The Essential Roy Orbison

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
To the wealth of Roy Orbison anthologies add this ambitious two-disc overview that spans the artist's career from Sun to Virgin, with the indispensable Monument recordings naturally forming the heart of the collection. Less weighty than the four-CD box set The Legendary Roy Orbison and more comprehensive than Rhino's excellent For the Lonely: 18 Greatest Hits, Essential packs Disc 1 with the legendary recordings that earned Orbison his rightful place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, whereas the second disc offers a well-considered retrospective of the post-Monument years. Disc 2 leans heavily on the fine late-'80s Virgin recordings, which teamed Orbison with producers ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
To the wealth of Roy Orbison anthologies add this ambitious two-disc overview that spans the artist's career from Sun to Virgin, with the indispensable Monument recordings naturally forming the heart of the collection. Less weighty than the four-CD box set The Legendary Roy Orbison and more comprehensive than Rhino's excellent For the Lonely: 18 Greatest Hits, Essential packs Disc 1 with the legendary recordings that earned Orbison his rightful place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, whereas the second disc offers a well-considered retrospective of the post-Monument years. Disc 2 leans heavily on the fine late-'80s Virgin recordings, which teamed Orbison with producers Jeff Lynne and Bono the latter being the one who seemed to understand Orbison best at the time while adding interesting tidbits from the underappreciated MGM years. Also included are a couple of selections from the star-studded "Black & White Night Live" extravaganza, when Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, and Tom Petty were among a wealth of notable Orbison acolytes to join the backing band; the lovely, lilting duet with Emmylou Harris, "That Lovin' You Feelin' Again," from the soundtrack to the justifiably forgotten Roadie; "Coming Home," an eerie, brooding, string-enhanced cut from the Class of '55 album that reunited Orbison with his Sun labelmates Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis none of whom are on this cut; powerful remakes of "In Dreams" and "Running Scared" that fed a resurgence of interest in Orbison's work, spurred by David Lynch's Blue Velvet; and the "In Dreams"-indebted melodrama, "Life Fades Away," co-written with Glenn Danzig and produced by Rick Rubin for the Less than Zero soundtrack. To paraphrase Gloria Swanson's memorable line in Sunset Boulevard, Roy Orbison's still big; it's the music that got smaller.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Roy Orbison has been in such need of a comprehensive, career-spanning compilation like Legacy's 2006 double-disc The Essential Roy Orbison that it's especially frustrating that it falls short of the mark. Not counting Bear Family's exhaustive 2001 set, which gathered everything Roy recorded between 1955 and 1965, including alternate takes, it is the first multi-disc Orbison compilation since 1988's four-disc box The Legendary Roy Orbison, which was released in the midst of his remarkable comeback that peaked the following year with the posthumous comeback Mystery Girl, which arrived too late to be part of Legendary. So, Orbison's catalog truly was missing a set that spanned from "Ooby Dooby," his first hit for Sun in 1956, all the way to his last charting single, 1992's "I Drove All Night." Essential attempts to do that, touching on every phase of his career -- the early rockabilly for Sun in the '50s, his cinematic hits for Monument in the early '60s, the cult classics for MGM in the late '60s, his '80s comeback -- over the course of 40 tracks. It gets a lot right, particularly on the first disc, which has most of the big hits from "Ooby Dooby" to 1964's "Oh, Pretty Woman," all presented in chronological order. Where things start to go wrong is on the second disc, where the comp suddenly abandons all pretense at chronological order, opening up with four cuts from Mystery Girl (including the hits "You Got It" and "She's a Mystery to Me"), before doubling back to the '60s for five MGM singles -- "Ride Away," "Crawling Back," "Best Friend," "Communication Breakdown," and "Walk On" -- then proceeding to the '80s, first with the Emmylou Harris duet "That Lovin' You Feeling Again" from the Roadie soundtrack, and then with re-recordings of "Running Scared" and "In Dreams," two '60s master works that are only available here in these solid but inferior remakes. The jumbled chronology results in a bit of a disconcerting listen, since the production styles don't comfortably sit together, but that would be easier to forgive if "Running Scared" and "In Dreams" were present in their original versions; without them, Essential isn't quite the concise, comprehensive collection it aspires to be. It's a major flaw, but not necessarily a fatal one, since the remainder of the set does offer his biggest hits -- "Only the Lonely (Know How I Feel)," "Candy Man," "Crying," "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)," "Leah," "Blue Bayou," "It's Over," and "Pretty Paper" among them -- plus a good sampling of his lesser-known work, all in good fidelity. But it comes so close to being truly definitive that the few flaws in selection and sequence stand out all the more.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/28/2006
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969069622
  • Catalog Number: 90696
  • Sales rank: 21,079

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Ooby Dooby (2:12)
  2. 2 Go! Go! Go! (2:08)
  3. 3 Rock House (2:05)
  4. 4 Uptown (2:08)
  5. 5 Only the Lonely (2:26)
  6. 6 Blue Angel (2:52)
  7. 7 I'm Hurtin' (2:44)
  8. 8 Lana (2:18)
  9. 9 Love Hurts (2:28)
  10. 10 Crying (2:47)
  11. 11 Candy Man (2:45)
  12. 12 Dream Baby (2:33)
  13. 13 The Crowd (2:23)
  14. 14 Leah (2:40)
  15. 15 Falling (2:23)
  16. 16 Working for the Man (2:26)
  17. 17 Mean Woman Blues (2:25)
  18. 18 Blue Bayou (2:31)
  19. 19 Pretty Paper (2:45)
  20. 20 It's Over (2:48)
  21. 21 Oh, Pretty Woman (2:56)
Disc 2
  1. 1 You Got It (3:31)
  2. 2 She's a Mystery to Me (4:16)
  3. 3 California Blue (3:57)
  4. 4 The Only One (3:54)
  5. 5 Ride Away (3:28)
  6. 6 Crawling Back (3:14)
  7. 7 Best Friend (2:37)
  8. 8 Communication Breakdown (2:59)
  9. 9 Walk On (2:53)
  10. 10 That Lovin' You Feelin' Again (4:01)
  11. 11 Running Scared (2:14)
  12. 12 In Dreams (2:50)
  13. 13 A Love So Beautiful (3:33)
  14. 14 The Comedians (3:32)
  15. 15 Claudette (3:02)
  16. 16 I Drove All Night (3:46)
  17. 17 Wild Hearts Run out of Time (3:33)
  18. 18 Coming Home (4:02)
  19. 19 Life Fades Away (3:41)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Roy Orbison Primary Artist, Guitar, Background Vocals
Floyd Cramer Piano
Hank Garland Guitar
Jackson Browne Background Vocals
Rita Coolidge Background Vocals
Elvis Costello Guitar, Background Vocals
Steve Cropper Guitar
George Harrison Guitar
Jeff Lynne Bass, Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Tom Petty Guitar, Background Vocals
Bruce Springsteen Guitar, Background Vocals
Tom Waits Guitar
James Burton Guitar
Steve Gibson Guitar
Dewey Martin Drums
Scotty Moore Guitar
Mike Campbell Guitar, Mandolin
Jim Keltner Drums
Grady Martin Guitar
Bill Pursell Vibes
Bobby Wood Keyboards
Joe Chemay Background Vocals
Steven Soles Background Vocals
Alex Acuña Percussion
John Rainey Adkins Guitar
The Anita Kerr Singers Background Vocals
Dennis Belfield Bass
Benmont Tench Piano
Bono Guitar
Barry Booth Piano
Harold Bradley Guitar
Boudleaux Bryant Guitar
T Bone Burnett Guitar
Kenny Buttrey Drums
Gene Chrisman Drums
J.R. Cobb Guitar
Ray Cooper Drums
Glen D. Hardin Piano
Linda Dillard Background Vocals
Ray Edenton Guitar
Bobby Emmons Keyboards
Howie Epstein Bass
Gene Morford Background Vocals
Jim Haas Background Vocals
Buddy Harman Drums
Jim Horn Saxophone
Jon Joyce Background Vocals
Rodney Justo Guitar
Jerry Kennedy Guitar
Jack Kennelly Bass
Mike Leech Bass
Paul Leim Drums
Tommy Morgan Harmonica
James Morrow Mandolin
Wayne Moss Guitar
Robert Nix Drums
Carole Parks Background Vocals
Dean Parks Guitar
Larry Paxton Bass
Boots Randolph Saxophone
Brent Rowan Guitar
Billy Sanford Guitar
Jerry Scheff Bass
J.D. Souther Guitar
Henry Strzelecki Bass
Ron Tutt Drums
Ian Wallace Drums
Johnny Wilson Guitar
David Woodford Saxophone
Reggie Young Guitar
Billy Pat Ellis Drums
Charlie McCoy Harmonica
Michael Utley Keyboards
Fred Carter Jr. Guitar
Bob Moore & His Orchestra Bass
Larry Byrum Guitar
Paul Garrison Drums
John W. Greubel Drums
Jerry Arnold Drums
Bill Dees Keyboards, Background Vocals
Joe Tanner Guitar
David Briggs Keyboards
Phil & Debi Jones Drums
Bill Gilmore Bass
Technical Credits
Jeff Lynne Producer
Roy Orbison Composer, Producer
Mike Campbell Producer
Brian Ahern Producer
Bono Producer
B. Bryant Composer
T Bone Burnett Producer
Fred Foster Producer
Will Jennings Producer
Chips Moman Producer
Barbara Orbison Executive Producer
C.Q. Price Composer
Wesley Rose Producer
Rick Rubin Producer
J.D. Souther Composer
Jim Vienneau Producer
Chet Flippo Liner Notes
C. Walker Composer
Sam Phillips Producer
Michael Utley Producer
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Vic Anesini Mastering
Augusto Labrador Velez Packaging Manager
Bill Dees Composer
Joe Melson Composer
Bob Jones Art Direction
Dick Penner Composer
Dr. W.A. Jennings Composer
B. Ross Composer
T.C. Kelly Composer
David "Damonsta" Lynch Producer
Wade Moore Composer
D.W. Evans Composer
David Briggs Producer
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