A History of Pop Music Albums – 1988

A History of Pop Music Albums – 1988

Featured Album: Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1

This is a series of articles looking at albums from 1960 to whatever year we end up in.

I will select a featured album for each year and the link for the whole album, Plus list the songs on it.

As before, it is not just about the songs and tunes, it is very much about memories, and good ones, I hope.

Not everyone will like my choices of course, and you may remember some from each particular year that you feel should have been included, so do please post a link to the song.

In 1988 I was happily settled in Maidstone; life was in general, very nice.  I met my bridge Partner, Barry, who played to the same low standard as myself.  We still play to this day (or will do once this lockdown crap is over), though I would say to a much higher standard.  In 1991 we were bottom of the second barrel, but used to get picked to play for the county of Kent on occasion.

1988 was an exceptionally dire year in terms of music albums.  There were a few good singles released but as you can see from the top 10 best sellers of the year, exceptionally dire indeed.

The featured album for 1988 is the Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1.  Pretty hard to wrong with this line-up.  No doubt some will disagree, but they will like Morrissey so it is not like they have any taste anyway.

Track listing

All tracks are written by Traveling Wilburys.

Side one
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. Handle with Care George Harrison with Roy Orbison 3:19
2. “Dirty World” Dylan with Harrison, Orbison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty 3:30
3. “Rattled” Lynne with Petty, Harrison and Orbison 3:00
4. “Last Night” Petty with Orbison 3:48
5. Not Alone Any More Orbison 3:24
Side two
No. Title Lead vocals Length
6. “Congratulations” Dylan 3:30
7. Heading for the Light Harrison with Lynne 3:37
8. “Margarita” Dylan and Petty with Lynne 3:15
9. Tweeter and the Monkey Man Dylan 5:30
10. End of the Line Harrison, Lynne and Orbison with Petty 3:30


Traveling Wilburys

·         Nelson Wilbury (George Harrison) – lead and harmony vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, slide guitar

·         Otis Wilbury (Jeff Lynne) – lead and harmony vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar, keyboards; drums and cowbell on “Handle with Care”

·         Charlie T. Wilbury Jr (Tom Petty) – lead and harmony vocals, acoustic guitar

·         Lefty Wilbury (Roy Orbison) – lead and harmony vocals, acoustic guitar

·         Lucky Wilbury (Bob Dylan) – lead and harmony vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica on “Handle with Care”

The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 is the debut studio album by the English and American supergroup Traveling Wilburys, comprising George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty. It was released in October 1988 to commercial success and critical acclaim.  Although Harrison had long planned to start such a band, the project came about through happenstance. Harrison was in Los Angeles and in need of a B-side for a single from his Cloud Nine album, which resulted in the participants collaborating informally on the song “Handle with Care” at Dylan’s home. Adopting alter egos as the five Wilbury brothers, they then recorded a full album, produced by Lynne and Harrison.

More writings on this album here:  Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1

So, on we go with 1988:

The top 10 sellers for 1988 are below, as I say, an exceptionally dire year.

The Top 10 Albums with a You Tube hyperlink on the title:

Top Tip: Right-click and open in new tab

Top Albums of 1988
   1 Kylie Minogue Kylie
   2 Cliff Richard Private Collection
   3 Michael Jackson Bad
   4 Bros Push
   5 Various artists (EMI/Virgin/Polygram) Now That’s What I Call Music 13
   6 Wet Wet Wet Popped In Souled Out
   7 Fleetwood Mac Tango In The Night
   8 U2 Rattle And Hum
   9 Tracy Chapman Tracy Chapman
   10 Terence Trent D’Arby Introducing The Hardline According To…

The only album I bought in the top 10 sellers above was Fleetwood Mac (which came out the previous year).  Much of the music was still Stock, Aitken, Waterman clones.  I did like a bit of Wet Wet Wet, but that’s another story.

I could only find 4 albums that I liked and bought:

Roxette –  Look Sharp (Includes The Look,) Nice upbeat, happy album.

The Proclaimers – Sunshine On Leith – I think every single track on this album is a classic.  Still a regular on my playlist.

Erasure – The Innocents = Includes Ship of Fools and a very entertaining version of River Deep Mountain High.  Only a bit ghey.

Enya – Watermark – Included as my wife played this a lot.  It sorts of grows on you, especially good when driving as it helps keep you calm.


As you know I like to review your “tunes” that you post.

*Note. Anyone scoring a Morrissey (lowest score possible) will be reported and blocked.

Hat tips to these sites:

http://www.everyhit.com/chart1.html   these give the top 10 songs for each year.

https://www.youtube.com/  you know them.

Next Time: 1989.  Will it get better?  Forecast: (Nope, even worse)

Featured image: “traveling wilburys, george harrison, bob dylan, roy orbison, jeff lynne, tom petty,….,.” by badgreeb RECORDS – art -photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

© Phil the ex test manager 2021