Traveling Wilburys

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sony Legacy Releases First Two ELO Albums

For those who haven't heard the expanded and remastered versions of ELO's No Answer (1972) and ELO II (1973) issued in the UK, Sony Legacy has released US versions. Both albums include bonus tracks, although neither will be as comprehensive as the UK versions.

If these versions use the same remastered tapes, fans are in for a treat. Compared to the original CD issues, all of the songs deliver a much-improved aural impact, and in the case of ELO II, reveal an amazing level of musicianship and artistry, especially considering they were performed live in the studioo.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Del Shannon: The Sixth Wilbury?

Del ShannonMuch has been written about who would have been a logical choice to replace Roy Orbison after his sudden passing in 1988. Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, and Ringo Starr were some of the names floating around, but these were simply rumors. Truth be told, they could never have been a Wilbury as they were simply too commercial. Too mainstream. Too familiar.

To quote Michael Palin, "the original Wilburys were a stationary people who, realizing that their civilization could not stand still forever, began to go for short walks - not the 'traveling' as we now know it, but certainly as far as the corner and back." The Wilburys were always a little off the beaten path, a little out of step compared to the then current music trends. Yet they were never out of style.

Of course the music was great too.

One person who would have fit in perfectly was Del Shannon. At the time of his death on February 8, 1990, Shannon had nearly finished his last studio album, Rock On!, with help from Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, and Mike Campbell. While the album wasn't a commercial hit, it nonetheless confirmed Shannon's unique vocal talent and soulful expression of loss and abandonment, not unlike Roy Orbison's. Listening to "Walk Away", "Calling Out My Name", or "When I Had You" shows that he still had the talent, and strangely enough, the anonymity, to fit in perfectly.

The sixth Wilbury? Maybe not. But at least he gets an honorable mention.

Dennis Bacchetta - guest blogger