Roy Orbison

The Many Moods of Roy Orbison/The Big O

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These two albums together on one CD are a pretty potent combination, capturing Roy Orbison in some of his best late-'60s moments, as a ballad singer on Roy Orbison's Many Moods and mostly as a rock & roller on The Big O. The latter album's contents with be of special interest to American fans, as most of these songs on The Big O never saw release in America -- the album scheduled for release in 1970 had been intended as a concert recording, but when the tape of the performance in question failed to pass muster, Orbison was obliged to deliver a studio recording instead, built around some of the same oldies that he used in his concert set. His American label, MGM, faced with its usual management problems of that period and not seeing any significant sales of Orbison's music, never picked up on the album, which came out in England on the London Records label (the English Decca imprint used in Britain for U.K. releases of American acts). It's all beautifully remastered, and if the annotation leaves something to be desired in details or analysis, the music, especially The Big O material, more than makes up for this shortcoming.

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