Crying – Roy Orbison (1962)


“By the time 1962 rolled around, Roy Orbison had established himself as one of the leading lights out of Nashville. He was a little left of Johnny Cash and a little right of Elvis. But it took Orbison a little while to realise this place within the musical landscape; his voice was reminiscent of the King’s and his look presented nothing particularly new either. He toiled away under the guidance of Sam Phillips at Sun Studios, Memphis, for a few years and only minor hits were the result. It wasn’t until he met songwriting partner Joe Melson, that things really began to fall into place for Roy. He moved to Monument Records in 1960 where the focus in the studio was centred around exploiting the quality and range of his voice. Orbison also made the key decision whilst at Monument, to insist that orchestral accompaniment be employed as part of his backing ensemble. From here Orbison and Melson penned hit tunes ‘only the lonely’ and ‘running scared’, and it became clear in terms of musical styling and success, that Roy Orbison had arrived. As such, the album Crying was released amidst a swell of new found popularity and anticipation, and at least as far as the title track goes, it didn’t disappoint – reaching number 2 on the billboard charts. ‘Crying’ is a slow burning lament. The instrumentation is initially sparse, allowing for Roy’s voice to come shining through. We are then introduced to subtle layers that combine both strings and soulful backing vocals, and this all moves dynamically towards a great vocal hook. The true brilliance in this particular tune though, can be found in the slowly building crescendo throughout. There’s a tension and constant elevation here both instrumentally and vocally, which only fully releases the pressure valve and the subsequent pay-off right near the end, and herein lies one of Roy’s unique qualities. His voice had such a range that he could feasibly push it more and more throughout the course of an entire song. … What we have here is at times brilliant and at times dull – another example of an album from the early 60’s that doesn’t stand up as a complete body of work. The singles are fantastic, original pieces, and at the time that was all that mattered. The long player was not the priority, and that notion is testament to the sound of this record as a whole.”
Gaslight Records
W – Crying (Album)
Genius (Audio)
amazon, iTunes
YouTube: Crying (Live 1964), Running Scared (Monument Concert 1965), Love Hurts

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