Orbison's final release, "King of Hearts" gets reissued
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Orbison's final release, "King of Hearts" gets reissued

Thursday, August 25, 2022 – In celebration of the 30th anniversary of its initial release, "King of Hearts" — the posthumous Roy Orbison album assembled by his friends and family after his untimely death — will be reissued Oct. 14.

The new edition was completely remastered by Richard Dobson and is offered by Roy's Boys LLC, the Nashville-based company founded by Orbison's sons to administer their father's catalog and safeguard his legacy, in partnership with Sony Music's Legacy Recordings.

Orbison's late career resurgence as a member of the Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne served a prelude to his hit "Mystery Girl" album that was released fewer than two months after his passing in late 1988.

Barbara Orbison, his widow, surveyed unreleased material and demos on which his vocals were heard. She determined that a complete album could be constructed from those audio assets with new backing tracks commissioned where deemed necessary. The result was "King of Hearts."

Jeff Lynne and T-Bone Burnett (who had both been involved in the "Mystery Girl" sessions) as well as Robbie Robertson, David Briggs, Chips Moman, Albert Hammond and Diane Warren are credited as producers.

Don Was helped produce three tracks including "Crying," a reprise of Orbison's 1961 hit performed as a duet with k.d. lang and originally recorded for the soundtrack of the film "Hiding Out," directed by Bob Giraldi. That rendering won a GRAMMY for Best Country Collaboration and had a major impact on k.d. lang's life and career.

Barbara Orbison, who passed away in 2011 on the very same day her husband died 23 years earlier, wrote the album's original liner notes that are also part of the "King of Hearts" reissue package.

She wrote, "At times I could hardly bring myself to listen to the songs and definitely couldn't think of finishing the album without Roy. I guess that was one of the reasons I arrived late at one of the first sessions. Don Was had booked the studio to put the rhythm track down around Roy's voice. When I finally arrived at the studio, the musicians had already left. As I looked around the dimly lit studio - still full of empty cups and full ashtrays, I could just imagine the musicians telling one more funny story, the laughter of their camaraderie and Roy taking that last sip of Coca-Cola before saying "Okay, Let's take it from the top." In that moment of daydreaming, Don started rolling the tape and I heard Roy's voice coming through the speaker singing...
Reach out and let it touch your soul
And give in to love
Love is believing

"Hearing these words made it right for me to finish the album. When Roy was that young kid from Texas with a song in his heart and a melody of his lip, I'm sure he could never have dreamed a sweeter dream than to have his songs finished with so much loving care by a community of old and new friends. Roy would be so honored to have kept another studio busy and filled with great musicians one more time. It was a real special experience to finish this for Roy. "

The track listing is:
You're the One
Heartbreak Radio
We'll Take the Night
Crying (Duet with kd lang)
After the Love Has Gone
Love in Time I
Drove All Night
Wild Hearts Run Out of Time
Coming Home
Careless Heart (original demo)


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CD review - Mystery Girl Deluxe When originally released in 1989, "Mystery Girl" was the culmination of a particularly prolific period Roy Orbison had enjoyed since the mid '80s. Finally recognized as the enduring idol he had become, he was embraced by the rock elite, standing on equal footing beside Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, with whom he shared star billing in the Traveling Wilburys. Elvis Costello and U2 were among those writing songs with him and for him, and the aforementioned ...
CD review - Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection 75th birthdays are certainly celebration-worthy milestones. Legacy Recordings marks the late Roy Orbison's 75th with a noteworthy 3-disc set (2 CDs and a DVD) highlighting the original mono mixes of all of his A Sides and B sides for the Monument Records label. Orbison got his start with Sam Phillips' Sun Records label in Memphis where he joined a roster that included Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, but the most significant recordings of his entire ...
CD review - The Soul of Rock and Roll Generous helpings of Roy Orbison's vast catalog of rockabilly, classic pop hits, country and flat out rock 'n' roll are supplemented with rare recordings, private jams and previously unreleased demos in this genuinely satisfying 4-CD, 107-song boxed set. In the process, the singer-songwriter's evolution as the ultimate troubadour of heartache is deftly showcased. Disc one smartly traces Orbison and the Wink Westerner's journey from a hillbilly (Hey! Miss Fanny) and ...


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