The other day I was learning “Handle With Care” by The Traveling Wilburys and it got me thinking about supergroups. From Cream to Audioslave, supergroups have been a staple of music for decades. In today’s Coffee Talk, I’d love to hear who you think is the best supergroup. As for me, I’m (conveniently) going with The Traveling Wilburys.
You see, I greatly favor artists that write their own material over pure entertainers. That’s why most of my favorite musical acts are bands that write their own songs and singer-songwriters. The Traveling Wilburys was made up of five legendary singer-songwriters. The talent in the band was preposterous. Just look at it.
- George Harrison
- Roy Orbison
- Tom Petty
- Bob Dylan
- Jeff Lynne
Adding to the myth of The Traveling Wilburys is a great story of how their first single happened. Harrison was having dinner with Orbison and Lynne (like you do). He mentioned that he was going to record a B-side at Dylan’s studio the next day and asked if they’d like to join. They said yes. Harrison had left a guitar at Tom Petty’s house, went to pick it up, and joined everyone at Dylan’s.
The story goes that Lynne and Harrison had the chord progression worked out, while everyone contributed lyrics. What they didn’t have was a song title. Dylan allegedly asked Harrison what the song was called when the former Beatle noticed a box marked “Handle With Care.” And the rest was history.
What I love about The Traveling Wilburys is that they were more than just supremely talented musicians and songwriters. Hearing their music and watching their interviews, they seemed like five guys that loved hanging out and collaborating. They were simultaneously magical and comfortable. The music was catchy and well crafted, but when you think about the individuals in the group, it really was mind blowing.
So yeah! The Traveling Wilburys are easily the best supergroup to me. How about you guys and gals? Which supergroups do you hold in high esteem? Please leave your picks in the comments section. [And a preemptive “NO” to RPadholic iceman — Ace of Bass does not quality for best supergroup.]