Crying (Reissue)

Roy Orbison

Monument Legacy, 2006

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Roy Orbison had twenty-one songs reach the American charts during his tenure on the Monument label from 1960-1965, yet he released only four studio albums during that time period.

Three years ago, the Monument Legacy label reissued three of these classic releases. You can read my reviews of 1961’s Lonely And Blue and 1963’s In Dreams in the Vault’s archive section.

Crying, originally issued in 1962, finds him building on the sound and popularity established by Lonely And Blue. The title track and “Running Scared” became big hits and signature songs for Orbison. His sound was now fully developed and his writing relationship with Joe Melson was beginning to flourish, and on this disc, they wrote nine of the twelve tracks together. It would also be his highest charting album until 1989’s my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Mystery Girl.

When reviewing any Orbison material from this era, things always comes back to his voice. His tenor vocals had a tremendous range and purity, plus his ability to hit impossibly high notes was accomplished with ease. When listening to his ‘60s material, you have to realize that it was all done before many of the technological recording advances that we take for granted today. The only other contemporary I would place in his league was country artist Patsy Cline, who had a different style but an equally powerful sound.

“Running Scared” and the title cut are ballads that build throughout. Just as you think his voice can’t go any higher, it does. His tone remains perfect and the production is sound. His cover of the Boudleaux Bryant tune “Love Hurts” receives the same type of performance and is just a cut below the first two.

The hidden gem on this release is a song called “Lana,” which presents him at his up-tempo best. It is pure ‘60s pop and has long been one of my top ten Orbison songs.

The bonus tracks serve to enhance the album. They are wisely placed at the end of the disc so the placement of the original vinyl album remains intact. He gives a nice bluesy performance of the old Shirley & Lee hit “Let The Good Times Roll.” The real stunners are “Candy Man” and “Dream Baby,” which are nice fusions of pop and his country/rockabilly roots.

Many of Roy Orbison’s hits are well known and have been issued many times over the years. His original albums such as Crying allow the listener to explore his catalogue a little deeper. This CD reissue is a keeper for any fan of Orbison or early ‘60s pop.

Rating: A-

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