- You’ve never heard Roy Orbison sound better than he does here
- Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead on correct tonality – everything that we listen for in a great record is here
- The phenomenally talented Bill Porter recorded many of Orbison’s classic songs from the early ’60s that are found on this compilation
- 4 1/2 stars: “… no one conveys pain and longing more sublimely or succinctly than Roy Orbison. But his songs are also masterpieces of production: so technically precise that his deceptively simple tunes and lush melodies flow even more smoothly behind his desperate baritone croon and quivering falsetto.”
The cover looks very much like the one pictured, but has a different catalog number.
This vintage 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 46 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.
DCC remastered this set in 1997. At that time we were big fans of the label. Generally, their records have not stood the test of time well and we suspect this album is no exception to that rule. We guarantee our Hot Stamper will trounce any copy you have on DCC vinyl, or any other vinyl for that matter.
What The Best Sides The All-time Greatest Hits Of Roy Orbison 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 1972
- 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.
Demo Disc Sound
For us audiophiles both the sound and the music found here are positively enchanting. If you’re looking to demonstrate just how good All Tube Analog recordings can be, this killer copy may be just the album for you.
The depth, the spaciousness, the richness — this one has it all. It seems as though Bill Porter just does not know how to not make an amazing recording, whether for Monument or Living Stereo. Everything the guy touches is gold.
What We’re Listening For on The All-Time Greatest Hits of Roy Orbison
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Mint Minus Minus is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of later pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don’t have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that’s certainly your prerogative, but we can’t imagine losing what’s good about this music — the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight — just to hear it with less background noise.
A Must Own Pop Record
We consider this Roy Orbison compilation a Must Own.
It’s a recording that should be part of any serious Popular Music Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here.
Only The Lonely (Knows The Way I Feel)
Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)
Working For The Man
Mean Woman Blues
Oh Pretty Woman
AMG 4 1/2 Star Review
The listener is immediately convinced, from the opening a cappella bits of “Only the Lonely,” that no one conveys pain and longing more sublimely or succinctly than Roy Orbison. But his songs are also masterpieces of production: so technically precise that his deceptively simple tunes and lush melodies flow even more smoothly behind his desperate baritone croon and quivering falsetto. This collection captures that astounding fidelity and corrals many of the Orb’s most memorable works.