George Starostin's Reviews



Become a Certified Commentator today by following this link!

!!Before adding new comments, please check the GUIDELINES. Don't say I didn't warn you!!


Jeff <> (28.10.99)

I really like these guys. I mean that both individually and as a band. The Wilburys are just a lot of harmless fun. Yes, they're fairly insubstantial, but I enjoy listening to them, and that's what music's all about, isn't it? By the way, I like Tom Petty a lot. the man's probably the most consistent rock'n'roller of all time-- pick up any Petty album and you know what you're getting. For over 20 years, he hasn't changed his music or his image, yet he's managed to remain enjoyable and fresh-sounding. Quite an accomplishment. So my only quibble with the line-up would be Jeff Lynne. His fondness for slick overproduction fortunately doesn't rear its ugly head on the Wilbury's songs, though, so I can live with him.

Philip Maddox <> (28.06.2000)

I love these guys! Rather than collapse under their own weight, they just made great, easy to listen to, fun music! They made some absolutely great pop songs. Plus, this album was a real shot in the arm for the careers of all participants (except Roy, or course) - Bob and George put out their best songs and albums in years, and Tom REALLY became something great. You see, old Tom Petty never did much for me, but after the Wilburys, he decided to continue in the Wilbury tradition. Full Moon Fever and Wildflowers were great late period Petty records. He dragged Jeff along with him, too - he produced the Petty records and even co-wrote some songs (and amazingly, they didn't suck!) I've heard some bad supergroups in the past (ever hear Pigface? Brrrrrr...), but these guys were great together! Too bad these records are out of print...

Sergey Zhilkin <> (02.10.2000)

George, here's some more information about this guys. Probably you know that Jeff Lynne helped George with Cloud nine and videoclip 'When we was fab'. George needed a 'piece of good music' for second side of his single 'When we was fab' (don't ask me why single was produced after album) so he called Jeff for help. Lynne was just recording some songs with Roy Orbison. George was very surprised that Roy knew very much of the film which George was producing 'Monty Python'. So Roy became member of the band. Then they asked help from Bob Dylan who had very good home-studio in his garrage near Santa Monica. There was only one problem - George didn't have guitar. He forgot it in the house which belonged to ..... whom?...... Right! Tom Petty! Well, I think that if McCartney would phone George by accident he might have become the member of the band, too. Funny story, isn't it?

Robert Tally <> (16.03.2001)

The Traveling Wilburys were a very fun idea that went on for about an album too long. Not that the second album isn't good - I think it's almost as good as the first. But it reminds me of Ringo Starr in a way. He put out a very fun album in 1973 and then the public gradually lost interest over the next couple of years. Unfortunately for Ringo, he couldn't break up. In the case of the Wilburys, they all had their own careers, anyway, so when things started to get a little too silly (namely the 'Wilbury Twist') they very wisely packed it in. All that aside, I don't think they ever made a truly bad track. Perhaps they would have if they were still together. And the lineup is, needless to say, mind-boggling. Dylan is arguably the premier songwriting of the bunch, and that's saying a lot. And, contrary to the opinions of many, I think his voice sounds great on every track he sings. Orbison, too, was always a solid songwriter, and one of the most gifted singers of all time. In a morbid way, his death seems appropriate to his image of the tragic romantic balladeer. Harrison certainly has written his share of strong tunes, and lends his incomparable slide guitar technique to the proceedings (and his distinctive voice, too). Petty is one of the best songwriters and singers of his generation. And Lynne is, well . . . I, too, don't like his production style, but if we want to be technical, then there's no denying the guy's talent (and look who works with him!). It's too bad these guys never toured. It would have been a hell of a set list.

<> (12.08.2003)

i love these guys! Because they all have a special talent that, if you put that together you get one great band! I saw tom petty and the heartbreakers and bob dylan live 2 nights ago.. and they sound great! 2/5 of the traveling wilburys on STAGE! It was awesome to see them once again. Tom had his black leather pants on and he never changes. George harrison has a nice voice and we will miss him. Roy orbison had that voice that you wanted to get up and dance to, it was so amazing. Jeff Lynne wasn't my best but he was pretty good.

Matthew Byrd <> (16.07.2004)

hey, hey the travelling wilburys!  Well, if you're rooting for the old guys by this time (because, at this time, we are in the grips of 80s metal!) this will probably be liked by you....  Yeah, this is not great but it is entertaining and worth the money.  Does anybody else think that 'Tweeter And The Monkey Man' is aimed at Bruce Springsteen..... I do.

les <> (23.02.2006)

I think most of you are taking the Wilburys far too serious. These are totally FUN albums meant to put a smile on peoples faces. NOT to be taken seriously. Lighten up you sad twats. As for deriding Jeff Lynne, the albums probably wouldn`t have been produced if it hadn`t been for him!

VOL. 1

Glenn Wiener <> (04.02.2000)

Now this is a fun record. Are there spectacular solos, great singing, or timeless pieces of song-writing??? Not really with the obvious exxception of Roy Orbison. But this disc ranks high on spirit and arrangements. Its nice each of the guys taking a turn on vocals. Even though I do not care for Dylan too much, I really like 'Tweeter And The Monkey Man' and the second song on side 1. I can't think of the name. Its too bad Roy Orbison passed away as his tatlent could definitely hav been utilized further on the subsequent release.

Philip Maddox <> (28.06.2000)

I know this record was just a throwaway, but I still think this album is an absolute classic - ranking with the best works of all artists involved (no kidding!). The best song here is indeed the amazing 'Tweeter and the Monkey Man', which might be my favorite Dylan song EVER! The melody is dark and creepy, the lyrics are really seedy, and the chorus is among the most memorable I've ever heard. Elsewhere, 'Handle With Care' and 'Not Alone Any More' are great pop songs/ballads. Roy's voice fits the songs beautifully. 'Dirty World' is great, too. And it's funny! 'Last Night' is a really catchy Tom Petty song, with Roy vocals in the chorus. I could go on like this about every song on the album. You don't have to worry about ME not appreciating this album - it rules! Sure, it's all pop songs, but WHAT pop songs! I give it a really, really, REALLY high 9. The highest 9 I'll ever give. If you EVER see this record, buy it - it's getting kinda rare.

Kenyon <> (01.08.2000)

I do love those crazy Wilburys. They were my favorite band in the fifth grade, and they still make me smile. "Handle With Care" is my favorite of theirs, closely followed by "End of the Line." "Last Night" has a great melody, and "Wilbury Twist" is just such a fun song. I've always thought that Jeff Lynne was pretty much expendable, but the rest of them make such a great combination.

Sergey Zhilkin <> (16.09.2000)

Great group! I really like it. Their songs are pop in general and nothing to talk about. Great dance music! Though there're some real gems like 'Tweeter and Monkey man' and 'Cool dry place'. Sometimes I think that one star is too litlle. In my opinion they deserve 2 stars.

You said they recoeded 2 albums. I have them but today when I was in music shop I found two new albums: Vol.2 and Vol.4&1/2. And you wrote that 'Vol.2' never will be released... (supposedly these are bootlegs - G.S.).

msw21 <> (29.10.2000)

In re the Travelling Wilburys and specifically "Tweeter and the Monkey Man":

When the album came out, and as a reading of the lyrics might suggest, there was talk about this tune being kind of a slam of Bruce Springsteen. The New Jersey references, cars, et al seem to support this. What if anything do you remember about this..and are there any sites in re this....I've been torturing Google to find one, but have been unsucesful so far.

Morten Felgenhauer <> (11.01.2001)

9/10 - Excellent and fun. You have all summed it up quite well.

As for "Tweeter And The Monkey Man" - yes, it is a brilliant tongue-in-cheek parody (not slam) of Bruce Springsteen's lyrics. Bruce is one of my favourite artists, and so is Bob, if anyone cares. Generally the song has that pessimistic and realistic point of view that often can be found in Bruce's lyrics. The working class main characters usually manages all right in the end, but there is no HAPPY ending. Additionally "Tweeter" is filled to the brim with words that often crop up in Springsteen lyrics: Vietnam, nobody gives a damn, freedom, Jersey, highways, young marriages, car crash, surrender, gun, prison and to run out of gas. In the early years Bruce often populated his songs with odd-named charachters (hence "Tweeter" and "The Monkey Man"). Bob didn't even stop there! At least 5 of Bruce's song titles ("Stolen Car", "Thunder Road", "State Trooper", "Factory", "The River") and one cover version Bruce did ("Jersey Girl") are included in this hilarious lyric which also in form (one story from beginning to end) resembles the typical Springsteen lyric. When you're through laughing, though, check out Springsteen's Darkness On The Edge Of Town and Nebraska and realize what an outstanding performer he really is.

Robert Tally <> (08.03.2001)

Obviously, these guys got together to have a good time, so it wouldn't be fair to expect a particularly serious piece of work from them. What we get here is a 'fun' album, and a very good one at that. Even the more serious-sounding tracks seem slightly cartoonish, but that only adds to their charm. I'll agree that 'Tweeter And The Monkey Man' is a highlight here, with its crotchety Dylan vocal and ominous chorus. But there are at least two other tracks that give it a serious run for its money: 'Not Alone Any More' (a quintessential Orbison lonesome romantic thing) and 'Heading For The Light' (a hook-filled Beatlesque Harrison tune). Also worth checking out are 'Rattled' (a spirited rockabilly tune sung by Lynne), 'Handle With Care' (a combination of three song fragments that somehow works) and 'End Of The Line' (a goodtime singalong). 'Dirty World' and 'Congratulations' are two more decent Dylan tunes, but overshadowed by some of the better tracks. 'Last Night' is also decent, but perhaps a little too simplistic. Then there's 'Margarita', the closest thing to filler on the entire album, which is actually pretty enjoyable in that semi-instrumental quirky techno Bo Diddley kind of way. Overall, I think this is a pretty solid album, without a stinker in sight.

Completists should be on the lookout for the extended mix of 'Handle With Care' (from the UK 12-inch, 10-inch and 3-inch) and the extended mix of 'End Of The Line' (from the UK 12-inch and 3-inch).

Dan Hogg <> (27.12.2001)

The Traveling Wilburys are one of those ideas that is so effective one time it doesn't work as well the second time around. Indeed, this first album is their best. It's not a big landmark in music, but very pleasant and accessible. It's no surprise "Handle With Care" was the hit single, it's like a few mini-songs in one: Harrison's main melody, Orbison's bridge, and the other bridge (Dylan's?). Harrison's other highlight was "Heading For The Light," a rocking tune w/his typical religious lyrics. Dylan has more songs here: the anthemic story-song "Tweeter," a very loose rocker "Dirty World," and the forgettable "Congratulations." I'm no big fan of Orbison, but the yearning "Not Alone Anymore" is a fave of mine. Can't say the same about his "Rattled", though. "End Of The Line" is another hit single, and has Petty's few vocal highlights on the album. His other is on the catchy "Last Night," even though it's hard to tell who's singing at certain parts. That leaves the instrumental "Margarita", which I could easily do without. A nice album if you're not expecting much.

Bob Josef <> (04.11.2003)

I can just imagine all the machinations behind the scenes at the guys' record companies that they had to work out so that they could produce this record. It's so whimsical and lighthearted. The guys must have relished the chance to get away from their "serious" work and just have some fun getting back to basics. Dylan, in particular, is a big surprise. Who would have guessed that the old curmudgeon still had a sense of humor, based on his own records? You can tell by all those Springsteen references that "Tweeter and the Monkeyman" is entirely tongue-in-cheek. And "Congratulations" is so melodramatic that it's impossible to take seriously ("Congratulations/now I'm sorrow-bound" -- oh, really?). Very amusing. Yet, the guys also convey some real emotional resonance with "Headed for the Light" and "End of the Line," which are probably my two favorites.

Correction: "Rattled" is actually Jeff Lynne's showcase. I could see Carl Perkins covering that to good effect. Orbison's main featured track is "Not Alone Anymore." His record that you should be mentioning in your first paragraph is Mystery Girl, which also involves Lynne and Petty (as well as U2 and Elvis Costello!). Definitely worth a review.

It looks like that the Wilburys records have gone out of print, as well as Harrison's Dark Horse albums. I would guess that they are all tied up in George's estate. Hopefully, things will get worked out and they'll be back soon.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (04.11.2005)

I love the idea. Their two albums are so bright, shiny and so much fun, that I want this CD in my player really often. The records’ happiness is utterly convincing. Those loud rhythm guitars alone fill me with large portions of sheer optimism. Vol. 1 is not flawless and does have its share of filler, but there’s not a single track here that I would want to skip. The biggest highlights are obviously the joyful single “Handle Me With Care” (who wouldn’t like the idea of several memorable tunes packed into one?) and the traditional Dylan song “Tweeter And The Monkey Man”, that, besides its driving verses, has the absolutely unforgettable refrain. Also, some special mentions would go to the vocal hook of “Not Alone Any More”, the hilarious lyrics of “Dirty World”, the engaging rhythm of “Last Night” and to the gloriously optimistic album closer “End Of The Line”.

These guys will make you smile. I give the album a 12!

VOL. 3

Jeff <> (28.10.99)

Well, I'm still searching for their first (out-of-print!!) album, but I've had this one since it came out. Most of it is incredibly fun, and the only songs that get on my nerves are "Poor House," "Where Were You Last Night," and "You Took My Breath Away." The rest is just dandy, especially the faster numbers where they're obviously having a good time ("Wilbury Twist" comes to mind, of course). I'm glad they let Bobby (or "Boo," if you like) take lead vocals so often, since his voice completely overpowers any of the others. Even so, all the trading off on vocals is a blast, as is the album. And as a Dylan fanatic, "Cool Dry Place" is mind-blowingly cool. Definitely the best song here. Fun fun fun!!!

Glenn Wiener <> (01.11.99)

This is a good album no doubt. But Jeff, to say that Bob Dylan over powers the other guys in the vocal department is almost as ludricrous as saying the moon is made of Swiss Cheese! Not that the other guys are divas, but Mr. Dylan has enough trouble staying on key, let alone singin with any power. In addition his tone is gruff and hard to endure as he nearly ruins 'Seven Deadly Sins'. Without a doubt any of the other bandmembers should have been singing lead on that one. Dylan's style suits certain songs such as 'Tweeter and The Monkey Man' from the previous recording and 'Where Were You Last Night' from this one. However, a great vocalist Mr. Dylan is not. Probably the main reason I dislike Bob Dylan so much his because his inablility to emote well. As a song-writer lyrically, he has written some very touching songs. Unfortunately, the beauty is only recognized when they are sung by someone else. 'Forever Young' soars when performed by Chrisie Hynde and The Pretenders but stumbles badly in the original. 'Don't Think Twice Its Alright' is so much better in the hands of Eric Clapton as Eric puts some life into the song with emotional vocals and a stinging guitar solo. The fact of the matter is combine Dylan's weak vocals with long songs that drag on and on and many a listener will ong to change the radio station.

Anyway, this is a nice record in a light hearted sort of way. Alot of spirit and you are both right, lots of fun.Truthfully George Harrison should have some more lead vocals. He does not sing a complete lead vocal on any track('You Took My Breath Away' is sung by Jeff Lynne). George is a badly underatted vocalist even as he is past his prime on what few cameos given here. Song wise Tom Petty's two contributions('Cool Dark Place', 'Poor House') and the 'Wilbury Twist' are the best songs hands down.

Jeff <> (01.11.99)

See, here's where my opinion differs with a good 80% of music-lovers': I like, nay, love Dylan's voice. I'll admit that he can't sing (though I could hold up Blood on the Tracks as a pretty damn good argument against that statement), but for some inexplicable reason, I'm totally enthralled by his singing style. Just one of those things I'll never be able to explain, sort of like why I liked the new Godzilla movie.

BUT, now that I think of it, Dylan can be an incredibly effective vocalist. Aside from the aforementioned Blood on the Tracks, look at "Like a Rolling Stone" or "Ballad of a Thin Man." In fact, I've always thought his vocals on "Don't Think Twice" were really, really good. Hmm..... again, it's probably just me. Dylan's voice is one of those love it or hate it things, I suppose.

[Special author note: hold on Jeff! I'm definitely with you on that one!]

Kenyon <> (01.08.2000)

Boy, I really screwed up my comments on Vol. 2 - it's late, my brain is foggy, and I have a terrible tendency to mix up the songs on the two Wilburys albums. Whoops.

Anyhow, this one's also great. They lost Orbison's beautiful silky voice, which naturally hurt the sound a bit, but it's still endearing. Just a side note: my dad told me once that the reason there's no Volume 2 is because Orbison died while they were making it, and so it was never released. I'm not sure if that's true or not, but it's a nice story. My favorite tracks on here are "Seven Deadly Sins" (although I have no idea why I like that one so much) and "You Took My Breath Away." Those crazy Wilburys are just so much fun to listen to!

Sergey Zhilkin <> (24.09.2000)

You know as I look through your reviews of one and five star bands I think that your system of ratings isn't so perfect as I thought it was before. I mean overall rating. For example Vol.3 got 9 out of 15 which means that it is 'Somewhat mediocrer' while Beatles' ANTHOLOGY-II gets the same mark (I think it should be 'Truly Offensive ').Vol.3 is 'Good but flawed' at least. I can hardly see any filler here. I even like it more than Vol.1 and can't define the best song here ('She's my baby'? 'Inside out'? 'Cool dry place'? 'Poor house'?).Well in my opinion it's 10/10 while Vol.1 gets 9/10 (that's the album where I DO see filler). Though the first part of this 'joke' was better as mistification.

Robert Tally <> (14.03.2001)

I'll agree that this album isn't quite as good as the first one, but the difference is minimal at best. The absence of Roy Orbison gives it a little less diversity, but that's about it. I pretty much like every song, with only a couple of them sounding questionable to me. My favorites are probably 'Where Were You Last Night?' and 'The Devil's Been Busy,' both solid folk tunes. (Oh, and the Beatles tune you were trying to think of is 'Any Time At All,' George.) 'She's My Baby' is a surprisingly hard rocker, and hilarious to boot, as is '7 Deadly Sins', which is worth listening to if only to hear Bob Dylan singing do-wop. I really like the hillbilly harmonies on 'Poor House,' and find 'Cool Dry Place' amusing. 'If You Belonged To Me' is another decent folk tune, marred only by a weak middle part. 'Inside Out' would be better without lines like 'don't it make you wanna twist and shout when you're inside out.' 'New Blue Moon' is a pleasant track, but seems to be filler with some nice trimming. 'Wilbury Twist' is a fun track, but a little dumb, and a good indication that the whole Wilbury thing was ready to end. And 'You Took My Breath Away' is just kind of dull, but I like the middle part. (And I'll put my two cents in: sounds like Petty on the verses to me - with somebody harmonizing - and Lynne on the middle part.) Completists should be on the lookout for 'Nobody's Child,' a decent folk tune included on the various artists album Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal. There's also an instrumental mix of 'New Blue Moon' on the B-side of both 'She's My Baby' and 'Wilbury Twist,' and a pretty good version of 'Runaway' (sung by Lynne) on the 12-inch and CD singles of 'She's My Baby.'

Dan Hogg <> (27.12.2001)

Well...second time around isn't always as good, but not bad. Losing Orbison loses a bit for these guys. I've noticed that this album has more co-vocalists, and less one-person tunes. You can tell on the harder-edged opener "She's My Baby," probably the best song on here. "The Devil's Been Busy" is another group thing, kinda similiar to the last. Dylan's songs here aren't as good as on the last. "Inside Out" is probably his best here. His doo-wop "7 Deadly Sins," country-ish "IF You Belonged to Me," and "Where Were You Last Night" are all mediocre. George Harrison's only tune is the shuffling "New Blue Moon," as I think Tom Petty did the ballad "You Took My Breath Away." Speaking of Petty, his "Cool Dry Place" is a standout, and his "Poor House" is ok. The closer "Wilbury Twist" is ridiculous, but funny. Everyone uses their vocal spot well, even Jeff Lynne, whom I think has the weakest voice of the bunch. I'd suggest get the first one, and then this one if you like the first.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (04.11.2005)

Quite frankly, I don’t see how this can get such a miserable rating (George, that’s the same with Shaken’n’Stirred!!!!!!). I would even say that Vol. 3 isn’t an inch worse than Vol. 1. Surely, the high points here are not as striking as on the previous effort, but in terms of consistency this one could be superior. Once again, I agree with George on the best tracks: Dylan’s (? - by the way, could anybody clarify the question concerning the authorship of their songs; people on this page just keep contradicting themselves and it gets kind of confusing) “Cool Dry Place” is a piece of catchy fun and so is the pulsating “Wilbury Twist”. The other tracks I dig are the huge opener, “She’s My Baby”, “Inside Out”, “Poor House” (love that distinctive lead guitar line) and “New Blue Moon” (would it be true to say that McCartney’s “Hope Of Deliverance” is a bit similar to that song?). Concerning “You Took My Breath Away”, I find it a lovely enough track. Not outstanding, but rather pleasant-sounding. Also, “7 Deadly Sins” is dangerously close to the Beatles’ “This Boy”. Never mind, the album is still amazing and hook-filled.

Pretty much the same old 12.

Return to the main index page