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Crying (Bonus Track Version)

Roy Orbison

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Album Review

Crying was released in 1962, after Roy Orbison hit the Top 40 with Sings Lonely and Blue. This one hit number 21. With Fred Foster once again producing, the strings that colored so much of Sings Lonely and Blue are present here as well, as are the Anita Kerr Singers. The horn section features a pair of saxophones — yes, Boots Randolph is still in the house — and a trumpet. Charlie McCoy makes an appearance on harmonica here, Floyd Cramer is still the session pianist, and songwriter Boudleaux Bryant is one of the session's guitarists, as are Scotty Moore, Harold Bradley, and Grady Martin. Musically, this is perhaps the most sophisticated of the sets recorded for Monument between 1961 and 1963 — the set that follows this one is In Dreams. The material, beginning with the title track (a number two single) is exceptional — even for a Roy Orbison record. Other tunes here include an exceptional read of "The Great Pretender"; Bryant's "Love Hurts" (which is the version to beat) and "She Wears My Ring"; and Orbison's own tunes (written with Joe Melson) "Running Scared," "Loneliness," "Summer Song," "Lana," "Wedding Day," "Let's Make a Memory," and "Nite Life." Whoa! From slow strollers like "Wedding Day" (doo wop tunes without the "doo wah") to pumped-up rockers like "Dance," the dramatic pop of "Let's Make a Memory" (with Cramer laying down that funky country backdrop on his upright piano), the sheer velvet darkness of tracks like "Night Life," and the number one smash "Running Scared," this is a stunner from top to bottom. The beautifully remastered Legacy Edition contains four bonus tracks, including the single "Dream Baby" (written by Cindy Walker), which hit number four on the pop chart; a fantastic read of "Let the Good Times Roll," which proved Orbison could lay down the hard R&B; "Candy Man," which scored at 25 in 1962; and an obscure Orbison-Melson dramatic broken love ballad called "The Actress," which was issued as a B-side. Taken as a whole, these 16 tracks are a monolith of inspiration and excellence. Orbison was on a roll in the early '60s, and the recorded evidence bears out why. These reissues by Legacy mark the very first time these titles have been on CD, and they are presented beautifully. Highly recommended.


Born: April 23, 1936 in Vernon, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Although he shared the same rockabilly roots as Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison went on to pioneer an entirely different brand of country/pop-based rock & roll in the early '60s. What he lacked in charisma and photogenic looks, Orbison made up for in spades with his quavering operatic voice and melodramatic narratives of unrequited love and yearning. In the process, he established rock & roll archetypes of the underdog and the hopelessly romantic loser. These were...
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