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END OF THE LINE

end_of_the_line_single-1

End of the line:  1989

“End of the Line” is the last track from the Traveling Wilburys’ first album, Volume 1, released in 1989. Its riding-on-the-rails rhythm suggests its theme and the on-the-move nature of the group. It features all the Wilburys, except Bob Dylan, as lead singers; George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison sing the choruses in turn, while Tom Petty sings the verses. The song then expands into a “freight train” rhythm to underscore its theme.

It was released as the second single from the album, eventually peaking at number 63 in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The music video for “End of the Line” was filmed after Roy Orbison’s death in December 1988. To honor the loss, a shot of a guitar sitting in a rocking chair next to a photo of Orbison was used when his vocals are heard.

The song was used over the end credits of the final episode of the British sitcom One Foot in the Grave and the American comedy, Parks and Recreation.

“End of the Line” appeared in the George Harrison-produced cult comedy, Checking Out.

A version sung by Dennis Waterman was used as the theme tune for the pilot of the BBC production, New Tricks. The song has also been included in TV spots for the 2004 film The Terminal, as well as the trailer for the 2007 hit comedy Knocked Up.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played this song live during their 2008 North American tour.

Harrison was honored in the parody song “No Where Near the End of My Time” by radio on-air personality Bob Rivers.

Track listing

7″ single, Cassette single

A “End of the Line” (LP Version) – 3:30
B “Congratulations” (LP Version) – 3:30

12″ single, 3″ CD single

A “End of the Line” (Extended Version) – 5:34
B “Congratulations” (LP Version) – 3:29

Personnel

Bob Dylan – backing vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar
George Harrison – lead vocals (1st, 4th, and 7th choruses), backing vocals, slide guitar, lead guitar
Jim Keltner – drums
Jeff Lynne – lead vocals (2nd, 5th, and 6th choruses), electric rhythm guitar
Roy Orbison – lead vocals (3rd chorus), electric rhythm guitar
Tom Petty – lead vocals (verses), bass guitar