|Released October 18, 1988|
The title of the first track "Handle With Care" seemed appropriate, as if telling all the naysayers to chill out for a second. Bob's comically racy lyrics on "Dirty World" were apparently a shout out to Prince. "Rattled" threw some country rock into the mix. "Last Night" sounds identical to a mid 70s Harrison record with Petty taking over on lead vocals. "Not Alone Any More" is a hybrid of Doo-Wop and ELO.
Dylan sang lead on "Congratulations", one for all the sad bastards out there. "Heading for the Light" really sounded like a Beatles song with Harrison's signature guitar style. "Margarita" combined Beach Boys harmonies with Brian Wilson's production style on Pet Sounds.
Dylan wrote an homage/pastiche to Bruce Springsteen on "Tweeter and the Monkeyman", an odd tragicomic story set in New Jersey. And "End of the Line" promises everything will be all right.
I imagine them all gathering in Bob's garage one day and deciding to make a record like they did back in the day. Everything about 1980s production got tossed out the window and the final results were close to magical.
Sadly, Roy Orbison passed away after finishing the album. In their music video for "End of the Line" the surviving members paid Roy a special tribute.
For anyone disillusioned with the music scene of the Eighties, the Wilbury's may have provided a brief respite. A fun record full of freewheelin' lyrics and faultless musicianship.