Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison: Authorized Bootleg Collection

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Orbison's widow, Barbara, organized the release of these four live concert recordings taken from various points in Orbison's career. The set list doesn't vary much from show to show; an artist like Orbison would be hidebound to sing his hits, and the audience certainly lets him know which ones they want to hear throughout this four-disc collection. Regarding sound quality, these are soundboard tapes cleaned up as much as possible; don't expect them to sound awful and they won't, but don't expect them to sound like a record either, because they fall quite short. However, you don't come to a Roy Orbison concert, tap your foot, and say, "Nice mix on the bass player." No, you come to hear Orbison, and here's one time when a vocal-heavy board tape has the spotlight falling on the right set of shoulders. If you're going to subject yourself to listening to four hours of one person singing louder then the entire band track put together, it might as well be somebody great like Roy Orbison. He never falters once in these shows, presiding over all of them with a laid-back, good-natured stage personality that perfectly fits the music. For completists and hardcore fans only, perhaps, but here's one of rock & roll's greatest singers tearing it up in four hit-packed concerts; it doesn't get much better than that, sound quality be damned.

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