The Music Box's #6 reissue of 2006
First Appeared in The Music Box, September 2006, Volume 13, #9
Written by John Metzger
The difference between Sings Lonely and Blue, Roy Orbisonís debut for Monument, and his subsequent effort Crying is striking. Where the former was assembled from a mixture of cover songs and original fare, the latter was composed almost entirely of material that Orbison had written with Joe Melson, and the few tunes that were penned by others ó Buck Ramís The Great Pretender and Boudleaux Bryantís Love Hurts and She Wears My Ring ó hardly sounded like filler. Crying also was better organized than its predecessor. Birthed at a time when albums were little more than loosely-knit amalgamations, the collection was fashioned into two distinctive sides. The first half of the affair was devoted to melancholy ballads that were designed to showcase Orbisonís operatic range, and each selection served to set up the emotions of the next. Cryingís latter half was equally melodramatic, though musically it took a more rock-oriented approach as Orbison optimistically reveled in love.
Having the biggest impact upon Cryingís success, however, was the confidence that Orbison exuded at every turn. On Sings Lonely and Blue, he sometimes seemed a little unsure of himself, and on occasion, the backing vocals and string arrangements became somewhat distracting. Not so on Crying. From the stunning dynamics of the title track to the blues-kissed Dance, and from the paranoid feeling of dread that clung to Running Scared to the devastation that pervaded Wedding Day, Orbison seamlessly fused his voice with the accompaniments, making it clear that he had found his muse. Bolstered by a pristine sonic makeover as well as the inclusion of the irresistible Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream), the minor single Let the Good Times Roll, and a pair of sterling B-sides (Candy Man and The Actress), the latest incarnation of Crying is a potent piece of pop history that undeniably is as vital as ever.
Of Further Interest...
Crying is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2006 The Music Box