Roy Orbison


Composed by Joe Melson / L. Sharpe / Roy Orbison

Song Review by

Under no circumstances should Roy Orbison's "Crying" ever be listened to by anyone who's even remotely depressed. The grief, regret, and eternal damnation to an existence drenched in tears that Orbison vividly invests with typically breathtaking vocal bravado could be overwhelming enough to drive anyone so inclined to end it all. For more stable types, "Crying" is simply a beautiful albeit heart-wrenching ballad that opens with an innocuous rhythm carried by tom-tom and acoustic guitar (the latter likely the work of Orbison himself) and steadily builds via sweeping strings and a heavy dose of melodramatic intensity to a climax of utterly shattering proportions. Orbison nails a stunning high note at the end, his mighty pipes holding it for what seems like an eternity as the strings and drums throb with sheer dread. Inspired by the Vernon, TX, native's broken love affair of a few years earlier (reportedly it was the Big O's favorite of all his classic compositions) and waxed with an array of music row's top sessioneers in smooth support, "Crying" vaulted to number two on Billboard's pop lists in late summer of 1961 -- his sixth hit for Fred Foster's Nashville-based Monument logo in little over a year and a half. Its flip side, the reassuringly lighthearted rocker "Candy Man," was simultaneously a sizable seller in its own right.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Crying 1962 Wax Time
In Dreams: Greatest Hits 1963 Legacy / Sony Legacy 2:47
No Image 1966 2:45
No Image 1967 Monument Records 2:45
The All-Time Greatest Hits of Roy Orbison, Vols. 1-2 1976 Monument Records 2:48
The All-Time Greatest Hits of Roy Orbison, Vol. 1 1978 Monument Records 2:46
Golden Days 1981 Sony BMG
In Dreams: The Greatest Hits 1987 Orbison Records 2:47
No Image 1988 Sony BMG 2:47
Black & White Night 1989 Demon Records / Orbison Records 3:08
No Image 1990 Orbison Records 1:33
The Rock 'N' Roll Era: Roy Orbison 1960-1965 1991 2:47
Love Songs [Sound Solutions] 1992 Virgin / EMI Music Distribution 2:50
King of Hearts 1992 Legacy / Orbison Records / Sony BMG / Col / Sony BMG/Orbison Records, Inc. 3:48
Sings Lonely and Blue/Crying 1993 Sony Music Distribution 2:48
Unchained Melodies II 1995
Various Artists
Griffin 2:49
Super Hits 1995 Legacy 2:45
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:45
Oh! Pretty Woman: Greatest Hits 1996 Remember Records 2:56
Gold Collection 1996 TriStar Music 2:45
Ultimate Collection 1996 Sony Music Distribution
Live, Vol. 1 1997 Public Music 2:58
The All Time Greatest Hits of Roy Orbison [DCC] 1997 Monument Records 2:47
Combo Concert: 1965 Holland 1998 Orbison Records 3:04
Live 1998 Mastertone 2:45
Oh Pretty Woman: The Greatest Hits 1998 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:45
16 Biggest Hits 1999 Legacy / Monument Records / Sony Legacy 2:46
Greatest Hits of the 60's [1999] 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:47
Anthology 1999 Eagle Records / Orbison Records 2:47
Star Power: Best of Roy Orbison 1999 Bellaphon Records
Roy Orbison: Authorized Bootleg Collection 1999 Orbison Records 2:42
In Dreams [Video] 1999 White Star
The All Time Greatest Country Songs 1999
Various Artists
MSI Music Distribution / Sony Music Distribution 2:48
Original Hits, Vol. 2 2000 Platinum Disc 2:47
Roy, Gene & Dion 2000 WEA International 2:47
20 Golden Hits 2000 Teevee Records 2:47
The Great Roy Orbison: Original Hits 2000 Platinum Disc 2:47
It's Over 2001 Golden Stars 2:44
This Is 2001 Back Biter 2:48
Live at Austin City Limits 2001 Orbison Records 3:15
Gold 2001 Essential Collection (Netherlands) 2:48
The Big O: The Original Singles Collection 2001 Monument Records 2:46
Orbison 2001 Bear Family Records 2:48
Live in Alabama 2001 Eagle Records 2:45
The Legends Collection: The Roy Orbison Collection 2001 Legends Collection 2:34
Roy Orbison Collection, Vol. 1 2001 Dressed To Kill 2:34
Summer Country: 41 Classic Country Hits for a Modern World 2002
Various Artists
Monumental Hits [Collectables] 2002 Collectables 2:47
50 All Time Greatest Hits 2002 Collectables 2:47
Big Hits from the Big "O" 2002 Balboa Recording Corporation 2:48
Singers and Songwriters: The Originals 2002
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
The Very Best of Love 2003 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:47
The Best of Roy Orbison [EMI] 2003 CEMA Special Markets / EMI-Capitol Special Markets 2:47
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Ballads 2003 Collectables 2:47
Elite: Sixties 2003
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
Most Famous Hits: The Album [CD 2] 2003 Surpr!se 2:34
Oh Pretty Woman [Goldies Box Set] 2004 Goldies 2:44
The Very Best of Country [Nascente] 2004
Various Artists
Most Famous Hits: The Album 2004 Surpr!se 2:34
Sweets for Sweden: The Very Best of Roy Orbison 2004 Virgin
In Dreams: Live 2004 Castle Pulse 2:43
Sad Songs 2004
Various Artists
Virgin 2:47
Platinum Collection 2004 Virgin 2:49
No Image 2004 Sony Music Distribution 2:50
Hits! Hits! Hits! 2004 Orbison Records 2:47
Love Songs, Vol. 3 [Ouver] 2005
Various Artists
The Ultimate Country Collection [Universal International] 2005
Various Artists
Universal International 2:47
Simply the Best Singers 2005
Various Artists
Live from Australia [DVD] 2005 Image Entertainment
Devil Doll 2005 Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 2:43
I Can't Stop Loving You 2005 Rex Recording 2:45
The Kings and Queens of Country [Sony] 2005
Various Artists
Sony BMG 2:48
Only the Lonely 2006 Not Now Music
The Essential Roy Orbison 2006 Sony Music Entertainment
Forever Roy Orbison [3 Disc] 2006 Madacy 2:47
Casey Kasem: Driving in the 60s 2006
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 2:48
In Dreams: The Greatest Hits [Musical Memories] 2006 Musical Memories
Forever Roy Orbison [Tin Can Edition] 2006 Madacy 2:47
The Very Best of Roy Orbison [Sony/BMG Australia] 2006 Legacy / Sony BMG / Sony Music 2:46
The Collection [Crimson] 2007 Crimson Productions
No Image 2007
Various Artists
BMG / Sony Music Distribution 2:46
No Image 2007
Various Artists
In Dreams [Sony DVD] 2007 Sony BMG 5:24
Love Hurts 2007 Sony Music / Sony Music Distribution
Black & White Night/Crying 2007 BMG 2:49
A Tear Fell 2007
Various Artists
Delta / Xtra 2:45
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Sony Music
The Legend Lives On 2007 Immortal
Crying/In Dreams 2008 Legacy / Monument/Legacy 2:49
Playlist: The Very Best of Roy Orbison 2008 BMG / BMG / Sony Music
No Image 2008 Legacy / Sony Legacy / Sony Music 3:48
The Best of the Soul of Rock and Roll 2008 Sony BMG / Monument Records 3:48
Purely Roy Orbison 2008 Impact 2:47
No Image 2009
Various Artists
Sony BMG 2:46
No Image 2009
Various Artists
Commercial Canada 2:45
The Last Concert: December 4th, 1988 2010 Legacy / Sony Legacy 5:43
Golden Age of Pop [Time-Life Box Set] 2011
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:48
The Monument Singles: A-Sides (1960-1964) 2011 Monument Records / Sony Music Distribution
Running Scared 2011 AP 2:48
Opus Collection 2011 Starbucks
Heartbreakers 2012
Various Artists
Go Entertain
A True Love Goodbye [Metro] 2012 Metro Select
The Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame - Roy Orbison 2012 DLG Digital 2:46
America's Greatest Hits, Vol. 12: 1961 2012
Various Artists
Acrobat 2:44
Blue Angel [Excalibur] 2013 Excalibur 2:41
The Absolutely Essential Collection 2013 Proper
Songs for Mum [Music Digital] 2014
Various Artists
Music Digital 2:47
The Real... 2015 Sony Music 2:45
You Make My Heart Sing 2016
Various Artists
80th Birthday Celebration 2016 ZYX / ZYX Music 2:49
100 Essential Tracks: Love Songs
Various Artists
Sony Music
No Image
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:45
101 Hits from the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame
Various Artists
DLG Digital 2:46
1961: A Time To Remember The Classic Years
Various Artists
Tabak 2:47
All Time Greatest Hits Skyline 2:47
American Heartland: Legends of Country
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:46
Best Loved/Golden/Super Sony Music Distribution
Crying/Mama Sound and Vision 2:41
De Pre Historie: 1961, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Eva 2:47
Definitive Collection [2 Disc] Phantom
Dream Baby: 48 Classic Hits AP 2:46
Fab Hits, Vol. 4
Various Artists
Sound and Vision 2:41
Golden Oldies Hit Series, Vol. 35
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 3:14
Hot Hundred: Love Songs
Various Artists
Music Digital 2:44
I Just Love: Love Songs
Various Artists
Music Digital 2:47
Legendary Voices
Various Artists
StarVista / Time/Life Music 2:48
No Image Orbison Records 3:46
No Image
Various Artists
Nice 'n' Easy [One Day]
Various Artists
One Day Music
Oldies Hits A to Z, Vol. 11
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 3:14
Orbison Over England: The Eighties March 25 1980 the Fiesta Club Stockton Pilot / Pilot 2:51
Orbison Over England: The Seventies October 18 1975 the Queens Theatre Alchemy Entertainment Ltd.
Orbison Over England: The Sixties May 9th 1969 Batley Variety Club Pilot / Pilot 2:41
Out & Out Roy Orbison Out & Out
Pretty Woman [Single] Legacy 2:45
Pretty Woman: The Best of Roy Orbison [Columbia] Columbia
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:49
Rock 'n' Roll Legends One & Only Rock 'n' Roll
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:49
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:49
Teen Cruise
Various Artists
Cherished Records 2:46
The  Ultimate Collection 100 Hits: Country
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection / The Ultimate Music Collection
The Extended Play Collection, Vol. 51 Cherished Records 2:46
No Image X5 Music Group 2:56
The Vintage Collection: Love Songs
Various Artists
Music Digital
Tragedy: Rock 'N' Roll Heartbreakers
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:49
Ultimate... Voices
Various Artists
blue highlight denotes editor's pick