Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Traveling Wilburys

Spontaneity is often the key to success. Plan a big party and it will usually disappoint. The best parties start with a few guys buying a keg and calling their friends at the last minute. The same is true for the Traveling Wilburys, formed by accident by George Harrison who needed to cut a B-side for a single. If this had been the brainchild of a major label marketing executive, the total would probably never have equaled the sum of it’s’ parts. But instead we get five friends jamming. OK, five friends who happen to be rock royalty jamming, but friends none the less. Fortunately, these friends put together something special that Rhino records has now reissued.

Critically, Volume 1 received the better reception. However, Volume 3 (there was no Volume 2) is very good as well. It falls short of the original mostly because of the death of Roy Orbison, whose vocals were so vital in creating the sound of the band on Volume 1. The reissue includes four new tracks, two on each Volume. On Volume 1, “Maxine” has a Tejano feel reminiscent Los Lobos “Saint Behind the Glass” off their Kiko album. “Like a Ship” is a sad love ballad led by Bob Dylan. On Volume 3 “Nobody’s Child” is a heartbreaking country song about orphans worthy of any classic album to come out of Nashville. The cover of “Runaway” is very well done but would have been much better with Orbison’s vocals if recorded during the first album. There is also a DVD, which I have not seen, but has videos and unreleased footage of the making of the albums.
Link to this video trailer:

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