16 Biggest Hits
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One hates to break the supernal sounds of master rock & roll balladeer Roy Orbison down by numbers, but here goes: 16 Biggest Hits offers exactly what it advertises. Meanwhile, Rhino's For the Lonely: A Roy Orbison Anthology (1959-65) tops it with 18 Orbison classics, Virgin's The Very Best of Roy Orbison clocks in with 19 cuts, and the old standby The All-Time Greatest Hits of Roy Orbison, Volumes 1 & 2 tops them all with 20 hits. All four retrospectives are laden with recordings that have become rock & roll touchstones--"Only the Lonely," "Running Scared," "In Dreams," "It's Over," "Oh, Pretty Woman." 16 Biggest Hits is bargain priced, but its ho-hum packaging leaves much to be desired. --Steven Stolder
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The sound is absolutely gorgeous on this CD. The tracks are extremely bold and crisp. As a bonus, the CD offer's the rarely used 20-bit HDCD encoding, which sheds more light on the complexity of some of these arraignments, not to mention it brings out the unique, pop-out and passionate vocals by Orbison with great clarity. With very few exceptions of the late 80's and early 90's, the audio restorations of the late 90's started to demonstrate the full potential of digital remastering of analog recordings, this album is a very good example of that.
INTERESTING NOTE: On this collection, the version of "Oh, Pretty Woman" used is the mono single mix with added reverb. This version appears to have a momentary alternate lyric insert at 1:42 which differs from the stereo mix... or perhaps it's the stereo version that has the insert, I don't know, it's a very good edit. All of the other tracks are in true stereo.