Tuesday’s Damn Yankees post got me thinking about so-called “supergroups.” Of course, my all-time favorite is Tinted Windows — Smashing Pumpkins, Fountains of Wayne, Cheap Trick, HANSON, represent! — but the most impressive, from an A-List-possessing standpoint, is obviously the Traveling Wilburys. These superstars (and, ahem, Jeff Lynne) got together through happenstance, good fortune, and perhaps a little boredom, and seemed to have a damn good time making music together (even beyond Roy Orbison’s untimely passing).
“Handle With Care” essentially gives you three songs in just over three minutes. You have the perfectly pleasant, old-time-rock-and-roll verses (led by George Harrison). Then in comes Roy Orbison, all plaintive and soaring and talking — as he does — about loneliness. Finally, Bob Dylan/Tom Petty join forces for a semi-snarling, almost accidentally melodic bridge.
The song is catchy, folksy, and sweet, and stands the test of time. But the …
Best part? 2:30 – 2:45. In the last regular stanza of the verse, the harmony takes greater focus, and the story comes to a conclusion with the acknowledgment of “the sweet smell of success.” Oh, George. You are missed.
RUNNER UP: 3:03. After a semi-hard stop, the opening musical theme returns to play us out, this time with harmonicas!
P.S. Who’s that poor bastard playing drums?