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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Traveling Wilburys catalog about to be Unleashed!

After a near two-decade wait the entire Traveling Wilburys collection - including some new, never-released, material will be released in just days. This will make many - including yours truly, very happy. With a musical pedigree stretching four decades, the works of Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty will be re-released (something that was out of the question in the 1990s!) with new material due out on the Rhino label on June 11. If you don't know who the Wilburys (the world's best super-group) are or why you should be excited by this - begin to listen and hold on to your hat!


The Wilburys: Dylan was "Lucky." They called Tom Petty, "Charlie." Jeff Lynne went by "Otis." Roy Orbison was "Lefty." George Harrison, the Beatle, went by "Nelson." The Wilburys was a band but they were more so a musical getaway, a virtual holiday really - for some of the most accomplished men in music. It's unclear or not whether they realized they were making some pretty amazing music until later. Their friendship plays out in the music.


The band had the best of everything in mind when it released "The Traveling Wilburys Volume 1" - their first record made from sessions in early 1988. The album was one of Rolling Stone's best 100 albums of the 1980s - and with good reason. Almost every track is somehow emblematic of the members' careers in the industry and rife with imagery from their catalogs. With the death of Roy Orbison in 1988, the group closed its gates for good, but did release the "second half" of the sessions and some re-polished material from the early sessions. This was dubbed "The Traveling Wilburys Volume 3." The fact that they somehow "missed" an entire album underscored the band's light-hearted nature and served to fuel their collective legend. (As one valued reader* points out - Tom Petty's "Full Moon Fever" involved the Wilburys during various stages - and should be considered the Volume 2 in this series!)
For Volume 3, George Harrison changed his name to "Spike Wilbury" - his brothers Tom Petty, Jeff Lynn and Bob Dylan, respectively, went by the names "Muddy, Clayton and Boo." Although popular, the members declined to record new material or re-release what they had already cut.




With George Harrison's passing in 2001, nothing changed in this stance to "shut it down" - only now the surviving members vowed to not reprint any material. Only with the passage of time and the locating of new, unreleased material which will be published in the two-CD/one DVD set will this see the light of day. I used to peer through used CD racks looking for a copy of Volume 1 - since mine was swiped by a friend years ago. For a time you could find copies online for ridiculous prices. All-in-all, the release (and new material and DVD) is cause for celebration!


Traveling Wilburys web / wikipedia
* special thanks to Matt for the typo and fact corrections!

1 comment:

Justin said...

Great news for fans and a great chance for more people to discover these albums. I'm also thrilled you mentioned Jenny Lewis' cover of Handle with Care, its brilliant and so is the rest of her solo album.