Title - 'Black & White Night [30th Anniversary Edition]'
Artist - Roy Orbison
For those not in the know, and with that said, why on earth wouldn't you already know this, but the late, great Roy Orbison (also known by his nickname "The Big O"), was an American singer-songwriter and musician, best known for his trademark sunglasses, distinctive, powerful voice, complex compositions, and dark emotional ballads.
Orbison grew up in Texas and began singing in a rockabilly/country and western band in high school until he was signed by Sun Records in Memphis. His greatest success came with Monument Records between 1960 and 1964, when 22 of his songs placed on the Billboard Top 40, including "Only the Lonely", "Crying", and "Oh, Pretty Woman".
The rest, as they say, is history and so as much as its been said his career stagnated from 1965 through the entire 1970s, come the mid-1980s, Roy Orbison (who, yes, had been out of the limelight for quite some time), suddenly found that his song, “In Dreams” was being prominently featured in David Lynch’s landmark 1986 film noir 'Blue Velvet.'
As fate would have it, suddenly that hit film along with the chart topper from another era helped reignite interest in the "Big O" and so on September 30th, 1987, Orbison, then 51, staged a remarkable comeback with the help of guest musicians whom he had influenced: Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt, J.D. Souther, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and Jennifer Warnes.
The all-star concert at the Ambassador Hotel’s Cocoanut Grove night club was filmed a television special and broadcast as Roy Orbison & Friends: Black & White Night on Cinemax the following January, sadly, less than a year before the icon’s untimely passing.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of that very same renowned televised comeback concert in Los Angeles, Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings has teamed up with Roy’s Boys LLC, the Nashville-based company founded by the late icon’s sons to administer their father’s catalog and safeguard his legacy for a special commemorative album release.
Ergo, what we have here is a delicious Black & White Night (30th Anniversary Edition) 2LP vinyl set that includes three tracks omitted from the original 1989 live album of the same name.
Released on October 18th, 2019, the film Black & White Night 30 will also be made available in its entirety, and will feature prominently on the Roy Orbison YouTube channel come October 23rd.
This re-imagined, re-edited, remastered and expanded version of the original television special was released as both as a CD/DVD set and as a CD/Blu-ray set in 2017 by Roy’s Boys and Legacy Recordings, but trust me when I say, listening to it now on lush newly-remastered 180-gram vinyl just makes my skin tingle!
1. "Only the Lonely"
3. "In Dreams"
1. "The Comedians"
2. "Blue Angel"
3. "It's Over"
4. "Running Scared"
5. "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)"
1. "Mean Woman Blues"
2. "Candy Man"
3. "Ooby Dooby'
4. "Blue Bayou'
5. "Go! Go! Go! (Down the Line)"
1. "(All I Can Do Is) Dream You"
3. "Oh, Pretty Woman" (Live, Alternative Version)
4. "Oh, Pretty Woman"
Listening to these tracks, one after the other, flipping the vinyl over at the end of each side-finishing cut, it can begin to feel like you've entered unto something that there is no going back on for the night.
His voice, his unmistakable vocal tone is timeless, let alone those of all his famous guests, which makes every single one of these songs a listening experience all of, and unto itself.
I mean, no one, but no one had the kind of timber, melody, and operatic voice that Roy Orbison possessed. He could sway and slide into the highest notes with the greatest of ease, unleashing one hit song or beloved album track after another.
They just all, quite literally, flowed from his mouth and with no insidious chatter in between, well, we are presented with a pure, beautiful, unadulterated live show of soulful music from this Texan who left us far too soon.
Listening along in the knowledge that Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Warnes, and K.D. Lang are his back up singers, and that he has alongside him such greats as Bruce Springsteen Tom Waits, a young, unabashed Elvis Costello, Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther and Steven Soles - let alone the fact that his backing band that night was the TCB Band, which accompanied Elvis Presley from 1969 until his death in 1977 - and you already know that this recording (in all its forms) will live on forever in the annals of music/film history.
It's also, even if you are not a fan, an experience that should be undertaken by all lovers of when music was real. Nothing is over dubbed, nothing is highly accentuated, everything is as real, as honest as it was when he stepped up to the mic in 1987 with his friends.
In 2017, Roy’s youngest son Alex Orbison and his co-editor Luke Chalk went back and re-edited the television special, using previously unseen shots from the hundreds of hours of footage that existed from the seven-camera shoot.
They also restored the program to reflect the correct set order, so that viewers could see Roy, brilliantly backed by Elvis Presley’s TCB Band (James Burton, Glen D. Hardin, Jerry Scheff, Ron Tutt), blast through massive Orbison hits such as “Only the Lonely, “In Dreams” and “Crying” just as the star-studded live audience witnessed them on that very night.
Black & White Night 30 was born.
In 1989, the audio from the original television special was posthumously released on CD, LP and cassette as A Black And White Night Live by Roy Orbison And Friends.
This single disc album excluded the song “Claudette,” and it also left off “Blue Angel,” which was recorded that night, but didn’t air as part of the original television special.
Hence, this new 2LP vinyl collection of Black & White Night (30th Anniversary Edition) includes those tracks, as well as an alternate version of Roy’s smash hit “Oh, Pretty Woman,” in addition to the original version originally aired, now in the order in which they were performed.
Housed in a deluxe and beautiful gatefold jacket, Black & White Night (30th Anniversary Edition) also comes with a download card for all 19 tracks.
Official 2LP Vinyl Purchase Link
Official Roy Orbison Store
Official Roy Orbison YouTube Channel