Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Traveling Wilburys: The Traveling Wilburys Collection

Bands are like basketball teams—unselfish role players are necessary to make the superstars shine. Which is why supergroups (or "dream team" Olympic lineups) hardly ever work. The miracle of 1988's The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1 is that it did work, in spite of the most impressive collection of legends ever assembled in one band: Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne. Recently reissued as part of The Traveling Wilburys Collection—which also compiles 1990's Vol. 3, unreleased tracks, and a DVD of music videos—Vol. 1 still sounds relaxed and charmingly low-key, with the band members playing down their singular star status for the brotherhood of a loosey-goosey garage-rock band.


Of course, with this much talent in the room, a few classic-rock staples were inevitable; Vol. 1's bookending hits "Handle With Care" and "End Of The Line" perfectly represent the humility and good humor that make the album so irresistible. (Also look for Dylan's celebrated Springsteen parody, "Tweeter And The Monkey Man.") Vol. 3, recorded after Orbison's death, isn't quite as likeable or peppy as the original, but it's still a decent addition to one of the more successful larks in rock history.

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