Legacy Plans Ambitious Orbison Reissue Series
Sony BMG’s Legacy Recordings label is embarking on a two-year campaign that will see virtually everything Roy Orbison ever recorded released. At the same time, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will curate a special exhibit with the help of the late rock’n’roll icon’s family.
Legacy’s campaign got underway with the Feb. 7 reissue of “Black & White Night,” a 1987 star-studded concert that originally aired as an HBO/Cinemax special. The concert famously saw Orbison backed by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt and k.d. lang, among others.
Quick on its heels will be the March 28 release of the career-spanning, two-disc compilation, “The Essential Roy Orbison.” The collection will pull together a total of 40 tracks that originally appeared on Sun, Monument, Virgin, MGM, Warner Bros., Mercury and Def Jam labels, reaching back as far as 1956.
Among the highlights are the early rockabilly cuts “Ooby Dooby” and “Rock House” and such classics as “Blue Bayou,” “Only the Lonely,” “Oh, Pretty Woman” and “Crying.”
This year alone, Legacy will reissue Orbison’s entire Sun and Monument catalogs. Titles from the Jewel, MGM and Virgin catalogs will follow. Plans include a remastered version of Orbison’s final studio album, 1989’s “Mystery Girl” and a DualDisc edition the 1992 Virgin set “King Of Hearts,” both originally released by Virgin. The latter posthumous album utilized Orbison’s final vocal recordings and was highlighted by a duet with lang on “Crying” that won a Grammy for best country vocal collaboration.
On April 18, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland will open its Orbison exhibit, which will focus on the artist’s career and his contribution to the American songbook. Orbison’s family has loaned such artifacts as handwritten lyrics, rare records, stage clothing, business documents and photographs to the gallery display. Orbison was inducted into the Rock Hall in 1987.
Supported by his widow, Barbara Orbison, a movement to commemorate the artist with an official U.S. postage stamp has taken off in recent weeks thanks to a bevy of media reports. An online petition had, at deadline, logged nearly 12,000 signatures.
Here is “The Essential Roy Orbison” track list:
Disc one:
“Ooby Dooby” (Sun, 1956)
“Go! Go! Go!” (B-Side to “Ooby Dooby”)
“Rock House” (Sun, 1956)
“Uptown” (Monument, 1959)
“Only the Lonely” (Monument, 1960)
“Blue Angel” (Monument, 1960)
“I’m Hurtin'” (Monument, 1960)
“Lana” (Monument, 1966)
“Love Hurts” (Monument B-side, 1961)
“Crying” (Monument, 1960)
“Candy Man” (B-side of “Crying”)
“Dream Baby” (Monument, 1962)
“The Crowd” (Monument, 1962)
“Leah” (Monument, 1962)
“Falling” (Monument, 1963)
“Working for the Man” (Monument, 1962)
“Mean Woman Blues” (Monument, 1963)
“Blue Bayou” (B-side of “Mean Woman Blues”)
“Pretty Paper” (Monument, 1963)
“It’s Over” (Monument, 1964)
“Oh, Pretty Woman” (Monument, 1964)
Disc two:
“You Got It” (Virgin, 1989)
“She’s a Mystery To Me” (Virgin, 1989)
“California Blue” (Virgin, 1989)
“The Only One” (Virgin B-side, 1989)
“Ride Away” (MGM, 1965)
“Crawling Back (MGM, 1966)
“Best Friend” (MGM, 1967)
“Communication Breakdown” (MGM, 1966)
“Walk On” (MGM, 1968)
“That Lovin’ You Feelin’ Again” with Emmylou Harris (Warner Bros., 1980)
“Running Scared” (1985 version, Virgin, 1987)
“In Dreams” (1987 version, Virgin, 1987)
“A Love So Beautiful” (Virgin, 1989)
“The Comedians” with Elvis Costello (live, Virgin, 1989)
“Claudette” (live, Orbison, 1998)
“I Drove All Night” (Virgin, 1992)
“Wild Hearts Run Out of Time” (Virgin, 1992)
“Coming Home” (Mercury, 1986)
“Life Fades Away (“Less Than Zero” soundtrack, Def Jam, 1987)