The Traveling Wilburys: George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison.
The music of supergroup the Traveling Wilburys was never meant to be taken too seriously. And perhaps because of this, the records had fallen completely out of print by the mid 1990s, a shocking occurrence for a triple platinum band. Rhino Records came to the rescue, however, with this fantastic set that includes not only both proper Wilbury albums (VOL. 1 and VOL. 3), but a handful of bonus tracks from each session, a DVD with all the videos and behind-the-scenes footage, and detailed liner notes.
The meat of the order here is definitely the first disc, TRAVELING WILBURYS, VOL. 1, a certified masterpiece with five legends at the top of their game. Roy Orbison's "You're Not Alone Anymore" may be his finest performance since the '60s; George Harrison's "Handle With Care" is as good as any solo Beatle hit; and Tom Petty's "Last Night" shows why he belongs rubbing shoulders with Orbison, a Beatle, and Dylan. Disc 2 features their follow-up record, TRAVELING WILBURYS, VOL. 3, and while it still holds up, the material is not quite as strong as on VOL. 1 (sadly, Roy Orbison, for one thing, had passed away by this point). There are still some gems, though, mostly from Petty: the country stomp "Poor House," the longing "New Blue Moon," and the playful "Inside Out." Disc 3 is a DVD featuring complete music videos and a short behind-the-scenes documentary about the supergroup. This is a must-have for fans of the band and of the legendary musicians that comprise it.
Rolling Stone - 4 Stars (out of 5) - Ranked #70 in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Albums Of The 80's survey.
Entertainment Weekly (p.78) - "[H]earing these titans shuffle through one slapdash boogie after another is pure fun." -- Grade: A-