The Very Best of Roy Orbison
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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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have a lot of Roy Orbison music....but this CD is my all-time favorite! The songs are fresh and new. Some re-recorded but better than ever!! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jerome Hagen
Roy Orbison is very good and it arrived in excellent shape.Published 19 months ago by debbie wilson
Yes, it is the very best of Roy Orbison. Such a treat to listen to! Thanks.Published 21 months ago by r. mccampbell
Purchased this for a 90 year old friend that had heard this artist for the first time in her life.
She was thrilled.
There were some songs that didn't even sound like Roy Orbison was singing. I've listened to a lot of Roy Orbison in my life and this CD was terrible. Read morePublished on May 27, 2013 by SandyHoffmann
I researched for quite awhile for the Roy Orbison CD that had most of the songs that I wanted. There are many to choose from, but I didn't want to have to purchase 10 to get every... Read morePublished on September 7, 2012 by Pooh Bear