrison slide guitar and Dylan harmonica at the end is fantastic, just a perfect ending. 5/5
Dirty World- A Dylan song with a steady drum beat set by Jim Keltner, who was the group's drummer but not counted amongst the Wilburies. It has very sexual lyrics that are kind of funny. Not much to say about this song, but it's fun to listen to. Some nice horn work. 4/5
Rattled- Very similar opening to Dirty World with the same drum beat, some pretty good lyrics. Orbison and Lynne sing lead vocals together, and, like almost all of the songs on the album, it is very fun to listen to. This song has some nice guitar fills from George. 5/5
Last Night- This song has a great relaxing feel. Tom Petty handles the verses, and Orbison handles a nice bridge. All the band joins in for the chorus. 4/5
Not Alone Anymore- This is a great song that shows of Orbison's tremendous skills. Man he has an incredible voice. The elaborate Phil Spector-like production works very well in this song with Orbison's singing. 5/5
COngratulations- This is by far my favorite song on the album. I feel this song is absolutely perfect. It has incredibly sad and great lyrics, and Dylan sings fantastically. When Harrison comes in with a short slide guitar solo with like 30 seconds left, it fits absolutely perfectly and feels a lot longer than the 5 or so seconds that it lasts. Some nice vocal harmonies and the production is great on this song. 5/5
Heading For The Light- An upbeat song with some good horn work. I believe Jeff Lynne takes lead vocals here, but it could be George. This song has a nice little guitar intro and a couple nice fills but it's dominated by Jim Price's horn work. Some nice vocal harmonies too. 4.5/5
Margarita- Starts off with some nice guitar work from George, and has some nice vocal harmonies, and eventually Dylan starts singing, or rather telling a story. It ends just as it starts, and my only complaint is that it is too short. 4/5
Tweeter and the Monkey Man- I don't really get this song. Dylan tells some kind of story, but I don't really know what he's talking about. I didn't like it at first, but it's grown on me a lot. It's fun to listen to, even if I don't really get what Dylan's singing about. 3.5/5
End of the Line- A great way to end the album, with a nice upbeat intro and all the Wiburies sing together here, which is a treat. The lyrics are good just saying that at the end, everything will be alright. It has a nice message, emphasizing friendship and love, with lines such as, Remember to live and let live, well it's alright, best you can do is forgive." A great song and a great way to close out this album. 5/5
Overall, this is a fantastic album. It's just really, really fun to listen to. You can tell that all 5 members are just having a fun time playing together. This album will put anyone in a good mood. My parents have told me that I cried constantly as a baby, and the only way they could stop me from crying was to drive me around in the car and play this album. Even as a baby I loved it. The lyrics of almost every song are very similar, just fun and humorous lyrics, as the band didn't care about commercial success but just wanted to make a fun cd. Definitely a 5/5. Unfortunately, Roy Orbison would die of a heart attack right after this was released. The Wilburies would make another album, volume 3, and although it was still great, it sorely missed Orbison's presence and is not as good as this. Also, this album is out of print, which is very unfortunate. Tom Petty has said that it will be released with bonus tracks sometime this year. If anyone finds this review interesting but doesn't have the album, my AIM is robo2448 and I'll send it to anyone interested.