Sings Lonely and Blue
The Music Box's #6 reissue of 2006
First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2006, Volume 13, #8
Written by John Metzger
Sings Lonely and Blue, Roy Orbisonís debut for Monument, wasnít a concept album, per se, yet its dozen tracks were connected by a single-minded sense of brokenhearted despair. At the time, Orbison still was developing what eventually became his signature style, but based upon the strength of the opening cut Only the Lonely, itís clear that he was very close to finding it. The Boudleaux and Felice Bryant-penned Bye-Bye Love, which had been a huge hit for the Everly Brothers just a few years earlier, was delivered by Orbison in a much slower and dreamier fashion, while songs by Don Gibson (I Canít Stop Loving You, Legend in My Time) and Gene Pitney (Twenty Two Days) were suited well to his mournful vocals as well as to Fred Fosterís showy production values. Although Orbisonís own Blue Avenue tried too hard to tap into the market that had been cornered by Elvis Presley, the rest of his original compositions were remarkably innovative. None was more so than Only the Lonely, on which an accompaniment by the Anita Kerr Singers was combined with a string arrangement in order to create a dramatic framework for Orbisonís magnificent voice. Considering that Come Back to Me (My Love), Blue Angel, Iím Hurtiní and Iíll Say Itís My Fault were written later, it isnít surprising that not only did they largely follow a similar pattern, but also that, in doing so, they were somewhat less successful. Beautifully remastered, the latest edition of Sings Lonely and Blue also has been augmented with a quartet of bonus tracks ó the 1959 single Uptown as well as the B-sides Pretty One, Here Comes that Song Again, and Todayís Teardrops ó each of which helps to provide a more complete picture for this important historical artifact.
Sings Lonely and Blue 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