‘Congratulations’ finds Bob Dylan in crooner mode, a combination that shouldn’t work but often does. According to the publishing credits on the album, Dylan wrote this song as well, which might explain why he got lead vocal duties over, say, Roy Orbison.
On ‘Last Night,’ it’s Tom Petty taking the lead vocals and Roy Orbison dropping in elegantly on selected verses. A great match. I also love the lyrics, which describe a one night stand that turns into a mugging at knifepoint.
Vol. 1 – Traveling Wilburys (1988)
As one YouTube poster commented just a week ago, the Traveling Wilburys were “The Avengers of classic rock.”
George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne make sense as friends but not necessarily as band mates. Each brings his own distinctive vocal and writing style to the mix… how could they possibly gel?
That band was the Traveling Wilburys, comprised of Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and George Harrison. Their self-titled debut album, the only one they recorded with the full lineup, outshines much of the solo work released by the individual members.
The album is a mix of countrified folk rock that manages to play to the strengths of each Wilbury without lapsing into a series of solo performances. They sound throughout the record like a true band, supporting and enhancing each other’s turn at center stage.