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The Very Best of Roy Orbison

3.8 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 11, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Only The Lonely
  2. You Got It
  3. In Dreams
  4. Oh, Pretty Woman
  5. Crying
  6. Claudette
  7. Blue Angel
  8. After The Love Has Gone
  9. Blue Bayu
  10. Dream Baby
  11. Mean Woman Blues
  12. Falling
  13. Ooby Dooby (Medley Of '55 & '87 Versions)
  14. Pretty Paper
  15. California Blue
  16. It's Over
  17. I Drove All Night
  18. Running Scared


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 11, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • ASIN: B000000WCK
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,873 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 19, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This album, released in 1996, combines Roy's original versions of hits he had following his eighties comeback with re-recordings of some of his sixties hits. The British and American versions of this compilation differ slightly in track selection and running order.

Some people can't stand re-recordings but there was a very good reason for Roy to re-record his hits in 1985. His original Monument recordings were the subject of litigation over who actually owned them following the bankruptcy of the original record label. I don't remember the details but I do remember that Roy's original recordings were not available for many years, either on vinyl or CD, so anybody who didn't already own a Roy Orbison record on vinyl or cassette had to look for a used copy. There was even a threat that the original Monument recordings would be destroyed, though I can't believe this was ever serious.

It was in these circumstances that Roy re-recorded some of his most important hits in 1985. Not all the re-recorded hits here date from 1985. Crying is a duet with k d lang recorded in 1988, while Dream baby is a live performance from 1989. Ooby dooby combines his original 1955 recording with his 1995 re-recording. Too soon to know is the original 1966 recording that Roy made for MGM after he left Monument.

This compilation also includes You got it, California blue and I drove all night - original songs that became successful for Roy in the late eighties and early nineties. Another classic song from this period, She's a mystery to me, is included on the British version of compilation.

Say what you will about re-recordings, but I like these ones and they were made for a very good reason - not some oldie going through the motions, but a singer deeply concerned about preserving his legacy. Of course you should buy a collection of his original sixties hits first if you haven't already got them, but this compilation has much to offer.
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Format: Audio CD
The people who slagged this CD as a disappointment only because it's not the original recordings, should have done their homework and researched it before they bought it and before they went on here and wrote ridiculously whiny reviews.
We all know the original Orbison recordings from the 60's are near perfect and there are ways of getting those classics on other compilations. This release was always intended to give the fan/listener a complete look at Orbison's sound in his great comeback of 1985-89. In that regard, this CD doesn't disappoint in the slightest.
His range is almost perfect and his great, unique voice is deeper and more full that what is was on the classic recordings. As for his vocal skills, they are still spine-tingly, especially on his greatest performance of "Running Scared" when that last note he hits is just perfect.
There is a great cross section of performances from his comeback here with "Running Scared", "You Got It", "Crying" and "Mean Woman Blues" standing out. "I Drove All Night" is especially interesting to hear since it was originally done by Cyndi Lauper. To hear it performed by Roy is a great treat. "California Blue", though a simply written song, sounds note perfect. And the vocal powerhouses of Orbison and k.d. lang on "Crying" create a version of that song that will never be topped again.
This is a great introduction to Orbison's music for new fans of his or for those who became fans during his comeback. To hear these songs on this recording, one can't help but feel bittersweet about the situation - just when he became a force in music again, he wasn't around to enjoy it. The man and his music - and that voice - were simply amazing.
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By A Customer on January 14, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I bought this CD for one reason. It was the first time I had seen a Roy Orbison "best of" CD with some of his newer music. I have all of these tracks on other CDs, but this is the first time that I have found them all together. As for the music itself, I still love it as much as the first time I heard it. Orbison's songs have so many elements going on in them that I always seem to notice something new every time I listen to them. Also, there is his voice. I have read so many peoples' attempts to discribe Orbison's voice, but I feel that they always fail. So, I will not even attempt it. All I can say is that if you have never heard Roy Orbison sing, you owe it to yourself to buy this CD and listen to him. The only reason I didn't give this album a 5 star rating is that it is a "best of" album and as a general rule I don't like them. How many Roy Orbison CDs start of with Only the Lonely and end with Oh, Pretty Women? Most of them. This one follows the same basic format, but its saving grace is the addition of I Drove All Night and You Got It.
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Format: Audio CD
I am very surprised this CD has gotten so many good reviews. It's a disgrace! This CD features several re-recorded versions of the songs featured. On top of that, they are not very good re-recordings. Roy sounds very bored through most of them, and on "Blue Bayou" he sounds like he's out of breath. Some of the cuts are live...which is OK, I guess, but it would have been nice if they were marked as such on the CD case. And this version of "Crying" is a duet with K.D. Lang.

The worst part is that nowhere on the outer packaging does it warn you that these are not the original versions...you have to buy the CD to find out! When I buy a CD entitled THE VERY BEST OF ROY ORBISON I expect just that. The recordings of the great songs in the versions I (and the rest of the world) are familiar with. This CD should be called THE VERY BEST OF SOME NEW RECORDINGS OF OLD HITS THAT ROY RECORDED UNENTHUSIASTICALLY A FEW YEARS AGO INCLUDING SOME LIVE CUTS AND NEW DUETS. I guess that title was too long for Virgin records...they should be ashamed! And yes, IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE! When you are used to hearing certain songs done a certain way...and you buy a CD and get lame new versions that are quite noticeably different from what you are used to, especially when it is such a wonderful artist as Roy Orbison, it DOES make a difference. It is downright irritating.

This collection is no cheaper than any other...I suggest you spend your hard earned money on the ORIGINAL versions of these TIMELESS songs and leave this colleciton for people who don't know any better. Trust me, you won't be sorry.
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