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Traveling Wilburys - the Band

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The Traveling Wilburys were a short-lived country rock group of the late 1980s who, although they made some great music, would be little more than a footnote in music history if it wasn't for the individual fame of each member.

Respected stars Tom Petty of the Heartbreakers and Jeff Lynne of ELO and the Move were joined by a small host of bona fide rock legends.

The 'Big O' - Roy Orbison - provided his unmistakable vocals on the first album (imaginatively titled Volume One), particularly on the hit singles 'Handle With Care' and 'End of the Line' as well as the effortlessly beautiful track 'Not Alone Anymore'. Unfortunately, Roy Orbison had died by the time the band recorded the follow-up album, Volume Three.

The legendary Bob Dylan was a very noticeable presence on the Wilburys albums. This is heard to best effect on the charity single 'Nobody's Child', and 'Where Were You Last Night?, one of the highlights from Volume Three

The unlikely five-piece was completed by the most under-rated Beatle, the late George Harrison. The soaring ballad 'You Took My Breath Away', also from Volume Three is Harrison at his best, comparable to his well loved 'Here Comes The Sun', 'Something' and 'My Sweet Lord'.

After Volume Three the various members of the group returned to their solo careers. In addition to the Volumes, two other Wilburys albums were released. Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever, which featured the other members and was produced by Jeff Lynne, was re-issued as Traveling Wilburys Volume Two, between the two other Volumes albums, and Volume Four, a compilation album of B-sides, unreleased tracks, and a version of Roy Orbison's 'You Got It', written by Lynne and Harrison.

Unfortunately, due to legal disagreements between the remaining Wilburys and the family of Roy Orbison, none of the albums are currently available in the UK. The sooner these arguments are resolved, the better, because the public are missing out on a genuine supergroup of immense talent, consisting of legendary artists performing work that many cite as among their best.


The Singles

October 1988: 'Handle with Care' b/w 'Margarita'

Highest Chart positions:

  • UK - 21
  • US - 43
  • February 1989: 'End of The Line' b/w 'Congratulations'

    Highest chart position:

  • UK - 52
  • US - 63
  • June 1990: 'Nobody's Child' b/w B-side by Dave Stewart and Ringo Starr

    Highest chart position:

  • UK - 44
  • November 1990: 'She's My Baby' b/w 'New Blue Moon' and 'Runaway'

    (Did not chart)

    March 1991: 'Wilbury Twist' b/w 'New Blue Moon - Instrumental' and 'Cool Dry Place'

    (Did not chart)

    The Albums

    October 1988: The Traveling Wilburys, Volume 1

    • 'Handle With Care'
    • 'Dirty World'
    • 'Rattled'
    • 'Last Night'
    • 'Not Alone Anymore'
    • 'Congratulations'
    • 'Heading For The Light'
    • 'Margarita'
    • 'Tweeter and The Monkey Man'

    Highest chart position:

  • UK - 16
  • US - 3
  • May 1989: Tom Petty: Full Moon Fever (aka The Traveling Wilburys, Volume Two)

    • 'Free Fallin''
    • 'I Won't Back Down'
    • 'Love Is A Long Road'
    • 'A Face In The Crowd'
    • 'Runnin' Down A Dream'
    • 'Feel A Whole Lot Better'
    • 'Yer So Bad'
    • 'Depending On You'
    • 'The Apartment Song'
    • 'Alright For Now'
    • 'A Mind With A Heart Of It's Own'
    • 'Zombie Zoo'

    Highest chart position:

  • UK - 8
  • US - 3
  • November 1990: The Traveling Wilburys, Volume Three

    • 'She's My Baby'
    • 'Inside Out'
    • 'If You Belonged To Me'
    • 'The Devil's Been Busy'
    • 'Seven Deadly Sins'
    • 'Poor House'
    • 'Where Were You Last Night?'
    • 'Cool Dry Place'
    • 'New Blue Moon'
    • 'You Took My Breath Away'
    • 'Wilbury Twist'

    Highest chart position:

  • UK - 14
  • US - 11
  • The Traveling Wilburys, Volume 4 12(Bootleg)

    • 'Walk Away'
    • 'The Troubler'
    • 'Heartbreak Radio'
    • 'You Got It'
    • 'Under The Read Sky'
    • 'Nobody's Child'
    • 'Runaway'
    • 'I'm Gone'
    • 'Bone In Time'
    • 'Border Line'
    • 'Cheer Down'
    • 'Silence'

    The Members

  • Bob Dylan. Born Robert Allen Zimmerman, 24 May, 1941, Duluth, Minnesota (aka 'Lucky Wilbury', 'Boo Wilbury').
  • George Harrison, born 25 February, 1943, Liverpool (aka 'Nelson Wilbury', 'Spike Wilbury').

  • Roy Orbison, born 23 April, 1936, Vernon, Texas (aka 'Lefty Wilbury')

  • Tom Petty, born 20 October, 1953, Gainsville, Florida (aka 'Charlie T Wilbury Jr', 'Muddy Wilbury')

  • Jeff Lynne, born 30 December, 1947, Birmingham (aka 'Otis Wilbury', 'Clayton Wilbury')

  • Further Wilbury Reading

    Dirty World - The Traveling Wilburys website

    Bookmark on your Personal Space

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