The Traveling Wilburys (sometimes shortened to the Wilburys) were an English–American supergroup consisting of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty. Originating from an idea discussed by Harrison and Lynne during the sessions for Harrison’s 1987 album Cloud Nine, the band formed in April 1988 after the five members united to record a bonus track for Harrison’s next European single. When this collaboration, “Handle with Care”, was deemed too good for such a limited release, the group agreed to record a full album, titled Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1. Following Orbison’s death in December 1988, the Wilburys released a second album, which they titled Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3, in 1990.
The project’s work received much anticipation given the diverse nature of the singer-songwriters. The band members adopted tongue-in-cheek pseudonyms as half-brothers from a fictional Wilbury family of travelling musicians. Vol. 1 was a critical and commercial success, helping to revitalise Dylan’s and Petty’s respective careers. In 1990, the album won the Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group.
Although Harrison envisaged a series of Wilburys albums and a film about the band, produced through his company HandMade, the group’s final release was in February 1991. After several years of unavailability, the two Wilburys albums were reissued by the Harrison estate in the 2007 box set The Traveling Wilburys Collection. The box set included a DVD containing their music videos and a documentary on the band’s formation.