The Petty Archives

The Best You've Never Heard
By Brandon Knettel
St. Scholastica Cable - February 6, 2004

The Traveling Wilburys | "Volume 1"
So far this year I have written about old music by old artists and plenty of new music by new artists.

Why not try a little newer music by some old artists?

And if I'm going with old artists, why not choose the greatest gathering musicians to ever join forces?

The Traveling Wilburys consist of four of the greatest musicians in the history of modern music, period.

They are the late George Harrison and Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Minnesota's own Bob Dylan.

The group recorded several full-length albums in the early 90's, but their first, "Volume 1," is by far the best.

When I listen to new music, my first impulse is always to find out "who influenced these guys?"

When listening to the Traveling Wilburys, these questions are absolutely pointless because the band members in question are perpetually the answer to those questions.

It's no longer a matter of who influenced the band, but which band member most influenced each track, something totally new and exciting for most listeners.

For the most part, Roy Orbison's style seems to be the most prominent influence on the band's sound, though Harrison's often overlooked guitar genius shines through as it did for so long with the Beatles. Now, add to the recipe Petty and Dylan's legendary and distinct vocals.

These guys could be singing Bjork songs and I'd still want the CD. You should too.