Monday, May 2, 2011

The Traveling Wilburys - "End of the Line"

End of the Line - The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1 (Remastered)

(Debuted February 11, 1989, Peaked #63, 9 Weeks on the Chart)

The concept of the "Supergroup" had fallen out of favor during the 1980s. Maybe it seemed like such a progressive 1970s thing...or perhaps large assemblies of established stars like Band Aid, USA For Africa and Artists United Against Apartheid made the entire concept seem silly. However, the 1960s became cool again thanks to nostalgic looks at that decade, which not only jogged memories of the kids who grew up then but also made certain kids of the 1980s (like myself) believe it was a much better time to be young. With the surge of interest in 1960s culture, that interest naturally spilled over to music.

In the wake of that wave of nostalgia, a new Supergroup appeared. On paper, it sounded irresistible...a member of the Beatles, Dylan, Roy Orbison and two guys who were roots oriented but had been involved in more recent hits: Tom Petty and ELO's Jeff Lynne. When the record arrived, it sounded great: guitars and straight rock, without any of the synth-driven music that had been in vogue. Unfortunately, Orbison died soon after the album was released, which meant that the group would be a one-time collaboration.

The music video for "End of the Line" (not the YouTube video below) featured the four surviving members doing their parts, and when Orbison's vocal came around, his guitar was shown sitting in a rocking chair and his framed picture appeared for a moment. It was a nice way to include an artist that had been an influence on the others and had been taken away from the stage far too early.

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