Last Night (1988) – The Traveling Wilburys

The Traveling Wilburys were perhaps the most accomplished supergroup that ever formed. Their five members were all future Rock and Roll Hall of Famers: Tom Petty, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne. I have posted many of their songs here where you can find a lot more information about their formation and accomplishments.

It is written in Songfacts: Last Night was one of the first tracks they came up with, putting it together by throwing out ideas and making sure not to overthink it. This is obvious in the lyrics, where they rhyme like pre-schoolers.
Despite its simplicity there is a certain charm and arresting quality to it.

She was there at the bar
She heard my guitar
She was long and tall
She was the queen of them all

Last night
Thinking about last night
Last night
Thinking about last night

She was dark and discreet
She was light on her feet
We went up to her room
And she lowered the boom

Last night
Thinking about last night
Last night
Thinking about last night

Songfacts also states: Session man Jim Keltner played drums on the album and came up with opening clangs, which sound like he’s banging on kitchen items with a drumsticks. That’s because he was. They recorded at the home studio belonging to Dave Stewart of Eurythmics. The studio itself was very small, so they did a lot of recording in his kitchen, where Keltner improvised.Tom Petty sang the verses on this one, with Roy Orbison taking the chorus. According to Petty, when the Wilburys wrote a song, they would each try singing lead and George Harrison would decide who sounded best.

Last Night peaked at No 5 on the US charts.

1. Songfacts – Last Night

“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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Posted in Music
4 comments on “Last Night (1988) – The Traveling Wilburys
  1. We listen to them still. What a cast of characters! I didn’t think their songs reached a superlative height as the songs that made them famous in the first place, in all honesty, but I appreciated their talents and legacy.

    • Hi Cindy. I generally agree about your ‘superlative height’ comment. But I think there are awesome tracks on their 2 records. However, ‘Last Night’ is an example of a more frivolous song they threw out there that still became a big hit.
      I think the public was craving a more dressed-downed version of these guys and they definitely delivered. I know this record resonated more with my family and community than what any of their individual albums ‘or superlative heights’ did.

  2. Badfinger (Max) says:

    They seemed to have so much fun doing this. With their solo stuff, they were more serious but the fun on this is contagious.

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