Friday, December 20, 2013

Roy Orbison, the Big O

BBC4 showed a repeat of their programme on Roy Orbison this evening, which prompted me to get together my LPs by the Big O. Roy was such a brilliant singer that it's almost impossible to exaggerate his greatness. I saw him live a couple of times, including his tour of the UK when the Beatles were low down on the bill. His voice was exceptional and he was capable of holding an audience despite standing motionless throughout his performance. His death 25 years ago (on December 6, 1988) was particularly sad, as he had only recently been recognised for the great artist he was with the emergence of the Travelling Wilburys.
I wasn't aware of Roy when he recorded for Sun but the release of Only the Lonely in 1960 was a revelation. I rushed out to buy it, but my local record shop didn't have it in stock. I nagged them week after week and eventually got hold of a copy, and within a couple of weeks it had reached number one.
My photo shows 16 of Roy's best LPs. Details are below.
Top row (left to right): There Is Only One Roy Orbison - released on London 8252 (1965); Lonely And Blue - his first LP on London (2342) in 1960; Roy Orbison and others - Ember 2005 from 1965; Roy Orbison Sings - 1972 LP on London 8435.
Row 2: In Dreams released in 1963 on London 8108; Regeneration - 1977 LP on Monument; I'm Still In Love With You - Mercury LP from 1975; Crying - London 2437 released in 1962.
Row 3: Oh Pretty Woman - 1963 LP on London 8207; Cry Softly Lonely One - from 1967 on London 8357; The Fastest Gun Alive - soundtrack of Roy's acting debut on London 8358; The Classic Roy Orbison - London 8297 from 1965.
Row 4: The Orbison Way - 1965 LP on London 8279; Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson - London 8318 released in 1966; Roy Orbison, Big O - LP with the Art Movement released in 1969 on London 8406; Memphis - released in 1972 on London 8445.
Finally, proving that he had lost none of his magic, here is his comeback album Mystery Girl.


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