|Initial UK Release Date||17 October 1988|
|Initial UK Catalogue Number||Wilbury Records W 7732 CD|
|Weeks On UK Chart (to date)||14|
|Peak UK Chart Position||21|
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).
The CD version was issued in the UK/Europe on the same day as the other formats under catalogue number W 7732 CD and contains both the LP version of the song, at 3.20, and the the extended version of the song, at 5.14, as well as Margarita. The US CD release, catalogue number 27732-2, featured only the LP version of the song and Margarita.
My UK/Europe copy is shown below. I also have 3 different copies of Handle With Care on 7″ vinyl – two 1988 versions shown here and the 2007 release which can be seen here, as well as the 10″ vinyl version, here, and the 12″ Vinyl version, here.
Original 1988 UK/Europe Release
The pictures below are of my original 1988 CD single. Both the inlay and the CD itself were made in Germany. You’ll see that it is a 3″ CD but comes with a 5″ adaptor as some players at the time didn’t have the 3″ indent in the CD tray. The CD, case (usual storage marks) and insert are in excellent condition.
Estimated Value : £10 – £15