Peak UK Chart Position: #21 in November 1988.
The very definition of ‘supergroup’; Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne formed the Traveling Wilburys in 1988. The intent was originally to record a B-side for Harrison’s single “This Is Love”, but the record company deemed the track in question – “Handle With Care” – as too good to be Released as a “single-filler”.
The net result of them working together eventually resulted in an album that was recorded over ten days in the house and garden of Eurythmics member Dave Stewart. “Traveling Wiburys Vol. 1” was released in October 1988, curiously faring less well in the UK (#16) than many other countries (US #3, for example, where it went triple platinum).
It was to be during the chart run of “Handle With Care” that, on December 6th 1988, Orbison died of a heart attack. “End Of The Line” was released as a single the following March, the video paying tribute to him by showing his guitar in a rocking chair as the other members perform around it. A second album eventually followed – “Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3” (intentionally titled so) was released in October 1990, although it fared less well.
“Handle With Care” was up sixteen places to number 21 (its peak position) on this day in 1988. Orbison went on to achieve two posthumous top ten singles in the UK; “You Got It” a number three in 1989, and “I Drove All Night” a number seven hit in August 1992.
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