Music News - The Traveling Wilburys would likely have never referred to themselves as a supergroup. Regardless of being comprised of some of the biggest names in modern music, the band was much more nonchalant than that. Formed out of friendship, spontaneity (and some say pure kismet) the Traveling Wilburys were Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison.
The music they created together on their 1988 debut would win GRAMMY®s and garner platinum plaques, but, more than anything, it was a testament to the group’s enduring chemistry and collective genius. Craft Recordings’ 30th-anniversary 12-inch picture-disc reissue of The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 on November 2 celebrates this blue moon moment in rock ’n’ roll history.
The limited edition picture disc is available for pre-order HERE.
The origin story of the Traveling Wilburys is a pretty simple one. It was really just about five friends gathering to make music together in a home studio—except for the fact that they all happened to be rock ’n’ roll royalty. It began in 1988, when George Harrison and co-producer Jeff Lynne were tasked with recording a B-side for the former Beatle’s album, Cloud Nine. In need of a place to record on the fly, the two borrowed their friend, Bob Dylan’s, studio. They ended up spontaneously pulling Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and ultimately Dylan himself into the process. The resulting track was “Handle With Care,” a collaborative effort which Harrison’s A&R team knew was just too good to use as a B-side.
George later said, "I liked the song and the way that it turned out with all these people on it so much that I just carried it around in my pocket for ages thinking, 'Well what can I do with this thing?' And the only thing to do I could think of was do another nine. Make an album." And that’s what the fivesome did, working quickly and informally, and operating as a full-fledged band, sharing lead vocals and songwriting duties. In keeping with that all-for-one spirit, they even created an alternate identity as a family band, the Traveling Wilburys, with each member adopting an alias: Dylan was Lucky Wilbury, Harrison was Nelson Wilbury, Orbison was Lefty Wilbury, Lynne was Otis Wilbury, and Petty became Charlie T. Wilbury Jr.
When you listen to these five musical giants trading lines and licks, there’s an unmistakable spirit of creativity and fraternity; it’s this pure enthusiasm that helped the record connect in such a widespread way.