|UK Release Date||17 October 1988|
|UK Catalogue Number||Wilbury Records W 7732|
|Weeks On UK Chart (to date)||14|
|Peak UK Chart Position||21|
|Lowest Matrix Numbers||W 7732 A-1 / W 7732 B-1|
Coming out one week before the Traveling Wilburys Vol 1 album, Handle With Care was released as a single in the UK on 17 October 1988 and spent fourteen weeks in the charts peaking at number 21. It was also released on 17 October 1988 in the US where it managed to reach number 45 in the charts during a fourteen week run. It spent a further two weeks in the UK charts at numbers 80 and 81 in June 2007 when it was re released though this time the single was backed by Handle With Care (Extended Version) instead of Margarita.
The single, and the birth of The Traveling Wilburys, came about in April 1988 when George, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison wrote and recorded Handle With Care at Bob Dylan’s home studio over a period of just five hours with the intention of it being the B side to George’s next single This Is Love. George’s record company, Warner Bros, deemed the track too good to be tucked away on a B side so, as all five had enjoyed the experience so much, they decided to record a full album using Handle With Care as the lead single and opening track for the album.
The title of the track is said to have come when George noticed a “Handle With Care” sticker on a box at Dylan’s home. The box looked like it had “been beat up and battered around” which inspired the first line of the song. The last few lines probably came from George’s Beatles days – “Been stuck in airports, terrorized” (Manilla 1966), “Sent to meetings, hypnotized” (Apple) and “Overexposed, commercialized” (The Beatles in general).
I have 3 different copies of Handle With Care on 7″ vinyl – the two shown below and the 2007 release which can be seen here. I also have it on 10″ vinyl, shown here, 12″ vinyl, shown here, and CD single, shown here.
Standard UK Release
The pictures below are of my solid centre first press copy (there was only the one press and no push out centres) that has the matrix numbers W 7732 A-1 and W 7732 B-1. It also has MIKE’S and DAMONT etched into the run off on the A side and THE EXCHANGE and DAMONT etched into the run off on the B side. MIKE and THE EXCHANGE refers to Mike Marsh who was a mastering engineer at The Exchange Mastering Studios in London whilst DAMONT means it was pressed at the Damont pressing plant in Hayes, Middlesex. The record is in excellent condition, both visually and playing wise. The paper picture sleeve is in very good to excellent condition, just some minor ringwear and a few hardly noticable marks
Estimated Value : £5
Limited Edition UK Release
The pictures below are of my limited edition UK release which is the same as the standard release but comes in an outer sleeve and has a Traveling Wilburys sticker. The catalogue number on the outer sleeve adds a W at the end – W 7732W – but the inner sleeve and the record just have W 7732 like the standard release. Like the standard copy the matrix numbers are W 7732 A-1 and W 7732 B-1 and it has MIKE’S and DAMONT etched into the run off on the A side and THE EXCHANGE and DAMONT etched into the run off on the B side. The record is in excellent condition, both visually and playing wise. The card outer sleeve, paper picture sleeve and unused sticker are also in excellent condition and the “Handle With Care” sticker on the outer sleeve is present and still holds the sleeve shut.
Estimated Value : £15 – £20