Dirty World (1988) – Traveling Wilburys

Traveling Wilburys, Encino, CA 1988 by Neal Preston

Dirty World is the second song here from The Traveling Wilburys and their Volume 1 album. As mentioned in the first release – Congratulations, all songs from this stellar debut album will feature here. Such is the quality of this album, today’s track – Dirty World is probably my least favourite track from the record yet I still get a kick out of Dylan’s attempt to write one like Prince (more information below). The whimsical and capricious lyrics and tune are delicious.

You don’t need no wax job, you’re smooth enough for me
If you need your oil changed, I’ll do it for you free
Oh baby, the pleasure would be all mine
If you let me drive your pickup truck and park it where the sun don’t shine

Every time he touches you, his hair stands up on end
His legs begin to quiver, and his mind begins to bend
Oh baby, you’re such a tasty treat
But I’m under doctor’s orders, I’m afraid to overeat

George Harrison seems to be the mastermind behind the project as presented in the TW documentary. He was also receiving great commercial success at the time and seemed to take everyone else on board. Also Orbison was popular with his ‘You Got It’ hit which I adore. Even now writing about this epoch my memories of adolescence come flooding back.

I think for the young layman listener – Volume 1 Travelling Wilburys is about the best introduction of contemporary rock. From personal experience I know this album led me onto an extraordinary musical odyssey which I remain indebted to.

It is said about “Dirty World,” here at ultimate classic rock that Bob Dylan, announced one afternoon: “Let’s do one like Prince!” George Harrison said about Bob in the process according to his interview in 1990:

“I mean, a lot of people take him seriously … and if you know Dylan and his songs, he’s such a joker, really. And he just sat down and we said, ‘Okay, what we gonna do?’ And Bob said, ‘Let’s do one like Prince!’ And he just started banging away, ‘Love your sexy body. Ooh, baby.’ And it just turned, you know, like into that tune. It sounds nothing like him. But that track, I mean, I love that track. It’s just so funny, really.”

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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4 comments on “Dirty World (1988) – Traveling Wilburys
  1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    One of my many favorites off of that album. You hear Dylan in particular, like you never have and never would again. I love the sense of humor running through the album.

    • I was blown away to read Harrison’s comments of it being a Parody of a Prince song which Dylan wanted. It’s a very cheeky and politically incorrect song. I agree there is a lot of tongue in cheek in the album.

      • badfinger20 (Max) says:

        Oh yes it is a lot of that. I bought it when it came out and could not believe it. It was just so good….no egos or anything like that. I thought other older guys would do the same but no one really has.

  2. Yeh Willie Nelson and Co did it at one time, but that was more Country if I’m not mistaken. That’s right there’s no ego on it. It’s just very playful, but still nostalgic of their musical histories.

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