The Record Music Magazine
Record Rating: *****

TRAVELING WILBURYS ~ THE TRAVELING WILBURYS COLLECTION The first super group in rock Ďní roll history was undoubtedly the ĎMillion Dollar Quartetí ~ the name given to the impromptu jam session Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis held one night at Sun Studios in 1956. Itís impossible to picture a group with a stronger pedigree than that, yet there never was a bigger superstar group in rock than the Traveling Wilburys. Under the stewardship of Beatle George Harrison, 50s rock Ďní roll legend Roy Orbison, folksinger Bob Dylan, 70s guitar legend Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty (minus the Heartbreakers) got together to create a unique sound thatís influenced generations of artists ~ from U2 to Green Day, right up to Maroon 5 today.

Orbisonís sudden death, a few weeks into the release of the first album, was a blow to the Wilburys; however, the remaining four made the decision to continue without him and released one more record at the end of 1990. Throughout the decade, there were constant rumors of another Wilburys album in the works, but hopes of a reunion were crushed with Harrisonís untimely death in 2001. Due to legal disagreements between the remaining Wilburys and the family of Orbison, both releases were taken out of print and have been unavailable in stores for over a decade. Now with all matters resolved, the two much-treasured albums have been remastered and re-released in a set called The Traveling Wilburys Collection. The set surprised everyone when it debuted straight at #1 on the UK charts last month, and itís currently riding high on charts worldwide. Complete with four bonus tracks and a DVD of the sessions and their five video clips, this three disc box doesnít have a single weak track. CD 1 is filled with 12 highlights from the groupís first effort Traveling Wilburys Volume 1. The Harrison-led singles Handle With Care and End Of The Line are outstanding performances (both were huge hits), while elsewhere Orbison (who has written a few classics before like Pretty Woman) lets his songwriting truly blossom with the wistful ballad Not Alone Anymore.

The groupís second effort (Harrison jokingly titled it Vol. 3) is aptly on CD 3 (CD 2 is the DVD in the box), and itís filled with 13 fun songs like If You Belonged To Me and the Wilbury Twist, the charging You Took My Breath Away, and Where Were You Last Night, a coming-of-age ballad that could be Dylanís best song. With all of the groupís hits and more in chronological order, thereís no question that whatís on The Traveling Wilburys Collection is all great music, and showcases five of rockís biggest superstars at the peak of their creative powers. Run, donít walk, to get this one.

Read our other reviews:

Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full       Bon Jovi - Lost Highway       Ozzy Osbourne - Black Rain       Velvet Revolver - Libertad      


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