Roy Orbison

MGM B-Sides & Singles

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Originally released as a bonus disc on the 2015 box set The MGM Years 1965-1973, MGM B-Sides & Singles rounds up the 16 non-LP sides Roy Orbison released during his eight years at MGM. Because these were designed for a wider audience, they tend to be a little livelier than the crossover pop that dominated the 12 albums Roy released for the label. There's a fuzz guitar on "Sugar Man"; "Southbound Jericho Parkway" is an ornate post-psychedelic AM epic that could double as the music for an opening credits; "Tennessee Owns My Soul" and "She Cheats On Me" touch upon the wide-open progressive country-pop of the early '70s; "If I Had a Woman Like You" comes close to candy-coated bubblegum, and "I Can Read the Lines" almost conjures up a groove. All of these sounds are absent from the MGM albums, so hearing them isolated on this disc is both welcome and misleading: it makes for a better listen than the box, but it suggests there's more of this stuff on there, which there's not.

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