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volume 7
april 2004

The Orbison way

 





  Listing the 156 songs of Roy Orbison's MGM-years, 1965-1973
by René de Bruin
Previous
  In his earlier contributions — De eerste vijfentwintig Orbisongs and The monumental music of Roy Orbison — René de Bruin catalogued the song career of Roy Orbison from 1955 till 1965. Over that period Orbison released no less than a hundred songs. De Bruin now takes us through the MGM-years, adding yet another 156 songs to the Orbison's songlist.
 
1 Right: Orbison signs his contract at MGM

A contract at MGM Records. Cataloguing Roy Orbison's song list, last time I left you in the middle of the year 1965. As far as music was concerned, the sitation then was looking very good for Roy Orbison. "Oh, Pretty Woman" had been a global hit and the song had engraved his name into the minds and hearts of his countless fans. However, as testified by the history of popular song, it is very difficult to equal or even surpass such a milestone recording. Orbison was no exception to this rule. "Oh, Pretty Woman" sold 7 million copies, whereas its successor "Goodnight" only made 200,000 copies in 1965. Soon after this single was released, it was made known that Orbison would be changing record-companies. His contract at Monument had expired and he now signed a contract at MGM records. This long-term contract had a price of $ 1,000,000.- excluding movie contracts. Fred Foster, Orbison's manager at Monument, later explained that a small company as Monument simply couldn't offer Orbison the amount of money a major could.

2 A new musical direction. Later on, Orbison himself explained his move by saying that MGM had also promised to give him more artistic freedom. Indeed, the very first singles and albums made by Orbison for MGM do sound somewhat more relaxed and mature. The record buying public however didn't quite seem to understand this new attitude and sales dropped and never equalled the Monuments rates. At MGM, Orbison picked up where he left at Monument, writing songs with Bill Dees — the co-author of "Oh Pretty Woman" along with several other classics — and subsequently recording them. The very first MGM-single was "Ride Away" referring to one of Orbison's passions: motorbikes. The first MGM-album was released in that same year, titled There is Only One Roy Orbison. The record was released in mono format as well as stereo format. Meanwhile Monument singles and album compilations were hitting the market too. In the USA this finally led to a court case. In Europe / Great Britain the change of record companies didn't have that much consequences, though. The London label remained to be Orbison's sole distributor for this side of the Atlantic.
  Already at the start of 1966 a second Roy Orbison longplayer hit the market, titled The Orbison Way. Eight out of twelve songs were composed by the tandem Bill Dees and Roy Orbison. Only a couple of months later, on June 6, 1966, Orbison's career became very rudely interrupted when his wife Claudette died in a motorcycle-accident. He was left with his three sons; Roy Duane, Tony and Wesley. Orbison seriously considered wether to continue his career or to retire completely from the music scene. The best way to deal with his grief, he found out, was to go on working. He started to tour again, while his parents took care of the kids. His first single to be released after the accident was "Too Soon To Know." The record was not too well received by the music-press because of its association with the accident, even though Orbison didn't write the song himself. The track was a Don Gibson original, written years before the accident had even happened. Orbison, moreover, had recorded the song before the accident and it had been kept on the shelves because of the accident.
  Orbison himself felt treated unfairly by the press for having authorized the release. At that time he had only a couple of newly recorded songs at hand, most of them not seemingly fit for that particular moment. Orbison had felt that the audience at that time just deserved a release. There were at that time simply no other Orbison compositions recorded and, because of the circumstances, Orbison didn't feel capable to write any new songs. Despite the bad press reviews, though, "Too Soon To Know" sold quite well, in the USA as well as in Europe and Australia. Orbison, again, took to his music, and even delivered a new album in the second half of 1966, by the title of The Classic Roy Orbison. Again most of the songs were written by Bill Dees and Roy Orbison. In the last months of 1966 this album was followed by the USA-single "Communication Breakdown" / "Going Back To Gloria." About the same time, this single was released in Europe, be it with another A-side. This European coupled "There Won't Be Many Coming Home" to "Going Back To Gloria." The title track of the European single clearly was anticipating the release of the Original Soundtrack (OST) of the movie The Fastest Guitar Alive that was being planned for the next year. By now 1966 was running towards its end.
3 The fastest guitar with no glasses. At the beginning of 1967 Orbison was quite busy rehearsing his role for what would become his first movie. Meanwhile recording continued, resulting in a tribute album of twelve Don Gibson songs including a re-recording of "(I'd Be) A Legend In My Time," which Orbison had recorded earlier on for Monument. The new single was titled "So Good," but despite its name it didn't do very well. Probably most people considered the song to be too far removed from Orbison's original style. In June 1967 the movie The Fastest Guitar Alive finally was released. It was a sort of comedy in Western style. Unfortunately this movie hasn't been broadcasted on television very much, especially on the European side of the Atlantic. So I never had a chance to see it. However, video's of this movie do exist, even though they're rather hard to find. Johnny Banner was the name of the character played by Orbison. I won't even try to describe the storyline of the movie. It suffices to say that Orbison's guitar had an inbuilt, hidden gun inside and that the man was acting without his glasses.
  Seeing the film, his fans must have been wondering how he hit the target, as Orbison in fact was very near-sighted. Of course, who has ever seen a cowboy wearing sun glasses? No doubt, a gangster type of movie would have fitted Orbison better, except for the music. Soon after the movie itself, the soundtrack was released. As was to be expected, the record was filled with Roy Orbison and Bill Dees compositions in true Western style. As always, Orbison is sounding absolutely wonderful in this type of songs and the album has been re-released several times sucessfully, also on CD. The sound-quality of these releases is not always the same. No doubt, the CBS release is the worst while EMI offers the best quality, though the last one is combined with an OST of Hank Williams junior. In the years to come, several of the songs that were recorded by Orbison would be used in movies but The Fastest Guitar Alive still is the only movie in which Orbison himself headlined as well for the score as in acting.
4 One song, two versions. Autumn 1967 brought us yet another Orbison single: "Cry Softly Lonely One." Collectors should pay attention here, because there are two different versions of the title song: a single version and an album version. At very first hearing one wouldn't notice the tiny difference in the lyrics. Both songs are almost identical, but just like what happened in 1965 to "Oh, Pretty Woman," now happened to this song. A small part of the lyrics did change over the recording sessions. In the second "bridge" of the song we hear the lyrics of the album and single version diverge slightly:
 
LP version - Single version

You can cry, cry to me girl - "You can cry, cry to me girl
Come on and cry, cry to me girl - Come on and cry, cry to me girl
Don't cry all alone - From this moment on
Baby from now on - Don't cry all alone

  Again there's no "cut-in-the-middle." Indeed, these are two completely different, but almost identical takes. I really do not have any clue why this was done. Anyway, this single opened a short period in which Orbison would not have any USA chart-entries. The single was only three months later followed by "She." In the final months of 1967 MGM released Orbison's album Cry Softly Lonely One, containing eleven tracks. The album was released in the United Kingdom in March 1968, now with twelve tracks. The extra track was a Don Gibson composition: "Just One Time." The year 1968 was nearing its end and it now became a very busy time for Orbison on both sides of the Atlantic.
  The first single to be released in 1968 was "Born To Be Loved By You." Later that year another single was released and it proved to be a milestone in Orbison's career. His voice is absolutely superb on this track. The title of that magnificent song was "Walk On." For whatever reasons, though, the single didn't sell the way it should have. Autumn 1968, next, brought us the single "Heartache." This single was only just released and Orbison was still touring Britain when tragedy struck again. On September 14, 1968, Orbison's home in Hendersonville, Nashville burned down to the ground, a disaster taking the lives of his oldest sons Roy Duane and Tony. His youngest son Wesley and both his grandparents survived, if only because they were thrown out by the explosion that occurred in the house. Orbison kept his collection of vintage cars in the garage beneath his house, so the fire was very explosive. Of course, the tour was cancelled after the accident and Orbison had to take a long, sad flight back to the USA.
5 A new tour and a psychedelic song. At the end of 1968 Orbison again picked up his schedule of working and a new tour started in January 1969 in Canada. The recording sessions also started again and the first single to be released was "Southbound Jericho Parkway," an unusual 7-minute kind of psychedelic song. Orbison next toured the UK again. There he met an 18-year old girl, Barbara, with whom he found new happiness in his life resulting in a marriage in March 1969. While touring the United Kingdom, early 1969, a couple of live concerts were recorded for what swas supposed to become a Live In England album. This project, however, was stalled and later on even cancelled because of disputes between record companies. Meanwhile in the USA a new album was released, for the first time in stereo only. The album was titled Many Moods and was released nowhere except for the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Elsewhere, people had to await the new single. When this single, "Penny Arcade," was released, though, it brought back some of the glance of the "golden period" that Orbison had before he skipped over to MGM. This single charted in many countries around the globe.
  Another single, released that same year, though not in the USA, was "Break My Mind." Whereas releases had been quite parallel before — with intervals of only some months between the USA and the United Kingdom, from 1969 on the situation became a bit confusing. Orbison's recordings no longer were released everywhere. The reason why this happened remains unknown. Were the taste publics diverging between the USA and the rest of the world? Anyway, the US market, in January 1970, got a different single titled "She Cheats On Me" backed with the same B-side as Great Britain namely "How Do You Start Over." The USA-single flopped where in the UK "Break My Mind" became a hit for Orbison. The year 1970 was a year filled with successful tours.
  Meanwhile the album Big O was released in countries as West-Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom and wasn't planned to be released in the USA. In the USA The Great Songs Of Roy Orbison instead was destined to stay a USA release only. It is necessary to state that The Great Songs album is a compilation album with earlier hits completed with newer songs such as "Southbound Jericho Parkway" and "My Friend." The album Big O was not, as a lot of fans hoped at that time, the long awaited Live In England album. It was an album on which nine of the twelve tracks were recorded by Orbison, whereas the music and backing vocals — by Art Movement — were added later. Right now, up to this very day, the Live in England album still hasn't been released. Orbison Records released a 4-CD-box with earlier bootleg albums but not a single CDe of this set can be considered to be the authentic Live In England album.
6 A songwriters' reunion. In 1970 a new single reached the market. Its A-side, "So Young," was composed for Michelangelo Antonioni's movie Zabriskie Point, treating the theme of youth revolt. The single, howver, didn't profit from the movie, because the song was stuck away in the ending credits. Already having left the cinema, no movie-goer probably did notice Orbison's musical contribution. The second half of 1970 brought a surprising country homage-album to Hank Williams in Orbison-style. It worked out very well because Orbison's voice lends itself for as well rock as country and his "roots" were basically country before rock took over. The record clearly showed another side of Roy Orbison that always had been there. On a more personal level, the situation were happy one, with the birth of the first son of his second marriage. On October 18, 1970, his wive Barbara gave birth to their son Roy Kelton Orbison junior.
  In 1970, after a period of over eight years, Joe Melson and Roy Orbison reunited to write some new songs. Also another movie was released, titled Zig Zag, of which the title track was sung by Orbison. The album became a collector's item in Europe because it wasn't released outside the USA. In the first half of 1971 Orbison once again toured Great Britain and Ireland. By July a recording session resulted in the single "(Love Me Like You Did It) Last Night" along with two other songs, the B-side "Close Again" and the still unreleased "(Stay Away) Sundown." The three songs all were composed by the renewed tandem of Melson and Orbison. For reasons unknown and despite everyone concerned having big expectations, the single didn't reach hit status. In February 1972 again a new single was released: "God Love You." This slower song did as everybody had expected: it didn't hit the charts.
  Meanwhile the market was being overflowed with Monument singles who were re-released by Columbia Records under a new agreement with Monument. June 1972, while Orbison was touring Britain once again, another single was released in the USA. It was "Remember The Good" that was backsided with the Melson / Orbison composition "Harlem Woman." This single needs some special attention here, because there are two different couplings of this single on the USA-market, the second being "Remember The Good" backsided with "If Only For Awhile." More confusing is that these different singles were released under identical catalogue-numbers (K-14413). Why this was done still remains unknown. Some people speculated that it must have been the lyrical content of "Harlem Woman," and a better explanation has never been given. These songs just showed that Orbison was back again and that his voice was as fine as ever.
  The single "Remember The Good" was also the lead to a new album of Orbison, simply titled "Roy Orbison Sings" that was also released in Europe and received fair sales. The album contains one of your editor's favourite tracks — "It Takes All Kinds Of People" — composed by Orbison and Mike Curb. Orbison's voice here sounds very matured and strong. I'm still wondering if there's any popular music artist who could cover this range of voice. If you need only a few albums from Orbison's MGM-period, this definitily has to be one of them. Meanwhile Orbison kept touring and besides Britain he also covered great parts of West Europe and East Asia. Where Orbison did find the time to do any recordings inbetween his touring-schedule, I don't know. In September of 1972, however, a new single again hit the American market. This time it was a cover of a Chuck Berry song: "Memphis, Tennessee." Though it didn't reach the charts, the song didn't flop either and sold quite well.
7 From Memphis to Milestones. By now, the year 1972 was running towards its end but not before another album was released by the name of Memphis, containing eleven tracks including "Memphis, Tennessee." At the time this album was kind of a "stranger" in the lot. For one thing, there's not a single Orbison-composition to be found upon this album. Therefore there are also no Orbison-Melson tracks present but instead some songs that Joe Melson had written with others such as Glen Barber — "I'm The Man On Susie's Mind" — and Don Gant — "Run Baby Run [Back Into My Arms]." What the album did include were some Orbison's versions of songs such as "The Three Bells" and "Danny Boy." The latter is the same song that was made famous by Jim Reeves in the late 1950's, but, and there's no offence meant to Jim Reeves fans, Orbison's version certainly has a stronger feeling and his voice sounds beautiful, carrying, soothing. For the album, Orbison also re-recorded the Don Gibson track "I Can't Stop Loving You" that he earlier covered at Monument. At the end of this year a Monument/Columbia 2-LP set was released, simply titled "The All Time Greatest Hits," proving that audiences still hadn't forgotten about these songs. This set has been selling to golden status in nations around the globe and is still doihng quite well, even in "original master recording" quality.
  Early 1973 Orbison was back in the studio again where he recorded "Blue Rain (Coming Down)," another Orbison-Melson composition. The song was released in an single and LP version that slightly differ. Unfortunately the single wasn't released outside the USA, while it still is a strong song in true Orbison-style. Meanwhile Orbison was also coming towards the expiring date of his contract with MGM. His final recordings for MGM were done in 1973 with the sessions for the single "I Wanna Live" in August 1973. From these final sessions, MGM compiled the album Milestones that was released in the USA in October 1973.
8 Playing hard to get. When I started collecting the records of Orbison, back in 1987, I had no trouble in finding his recordings for Monument. These were well-marketed and sold in The Netherlands as well. The same goes for the Sun recordings — dubbed, overdubbed and original. The RCA period proved to be a little bit harder. MGM, however, was quite another cup of tea, as they're playing hard to get, hardly available, with no reissues and not many compilations. Just after Orbison's passing in 1988, people like me put their hopes on Polygram USA, because a rumour was going round that they would re-release Orbison's entire MGM-catalogue on CD. This, however, didn't happen. The whole lot, instead, was released for the USA-market on original Polydor cassettes. One thing these cassette collection did prove is that the sound-quality of the master tapes is very good. So, there clearly is no reason to withold any song from a new release on CD.
  There still is no complete reissue available, though. What was to be expected did happen: in 1991/'92 the Polydor cassette collection were bootlegged over seven CD's completed by the 7"-vinyl B-sides and other missing and alternate tracks. For the occasion the Big O album was "mastered" from vinyl. In the digital era with CD, SACD, DVD-M there still is no complete MGM catalogue to be found. I'm finding this an error of the music-industry to let the eight years of MGM recordings collect dust in their vaults. The question whether there's a market for this part of Orbison's legacy, no doubt, must answered positively. Orbison's MGM-recordings are quite different from his Monument-recordings. Monument was a small label concentrating on singles whereas MGM more focused on albums. This, clearly, had its influence on Orbison's style of singing.
  Over the years a lot has been said and written about Orbison's change to MGM. For me, the combination of Orbison and MGM equals a next step forwards in Orbison's career. Between 1965 and 1973 Orbison's music clearly matured, while his voice was in excellent condition. The thing that worked out negatively at that time, was that his style was becoming a little bit out-dated, because of the changes brought about by the British Boom and the springtide of the new beat music. Orbison did not conform to these changes and stayed true to his roots, to be rediscovered later on by the same artists that brought about the musical revolution of the mid-1960's. The years between 1965 and 1973 brought us a real treasure of albums and singles, in quantities never reached before or after. Over these years Orbison's production peaked in recordings as well as touring. Unfortunately, the man also had to deal with tragic events between these years. On the other hand, there were also happy moments. Most important for us, his extraordinary voice was not silenced and his song writer talents did not diminish. Though the pace of his output slowed down remarkably after 1973, he would continue to surprise his fans.
9 A list of 156 songs. Of course, every Orbison fan would like to see his MGM-catalogue properly archived and boxed in one set, like the Bear Family Records box of Orbison's 1955-1965 recordings. Since this box was released at about the turn of the year 2000/'01, the next logical step for Bear Family would have been a box covering the 1965-1973 recordings along with the tremendous stock of yet unreleased material. MGM meanwhile has become part of Polygram and it is very hard to get information about the stil shelved song titles. My inside information, no doubt incomplete, mentions: (1) Blue Teardrops (Are Falling) (Roy Orbison and Bill Dees) / (2) The Day That I Loved You / (3) For Old Time Sake / (4) Gonna Chase Tomorrow / (5) Gypsy (Roy Orbison and Joe Melson) / (6) Honky Tonkin' Around (Roy Orbison and Joe Melson) / (7) Honey Love / (8) I Need Time / (9) Kelly's Warriors / (10) Our Last Date / (11) (I'll Have) Peace Of Mind (Roy Orbison and Joe Melson) / (12) Peggy You're Breakin' My Heart / (13) Searching For Something To Believe In / (14) She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye / (15) Sixteen / (16) (Stay Away) Sundown (Roy Orbison and Joe Melson) / (17) Take It Easy, Love (Joe Melson and Roy Orbison) / (18) When You Got Love / (19) Without Your Love.
  Then there is "Say No More" a MGM-song appearing on an UK Music Club-label budget CD. Recorded in 1969, this track collected dust for 32 long years before being rediscovered and released. The same goes for "I Got Nothing," that is surfacing on the recent compilation The MGM Singles, 1965-1973 of Orbison Records. As I said, there must be more yet unreleased tracks. After the release of the Polydor casettes, nothing much happened to help us to a more complete collection of Orbison's MGM-years. Later rumour was spread that the MGM-catalogue would be released by British budget label Crimson ... it never happened although there seem to have been negotiations going on between the estate and the company. Our last hope is German based Bear Family Records who already released their overwhelming 7-CD box covering the period 1955-1965.
  The table below list all 156 songs released by now. If and when other songs surface from the vaults the list will have to be updated, but for now it is complete. My next contribution will go into Orbison's later recordings. There I will continue where I stop now — at the start of 1974 — showing that Orbison maybe was out of the limelight but hardly forgotten.
10 Table 1: The 156 songs of Roy Orbison's MGM-years (1965-1973)
 
    Song Title Composer(s) Original USA-Release Recording Date

1. - A Mansion On The Hill Hank Williams and Fred Rose Hank Williams The Orbison Way 8-1970
2. - A New Star Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Orbison Way 1-1966
3. - Afraid To Sleep Buddy Bule and John Atkins There Is Only One Roy Orbison 7-1965
4. - Amy Dan W. Folger Roy Orbison's Many Moods 5-1969
5. - Beaujolais J. Carter and T. Gilbert Roy Orbison Sings 5-1972
6. - Best Friend Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Fastest Guitar Alive 6-1967
7. - Big As I Can Dream Bob Montgomery There Is Only One Roy Orbison 7-1965
8. - Big Hearted Me Don Gibson Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson 1-1967
9. - Blue, Blue Day Don Gibson Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson 1-1967
10. - Blue Rain (Coming Down) * Roy Orbison and Joe Melson Milestones 9-1973
11. - Born To Be Loved By You Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Single 1968
12. - Break My Mind J.D. Loudermilk Big O Autumn 1969
13. - Breakin' Up Is Breakin' My Heart Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Orbison Way 1-1966
14. - California Sunshine Woman Letha Purdom Milestones 9-1973
15. - Casting My Spell On You E. and A. Johnson Big O Autumn 1969
16. - Changes Roy Orbison and Joe Melson Roy Orbison Sings 5-1972
17. - Cheyenne J. Carter and T. Gilbert Roy Orbison Sings 5-1972
18. - City Life Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Classic Roy Orbison 7-1966
19. - Claudette Roy Orbison There Is Only One Roy Orbison 7-1965
20. - Close Again Roy Orbison and Joe Melson Single 1971
21. - Cold, Cold Heart Hank Williams Hank Williams The Orbison Way 8-1970
22. - Communication Breakdown Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Cry Softly Lonely One 10-1967
23. - Crawling Back Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Orbison Way 1-1966
24. - Cry Softly Lonely One * Joe Melson and Don Gant Cry Softly Lonely One 10-1967
25. - Danny Boy Frederick E. Weatherly Memphis 11-1972
26. - Down The Line Roy Orbison Big O Autumn 1969
27. - Drift Away Mentory Williams Milestones 9-1973
28. - Far Far Away Don Gibson Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson 1-1967
29. - Flowers Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Single 1968
30. - Give Myself A Party Don Gibson Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson 1-1967
31. - Girl Like Mine Mark Mathis Cry Softly Lonely One 10-1967
32. - Go Away Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Orbison Way 1-1966
33. - God Love You Roy Orbison and Joe Melson Roy Orbison Sings 5-1972
34. - Going Back To Gloria Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Classic Roy Orbison 7-1966
35. - Good Morning, Dear Mickey Newbury Roy Orbison's Many Moods 5-1969
36. - Good Time Party Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Fastest Guitar Alive 6-1967
37. - Growing Up Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Classic Roy Orbison 7-1966
38. - Harlem Woman Roy Orbison and Joe Melson Roy Orbison Sings 5-1972
39. - Heading South Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Fastest Guitar Alive 6-1967
40. - Heartache Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Roy Orbison's Many Moods 5-1969
41. - Help Me Roy Orbison and Joe Melson Roy Orbison Sings 5-1972
42. - Help Me Rhonda Brian Wilson Big O Autumn 1969
43. - Here Comes The Rain Baby Mickey Newbury Cry Softly Lonely One 10-1967
44. - Hey Good Lookin' Hank Williams Hank Williams The Orbison Way 8-1970
45. - How Do You Start Over Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Single 1970
46. - I'm In A Blue, Blue Mood Roy Orbison and Joe Melson There Is Only One Roy Orbison 7-1965
47. - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry Hank Williams Hank Williams The Orbison Way 8-1970
48. - I'm The Man On Susie's Mind Joe Melson and Glen Barber Memphis 11-1972
49. - I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You) Hank Williams Hank Williams The Orbison Way 8-1970
50. - I Can Read Between The Lines Roy Orbison and Joe Melson Single 1972
51. - I Can't Stop Loving You Don Gibson Memphis 11-1972
52. - I Fought The Law Sonny Curtis Memphis, SE 4867 11-1972
53. - I Got Nothing Sammy King The MGM Singles, 1965-1973 (bonus track) supposedly 1969
54. - I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) Otis Redding and Jerry Butler) Milestones 9-1973
55. - I Recommend Her Henley, Mathis and Brown Roy Orbison's Many Moods 5-1969
56. - I Wanna Live John D. Loudermilk Milestones 9-1973
57. - If I Had A Woman Like You Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Single 1970
58. - If Only For A While Bill Dees and L. Henley Roy Orbison Sings 5-1972
59. - If You Can't Say Something Nice Roy Orbison, Joe Melson and Ray Rush    
60. - It Ain't No Big Thing Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Orbison Way 1-1966
61. - It Ain't No Big Thing (But It's Growing) H. Merritt, S. Hall and A.J. Merritt Memphis 11-1972
62. - It Takes All Kinds Of People Roy Orbison and Mike Curb Roy Orbison Sings 5-1972
63. - It Takes One (To Know One) Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Cry Softly Lonely One 10-1967
64. - It Wasn't Very Long Ago Barry Booth The Orbison Way 1-1966
65. - (I'd Be) A Legend In My Time Don Gibson Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson 1-1967
66. - Jambalaya (On The Bayou) Hank Williams Hank Williams The Orbison Way 8-1970
67. - Just Another Name For Rock And Roll Bill Dees The Classic Roy Orbison 7-1966
68. - Just Let Me Make Believe Ronald Blackwell Cry Softly Lonely One 10-1967
69. - Just One Time Don Gibson Cry Softly Lonely One (European only!)  
70. - Kaw-Liga Hank Williams and Fred Rose Hank Williams The Orbison Way 8-1970
71. - Land Of A 1,000 Dances C. Kenner and A. Domino Big O Autumn 1969
72. - (Last Night) I Heard You Crying In Your Sleep Hank Williams Hank Williams The Orbison Way 8-1970
73. - Lonesome Number One Don Gibson Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson 1-1967
74. - Losing You Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Classic Roy Orbison 7-1966
75. - (Love Me Like You Did It) Last Night Roy Orbison and Joe Melson Single 1971
76. - Loving Touch Terry Widlake Big O Autumn 1969
77. - Maybe Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Orbison Way 1-1966
78. - Medicine Man Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Fastest Guitar Alive 6-1967
79. - Memories Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Cry Softly Lonely One 10-1967
80. - Memphis, Tennessee Chuck Berry Memphis 11-1972
81. - Money Berry Gordy jnr and J. Bradford Big O Autumn 1969
82. - More Riz Ortolani, N. Oliviero and Norman Newell Roy Orbison's Many Moods 5-1969
83. - My Friend Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Great Songs Of Roy Orbison 2-1970
84. - Never Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Orbison Way 1-1966
85. - Never Love Again Rusty Kershaw and Doug Kershaw The Classic Roy Orbison 7-1966
86. - (No) I'll Never Get Over You Roy Orbison The Classic Roy Orbison 7-1966
87. - Oh, Such A Stranger Don Gibson Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson 1-1967
88. - Only Alive Ronald Blackwell and Dewayne Blackwell Cry Softly Lonely One 10-1967
89. - Only You Buck Ram Big O Autumn 1969
90. - Pantomime Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Classic Roy Orbison 7-1966
91. - Penny Arcade Sammy King The Great Songs Of Roy Orbison 2-1970
92. - Pistolero Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Fastest Guitar Alive 6-1967
93. - Plain Jane Country (Come To Town) Eddy Raven Roy Orbison Sings 5-1972
94. - Remember The Good Mickey Newbury Roy Orbison Sings 5-1972
95. - Ride Away Roy Orbison and Bill Dees There Is Only One Roy Orbison 7-1965
96. - Rings Of Gold Gene Thomas Roy Orbison Sings 5-1972
97. - River Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Fastest Guitar Alive 6-1967
98. - Rollin' On Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Fastest Guitar Alive 6-1967
99. - Run, Baby, Run (Back Into My Arms) Joe Melson and Don Gant Memphis 11-1972
100. - Run The Engines Up High Jerry McBee Memphis 11-1972
101. - Say No More Boudleaux Bryant Unreleased until 11-2002  
102. - Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair) E. Danzig and J. Segal Big O Autumn 1969
103. - She Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Cry Softly Lonely One 10-1967
104. - She Cheats On Me Glen Barber Single 1970
105. - She Won't Hang Her Love Out (On The Line) Bill Dees and J. Mathis Big O Autumn 1969
106. - Shy Away Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Single 1968
107. - So Good Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Single 1967
108. - So Young Roy Orbison, Mike Curb and R. Christian Single  
109. - Sooner Or Later Roy Orbison and Joe Melson Single 1973
110. - Southbound Jericho Parkway Bobby Bond The Great Songs Of Roy Orbison 2-1970
111. - Sugar And Honey Roy Orbison and Bill Dees There Is Only One Roy Orbison 7-1965
112. - Sugar Man Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Single 1968
113. - Summer Love Bill Dees There Is Only One Roy Orbison 7-1965
114. - Sweet Caroline Neil Diamond Milestones 9-1973
115. - Sweet Dreams Don Gibson Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson 1-1967
116. - Take Care Of Your Woman Jerry McBee Memphis 11-1972
117. - Tennessee Owns My Soul Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Single 1969
118. - That's A No No Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Cry Softly Lonely One 10-1967
119. - The Fastest Guitar Alive Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Fastest Guitar Alive 6-1967
120. - The Loner Bill Dees and John R. Atkins The Orbison Way 1-1966
121. - The Morning After A. Kasha and J. Hirschhorn Milestones 9-1973
122. - The Same Street Don Gibson Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson 1-1967
123. - The Three Bells Bert Reisfeld (English lyrics) Memphis 11-1972
124. - The World You Live In Joe and S. Melson Milestones 9-1973
125. - There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight Hank Williams Hank Williams The Orbison Way 8-1970
126. - There Won't Be many Coming Home Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Fastest Guitar Alive 6-1966
127. - This Is My Land Bill Dees The Orbison Way 1-1966
128. - This Is Your Song Bill Dees There Is Only One Roy Orbison 7-1965
129. - Time Changed Everything Bowie and Adkins The Orbison Way 1-1966
130. - Time To Cry Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Cry Softly Lonely One 10-1967
131. - Too Soon To Know Don Gibson Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson 1-1966
132. - Truly, Truly True Mickey Newbury Roy Orbison's Many Moods 5-1969
133. - Try To Remember Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt Roy Orbison's Many Moods 5-1969
134. - Twinkle Toes Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Classic Roy Orbison 7-1966
135. - Two Of A Kind Bob Montgomery and Earl Sinks There Is Only One Roy Orbison 7-1965
136. - Unchained Melody Alex North and Hy Zaret Roy Orbison's Many Moods 5-1969
137. - Wait Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Classic Roy Orbison 7-1966
138. - Walk On Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Roy Orbison's Many Moods 5-1968
139. - What About Me Don Gibson Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson 1-1967
140. - What Now My Love Gilbert Becaud, Delanoe and Carl Sigman Roy Orbison's Many Moods 5-1969
141. - When I Stop Dreaming I. and C. Louvin Big O Autumn 1969
142. - Where Is Tomorrow Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Classic Roy Orbison 7-1966
143. - Whirlwind Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Fastest Guitar Alive 6-1967
144. - Why A Woman Cries Jerry McBee Memphis 11-1972
145. - Why Hurt The One Who Loves You Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Orbison Way 1-1966
146. - Wondering Roy Orbison and Bill Dees There Is Only One Roy Orbison 7-1965
147. - Words Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb Milestones 9-1973
148. - (Yes) I'm Hurting Don Gibson Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson 1-1967
149. - Yesterday's Child Roy Orbison and Bill Dees Roy Orbison's Many Moods 5-1969
150. - You Don't Know Me Cindy Walker and E. Arnold Milestones 9-1973
151. - You Fool You Roy Orbison and Joe Melson There Is Only One Roy Orbison 7-1965
152. - You Lay So Easy On My Mind Riis, Rice, Fields Milestones 9-1973
153. - You'll Never Be Sixteen Again Roy Orbison and Bill Dees The Classic Roy Orbison 7-1966
154. - You Win Again Hank Williams Hank Williams The Orbison Way 8-1970
155. - Your Cheating' Heart Hank Williams Hank Williams The Orbison Way 8-1970
156. - Zig Zag Mike Curb MGM 1SE 21ST 1970

  Songs marked with an asterisk (*) appear in a slightly different album and single version. The difference is to be heard in the lyrics. This clearly shows that these were different takes who almost sound identical. It is unbelievable with the technique of those days (read studio-live recording) how close the attendees in the recording studio could stay on the originally intended sound.
   
Previous
  Discography
Next 1. Original vinyl "7 singles USA and UK
 
Year   A Side B side U.S.A MGM cat.nr U.K. London cat.nr

1965:   Ride Away Wondering K-13386 HL 9986
1966:   Crawling Back If You Can't Say Something Nice K-13410 HL 10000
1966:   Breaking Up Is Breaking My Heart Wait K-13446 HL 10015
1966:   Twinkle Toes Where Is Tomorrow K-13498 HL 10034
1966:   Too Soon To Know You'll Never Be Sixteen Again K-13549 HL 10067
1966:   Communication Breakdown Going Back To Gloria K-13634 not released
1966:   There Won't be many Coming Home Going Back To Gloria not released HL 10096
1967:   So Good Memories K-13685 FLX 3179
1967:   Cry Softly Lonely One Pistolero K-13764 FLX 3191
1967:   She Here Comes The Rain Baby K-13817 FLX 3196
1968:   Born To Be Loved By You Shy Away K-13889 FLX 3201
1968:   Walk On Flowers K-13950 FLX 3212
1968:   Sugar Man Heartache K-13991 HLU 10222
1969:   My Friend Southbound Jericho Parkway K-14039 FLX 3228
1969:   Penny Arcade Tennessee Owns My Soul K-14079 FLX 3234
1969:   Break My Mind How Do You Start Over not released FLX 3240
1970:   She Cheats On Me How Do You Start Over K-14105 not released
1970:   So Young If I Had A Woman Like You K-14121 HLU 10310
1971:   Last Night Close Again K-14293 HLU 10339
1972:   God Love You Changes K-14358 HLU 10358
1972:   Remember The Good Harlem Woman K-14413 not released
1972:   Remember The Good If Only For A While K-14413 not released
1972:   I Can Read Between The Lines Memphis, Tennessee K-14441 HLU 10388
1973:   Blue Rain (Coming Down) Sooner Or Later K-14452 not released
1973:   I Wanna Live You Lay So Easy On My Mind K-14626 not released

   
Next 2. Original albums (USA-release date)
 
  Roy Orbison (1965), There Is Only One Roy Orbison, July 1965 (MGM: Mono E 4308 / Stereo SE 4308) (London: Mono HAU 8252 / Stereo SHU 8252)
  Roy Orbison, The Orbison Way, January 1966 (MGM: Mono E 4322 / Stereo SE 4322) (London: Mono HAU 8279 / Stereo SHU 8279)
  Roy Orbison (1966), The Classic Roy Orbison, July 1966 (MGM: Mono E 4379 / Stereo SE 4379) (London: Mono HAU 8297 / Stereo SHU 8297)
  Roy Orbison (1967), Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson, January 1967 (MGM: Mono E 4424 / Stereo SE 4424) (London: Mono HAU 8318 / Stereo SHU 8318)
  Roy Orbison (1967), The Fastest Guitar Alive (OST), June 1967 (MGM: Mono E 4475 / Stereo SE 4475) (London: Mono HAU 8358 / Stereo SHU 8358)
  Roy Orbison (1967), Cry Softly Lonely One, October 1967 (MGM: Mono E 4514 / Stereo SE 4514) (London: Mono HAU 8357 / Stereo SHU 8357)
  Roy Orbison (1969), Roy Orbison's Many Moods, May 1969 (MGM: SE 4336 (from here on stereo only!) (No European release)
  Roy Orbison (1970), Big "O", Winter 1969 / Spring 1970 (London: HAU/SHU.8406 — Australia, Belgium, (West-)Germany, United Kingdom release only)
  Roy Orbison (1970), The Great Songs Of Roy Orbison, February 1970 (MGM: SE 4659)
  Roy Orbison (1970), Hank Williams The Orbison Way, August 1970 (MGM: SE 4683)
  Roy Orbison (1972), Roy Orbison Sings, May 1972 (MGM: SE 4835)
  Roy Orbison (1972), Memphis, November 1972 (MGM: SE 4867)
  Roy Orbison (1973), Milestones, September 1973 (MGM: SE 4934)
  Roy Orbison (1976), Focus On Roy Orbison (London FOS U 15/16) (European compilation only!)
 
   
Next 3. CD-collections
 
  Roy Orbison - The Singles Collection, 1965-1973 (Polydor 839 234-2), released in 1989, also as 2LP-set and audiocassette; released in the U.S.A. in 2002 as "The MGM Singles, 1965-1973," Orbison Records, ORB 3819-2; including the previously unreleased bonus track "I Got Nothing;" available at www.orbison.com
  The Classic Roy Orbison, 1965-1968 (Rhino R2 70711), released in 1989, also as LP and audiocassette
  Roy Orbison, Communication Breakdown, The MGM Years 1965-1970 (Raven RVCD-06), released in 1989, also as 2LP-set and audiocassette
  The Legendary Roy Orbison (CBS A 46809), 4-CD-set released in 1990
  The Fastest Guitar Alive (Roy Orbison) and Your Cheatin' Heart (Hank Williams jnr.), music from the original MGM motion picture soundtracks, released in 1990, also as LP
  Roy Orbison Covers, (Underground) (Stardust 27777) released in 1992, since then several times re-released even in 2002
  Love Songs (WEA 8573801962), 2-CD-set released in 2000/2001 in Australia, later also released in United Kingdom with some differences
 
   
Next 4. The Polydor audio-cassettes
 
  The 11 Polydor cassettes have a catalogue numbering running from 841 153-4 till 841 163-4. The titles are: There Is Only One Roy Orbison / The Orbison Way / The Classic Roy Orbison / Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson / Cry Softly Lonely One / Roy Orbison's Many Moods / The Great Songs Of Roy Orbison / Hank Williams The Orbison Way / Roy Orbison Sings / Memphis / Milestones.
 
   
Next 5. The TNT Laser bootleg CD's
  The first series of five CD's is having a black and blue labelling with yellow/green lettering and was released in 1991. The second series of 2 CD's is adorned with a black and red labelling with silver/red and black lettering and was released in 1992. The first of these CD's contains the 11th audio-cassette and a section that is taken from vinyl as — with some exceptions — does the second CD.
 
  Volume 1: Hank Williams The Orbison Way / Roy Orbison Sings (TNT Laser CD 4835/4659)
  Volume 2: Cry Softly Lonely One / Milestones (TNT Laser CD 4514/4934)
  Volume 3: There Is Only One Roy Orbison / Roy Orbison's Many Moods (TNT Laser CD 4308/4636)
  Volume 4: Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson / The Great Songs Of Roy Orbison (TNT Laser CD 4424/4659)
  Volume 5: The Classic Roy Orbison / Memphis (TNT Laser CD 4379/4867)
  Volume 6: The Orbison Way/Big O (TNT Laser CD 4322/8406)
  Volume 7: The Other Side Vol. 1 and 2 (TNT Laser CD 14293/14441)
   
Previous
  Credits have to go to the following people and magazines: Mr. Burt Kaufman, former editor of the "In Dreams Magazine" for his magazine Vol. III Issue 3/4 (no. 12/13) © 1992. / Book "The Roy Orbison Story" written and compiled by Benjamin Koelewijn, private outlet 1989 / PolyGram MGM recording and release lists compiled and archived by Benjamin Koelewijn and Herman van Duyn.
  2004 © Soundscapes