Authorized Bootleg Collection
Roy Orbison was no doubt one of the best loved and certainly one of the most stable performers to be launched from Sam Phillips’ Sun Studios in Memphis. This Official Bootleg package captures four separate performances, beginning with a May 1969 performance at the Batley Variety Club in Batley, England. This performance is followed by a 1975 show at Queens Theatre in Hornchurch, England. The last two shows, both from 1980, are from the Fiesta Club in Stockton, England, and back home in good old Birmingham, Alabama.
As might be expected, there is quite a bit of repetition across these four discs. The set lists are mostly the same. Roy generally opened with “Only The Lonely,” and usually closed his shows with “Oh, Pretty Woman.” These are complete shows, and any Orbison show would certainly have to include his standards. As might also be expected, the 1980 recordings are superior in terms of the quality of the recording. The advances in recording technology over the years is responsible for this. Despite the slight sonic differences, these discs all have a certain charm, and they capture Orbison with a variety of bands as well as some slight variations of his classic songs. This collection also includes a few rare Orbison takes on other’s songs, including Willie Nelson’s gorgeous “Pretty Paper,” the Beach Boys’ “Help Me Rhonda,” and even Barbara Streisand’s “Evergreen.”
This collection might be a little too much for a casual fan, but all-in-all, this a nice view of Orbison, and it serves to remind us that the good guys sometimes come dressed in black.
Roy Orbison International Fan Club, 1625 Broadway, Suite 613, Nashville, TN 37203; http://www.orbison.com