30 November 2009

Traveling Wilburys

The ol' Regular Express is back on track.

I thought it apt to start again where I left off way back in June with another Jeff Lynne-related song.

The Traveling Wilburys were a 5 guitar band, featuring the dried up talents of Lynne, Bobby Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, and Roy Orbison. In fairness, the Big O, despite being generally past his career prime, still had every bit of the talent that he possessed in the 50's and 60's, and probably had the most to do with the Wilbury's success upon releasing their first album.

Their first album, Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1, was generally acclaimed and recently reissued with the other volume, Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3 (the second volume is said to be Tom Petty's "Full Moon Fever", for which all the members contributed). I grew up listening to the first volume, but never really listened to Vol. 3 until recently. As Orbison passed away of a heart attack prior to the recording of Vol. 3, the album misses his presence. Lynne and Harrison attempt to ape his vocal delivery, but it simply doesn't stand up to the velvety voice of Mr. Orbison. The album is decent, though somewhat uneven, and doesn't quite stand up to the first volume. If he didn't sound like complete garbage before, Dylan is seriously phoning it in on this one (note the backwards baseball hat on the cover), but the other three were obviously capable enough songwriters, using this outlet to experiment with different 50's and 60's rock styles that prove mostly simple and effective.

My personal favorite from this album is "New Blue Moon", a Harrison-penned track that Dylan takes the verse vocals for. Fortunately, this song is all chorus, and it's probably the only track that Dylan is actually having any fun on. Where many of the other songs sound like watered-down blues and gospel (read: white), this one actually has a bit of real R&B flavor, what with the loose drums and sustained piano and whatnot.

Traveling Wilburys - New Blue Moon

09 - New Blue Moon by regularexpress