Roy Orbison - Crying
5d ago
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The History of the Albums - n° 190

[I invite you to read my previous review on Lonely and Blue - by Roy Orbison (1961), to better understand his life and this one]. With the recent success of his single Only The Lonely and the release of his debut album Lonely and Blue in early 1961, Roy Orbison's career was finally making some noise. This allowed him to go from being a mere copy of Elvis Presley to a popular original artist who set the trends. Although he can be blamed for a few flaws and overall for not having embodied the ideal "pop star", crumpled by an overly "depressive" and imperfect character, it is important not to overlook what Roy Orbison brought to the table at a time when rock n roll was disappearing, without knowing that things were going to save him at the time. He had a big part of responsibility in this story, which thanks to him allowed popular music to take a significant step forward. Driven by a natural need to mutate, the popular music of the time, which slowly became Pop Rock, tended to bring together different musical currents to create new forms. It was as if popular music was looking for itself.

As one of the best examples, it's fascinating to observe the impressive versatility that Roy Orbison's ability to juggle and merge several musical genres/styles, being able to do Nashville sound, traditional pop, rockabilly, doo-wop and a whole new thing that will democratize of which he is one of the pioneers: baroque pop. So it's true that it's not the first one, and moreover it was rather a kind of prototype, which represents more the ancestor of the real baroque pop released in the mid-60's with the Beatles and the Beach Boys, however when he releases the fantastic single Running Scared, there's no doubt anymore (it's also a mix with Bolero). Anyway, it's not that surprising. Roy Orbison is not only a very important influence for the years to come and classical music and orchestration has always been part of his essence. For me, Roy Orbison represents one of the first popular music artists to come close to an Art aesthetic.

Don't rely on professional critics or mixed reviews. Crying is Roy Orbison's album to listen to. If there was only one, it's him. In the musical and thematic continuation of his previous one, Crying is concretely an improved and almost perfect version which contains notably his 2 greatest songs Running Scared and Crying, as well as a reduced and unstripped choice of accompanying songs. I'm actually surprised to see so little recognition to such an important and delicious album. Recorded in 1961 and released in January 1962, Roy Orbison had made every effort to improve and raise the level of his performance. This difference and progression can be clearly felt on Crying. Yet Roy Orbison did not change his theme or his spirit. His person has remained the same, a man all in black, black glasses who sings very melancholy love songs in a very emotional way. The very power of his interpretation, the more brilliant songwriting and a more enhanced production clearly allowed the album Crying to await the apogee of Roy Orbison's music. It's simply because he gave himself the means to do so. In the rest of his career Roy Orbison continues to fuel his legend, even if the British invasion will logically cast a long shadow over him. He survived with a few interesting albums, before disappearing in 1988 from a heat attack at the age of 52.
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Roy Orbison - Lonely and Blue
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