Roy Orbison – Orbisongs

More Roy Orbison

  • Excellent sound throughout with Double Plus (A++) or BETTER on both sides
  • This superb pressing is especially Analog Sounding – lively, warm, with rich bass and breathy, clear vocals 
  • Features one of Orbison’s greatest legacies, “Oh, Pretty Woman,” in stereo no less, and it sounds amazing here
  • While this isn’t the quietest copy we’ve ever heard, it’s clearly one of the best sounding
  • “…every track is strong and showcases Orbison’s immense talent both as a vocalist and a songwriter of effective and poignant lyrics… if you are looking at Orbison at his best you need look no further.”

If you want to hear how amazing this album can sound and don’t mind a little surface noise, this is the copy to get! If for any reason you are not happy with the sound or condition of the album we are of course happy to take it back for a full refund, including the domestic return postage.

This ’60s LP has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern pressings cannot BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing any sign of coming back.

Having done this for so long, we understand and appreciate that rich, full, solid, Tubey Magical sound is key to the presentation of this primarily vocal music. We rate these qualities higher than others we might be listening for (e.g., bass definition, soundstage, depth, etc.). The music is not so much about the details in the recording, but rather in trying to recreate a solid, palpable, real Roy Orbison singing live in your listening room. The best copies have an uncanny way of doing just that.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of older recordings (this one is now more than 50 years old), I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but less than one out of 100 new records do, if our experience with the hundreds we’ve played can serve as a guide.

What the best sides of this Classic Roy Orbison Album have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1965
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What to Listen For (WTLF)

Copies with rich lower mids did the best in our shootout, assuming they weren’t veiled or smeary of course. So many things can go wrong on a record! We know, we’ve heard them all.

Top end extension is critical to the sound of the best copies. Lots of old records (and new ones) have no real top end; consequently, the studio or stage will be missing much of its natural ambience and space, and instruments will lack their full complement of harmonic information.

Tube smear is common to pressings from every era and this is no exception. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.

Best Practices

If you have five or ten copies of a record and play them over and over against each other, the process itself teaches you what’s right and what’s wrong with the sound of the album. Once your ears are completely tuned to what the best pressings do well that the others do not do as well, using a few specific passages of music, it will quickly become obvious how well any given pressing reproduces those passages.

The process is simple enough. First, you go deep into the sound. There you find something special, something you can’t find on most copies. Now, with the hard-won knowledge of precisely what to listen for, you are perfectly positioned to critique any and all pressings that come your way.


Side One

Oh, Pretty Woman
(Say) You’re My Girl
Let The Good Times Roll

Side Two

(I Get So) Sentimental
Yo Te Amo Maria
Wedding Day
Sleepy Hollow
22 Days
I’d Be A Legend In My Time Review

This great album of a collection of great tracks that are mostly co-written by Roy himself although there are also a number of covers that he certainly does justice to…

All tracks were recorded between 1959 – 1965 and represent an era or genre of music reminiscent of the early rock and roll that inspired bands like the early Beatles, Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent etc and for those film buffs movies like American Graffiti (Special Edition) [Blu-ray] and the television series Happy Days: Seasons 1-4 in which the soundtracks are the key element these tracks are of that genre.

I was also pleasantly surprised at just how good Orbison’s voice is as he has an excellent high falsetto and a nice low growl too showing a multi-octave vocal range but all the while with a very nice tone that is just a pure pleasure to listen to. “Pretty Woman” is rightfully the most memorable track here but there are no fillers on this album as every track is strong and showcases Orbison’s immense talent both as a vocalist and a songwriter of effective and poignant lyrics. This is not the definitive greatest hits album of Roy’s as seminal tracks like “Cryin” are not here but if you are looking at Orbison at his best you need look no further.