|UK Release Date||17 October 1988|
|UK Catalogue Number||Wilbury Records W 7732 TE|
|Weeks On UK Chart (to date)||14|
|Peak UK Chart Position||21|
|Lowest Matrix Numbers||W 7732-TE-A1 / W 7732-TE-B1|
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).
My copy of the 10″ single is shown below. Unlike the 7″ single, which uses the LP version of the song at 3.20, it has the extended version of the song at 5.14. 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. I also have it on 12″ vinyl, shown here, and CD single shown here.
10″ UK Release
The pictures below are of my first press copy (there was only the one press) that has the matrix numbers W-7732-TE-A1 and W 7732-TE-B1. It also has THE EXCHANGE, ADRENALIN and PAG etched into the run off on the A side and MIKE’S, ADRENALIN and PAG 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 ADRENALIN means it was pressed at the the Adrenalin pressing plant in Slough, Berkshire and PAG refers to Peter Lawrence who worked at Adrenalin at the time (PAG is P for Peter + AG, the chemical symbol for silver). The record is in more than excellent condition, both visually and playing wise. The paper picture sleeve is also in excellent condition, just some minor ringwear and a hardly noticable sticker removal mark on the front top left.
Estimated Value : £15 – £25