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Baker's Dozen

Roll Over Beethoven: Jeff Lynne's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , October 9th, 2012 11:58

Mr Blue Sky works up thirteen of his top LPs


Travelling Wilburys – Volume 1
I’ve chosen this because it was such an amazing thing to happen. It sounds really good and it was such a brand new kind of sound. It really was! Not just because me and George [Harrison] produced it but it was the actual thing of it existing even.

It came about as a whim when I was working with George on Cloud Nine, and he said to me one night after we finished work and we were having a couple of bevies, he said, "you know what? Me and you should have a group." And I said, "well, that’s a good idea. Who would we have in it?"

And he said, "oh, Bob Dylan."

And I said, "oh, Bob Dylan, yeah. How about Roy Orbison?" And I thought we were joking and he says, "yeah, OK. Roy’d be great." And then we both said "Tom Petty". We both loved Tom and we’d met him a couple of times.

Anyway, everybody wanted to join so that was how the Wilburys came about. And so we went to LA, recorded ‘Handle With Care’, at first as a bonus track for George’s single off Cloud Nine, but when [label boss] Mo Ostin heard it he said, "you can’t do that! This is the first track off your new group!" and we all went, "oh yeah! That’s a good idea." ‘Cause we had recorded it in Bob Dylan’s garage, which is pretty amazing. We had a barbeque in his back garden and after that we wrote the words to ‘Handle With Care’, finished the words and George had got the chorus but he hasn’t got the verses so I wrote them at dinner time, sang them in the evening and it was finished. We had to mix it at George’s house later. That’s why it’s interesting to me, how it came about.

The rest of the songs we did in Dave Stewart’s studio and they were all instant songs. Each song only took a day. We gave ourselves one day to write a song so we did ten days and ten songs.

I did have to pinch myself! I got used to it in the end and of course we did another album after Roy had passed but it was a marvellous time and that’s why I chose it.