Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty had been collaborating for years before they penned "Out in the Cold." Lynne, best known for his work with his band ELO, and Petty were founding members of the short-lived supergroup, The Traveling Wilburys, with friends Roy Orbison, George Harrison, and Bob Dylan. In 1989, after their short stint as Wilburys, Lynne and Petty began work on Petty's album Full Moon Fever
. Petty's first solo effort was co-produced by Lynne and spawned three hit singles, "Runnin' Down A Dream
," "Free Fallin'
," and "I Won't Back Down
," all of which were co-written by Lynne. Following the success of the album, Petty and Lynne joined up a third time to produce the Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers album Into the Great Wide Open
, on which Lynne produced, wrote, played guitars, bass, piano, percussion, and synthesizer, and provided backing vocals and sound effects.