Golden Days - Roy Orbison

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Golden Days - Roy Orbison

1 CD(s) - '50s - Label: Monument - Distributor: Sony Music/Arvato Services - Released: 27/07/1998 - 5099747155529

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Review of "Golden Days - Roy Orbison"

published 20/09/2003 | whoopidoo
Member since : 22/01/2003
Reviews : 61
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Excellent
Pro Fantastic music at a low price
Cons Prepare to cry
very helpful
Originality
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Lyrics

"Not Only For The Lonely"

Think emotion. Think hairs up on the back of your neck. Think Roy Orbison.

Being dragged up kicking and screaming by the scruff of your neck to the music of the sixties you get an appreciation of the music your Mum and Dad boogied their nights away to.

I am 26 and not being forced to listen now, I do it through choice. Amongst the giants of their era both my parents had a fondness for Roy Orbison - I can’t say that I blame them.

Whether you are in a melancholy mood or a raise the roof, shake the neighbours from their pits, and blast the speakers to pieces kind of mood - Roy Orbison has a song to fit.

The particular CD I am going to review is entitled Roy Orbison - GOLDEN DAYS. I bought this years ago and think I bought it in one of the Woolworth's ‘buy two for £10’ deals. You can always find greatest hits compilations reasonably cheaply in any music store.

This album cover depicts a young woman cycling past some block letters in the sea spelling out ROY ORBISON this and the lady is reflected in the sea presenting a double image. The sun is setting and gives the whole cover an orangey glow. The paragraph beneath the title promises the buyer “A collection of 20 all time greats.”

You don’t really get a booklet with this CD, just a list of the songs.

This is my interpretation of some classic numbers - it may not be the same as everyone's idea of what is being said, but that’s the way it should be :o)

1: OH, PRETTY WOMAN 2.55
(Orbison/Dees)

As soon as the opening drum beat kicks in the song is instantly recognisable to anyone - even if you have never heard of Roy Orbison - this was of course the theme song from the movie Pretty Woman.
However the song is so much more than a movie theme tune.

After the opening drum beat, a guitar joins in with another beat entwining with drums so that it is almost impossible to tell the two apart. Equally impossible to keep your head from nodding in time.

This is an upbeat song about a man seeing a gorgeous woman walking down the street, he can’t believe his eyes and sings how he would love to meet her. That he can hardly believe she is real, as she is so beautiful. He wonders if she is as lonely as he is. He begs her to stop and talk to him, to even just look his way. He virtually propositions her to a one-night stand, promising to treat her right and is so disappointed when she walks away. However as he resigns himself to his loss the song gets more upbeat as the lady turns and walks back to him.

A great tune to have in the background or to crank up loud and growlllll along with the master.

2: RUNNING SCARED 2.10
(Orbison/Nelson)

The guitar entrance to this song starts very quietly, strumming softly. Orbison starts singing about how he is so scared, running scared. He sounds so sad and unsure of himself it makes a lump rise in your throat. Gradually the guitar starts thumping louder and louder and Orbison reveals he is afraid of his girls ex showing up. He is not totally sure that she wouldn’t go back to him, how would he cope? At this point the voice is so pulsating that all the hairs on your arms are levitating. There is a chorus of angelic voices and strings in the background now - Orbison’s heart is breaking as the cad does indeed show his face and strut his stuff. Orbison and the angelic voices sore once more as the gal turns her back on the ex and walks away with him.

A truly amazing song that has to be played at full blast to receive the full goose-pimple effect.


3: FALLING 2.22
(R. Orbison)

The opening is a sad little beat on the drum symbols. Orbison starts singing slowly, declaring to his girl that he is falling in love with her.

The big drum beat starts and the guitars soon follow, he pulls her close and then drops the bombshell that all this time he has been declaring his love he was in fact lying. The angelic choir starts soaring in the background as the beat gets louder and stronger. He declares he was using her to fill the loneliness in his life and didn’t mean a single word. BOO HISS!

Now we have the strings along with the beat of the drums. Orbison’s voice soars over this to reach impossibly high notes. He tries to explain that it’s different now - he has kissed her now and realised he does truly love her. He begs her not to leave him and at this point the piano joins him with a few solitary pleading notes. He asks whether she still loves him and if so to hold him tight. The music comes to a huge crescendo joined by an awesome Orbison note as he begs again for her not to leave now that he has fallen for her.

This song demands to be played loud and I defy anyone to stop the tingles. (Silly boy why tell her eh? Men!)

4: LOVE HURTS 2.26
(B. Bryant)

This song has been covered by so many people, Cher & Freddie Starr (honestly) to name but two. This is however my all time favourite version. Roy Orbison has such raw emotion in his voice that nobody else can possibly compare.

The song starts with a piano tinkling sadly and followed by some sort of string instrument. Orbison starts mournfully singing about how love hurts and wounds and scars. The angels start their background singing and we are told that it takes a strong heart to handle so much pain.

As the full orchestra comes into force, Orbison starts singing woefully that although he is young he has known a lot of pain and then sings to you as if you are his girl, saying he knows about pain because you have taught him.

This is a very sad down beat song, though Orbison displays a lot of emotion, he doesn’t hit the high notes in this one. However you are still deeply moved because he sounds on the verge of tears the whole way through.

This is gorgeous when listened to through headphones. Shiver City!

5: MEAN WOMAN BLUES 2.23
(C. De Metrius)

What a difference. This is the first Rock/Blues combo number on the CD.

‘Mmmmmm Well I got a woman mean as she can be!’

Orbison sings the first line completely solo without any musical accompaniment. And boy just stop that tingle from winding its way up your spine!
As soon as that line has left his lips we are thrown into a toe tapping, bum wiggling, strut your funky stuff, rock extravaganza The guitar peels away and the drum kicks in with, I think, a saxophone cheekily mimicking the drums. Orbison makes full use of his vocal range as he sings throatily at full volume about his ruby lipped, full bodied woman and how when he does things right you betcha he does things right! Halfway through there is a guitar solo that completely steals the show until the Big ‘O’ comes and steals it right back with a couple of his throaty growls.
The song ends on a high with Orbison and the guitar, drums et al all vying for highest, loudest note, managing to accomplish an exhausting but fabulous crescendo.

Needless to say this is another to play cranked up as loud as you possibly can. I remember my Mum teaching me Rock ‘n’ Roll moves to this - I do the same with my girls now!

6: I CAN’T STOP LOVING YOU 2.41
(D.Gibson)

Brought back down to earth with a thump, this song is Orbison at his broken hearted best.
A dramatic orchestral start has Orbison reminiscing on the happy times that now leave him so sad. There is a woman backing singer echoing some of his words and rising to join the chorus of angels all the way through this song.
This is a very sad and touching song. Orbison sings how he has given up on trying to get over his girlfriend as time has stood still for him, and though she has now found love again, he can’t stop loving her and so has resigned himself to living in his memories.

This is a good one played quietly or really loud - though you just want to shake the man!

7: THE CROWD 2.19
(Orbison/Melson)

This song lodges in the throat and refuses to leave. Another orchestral number with lots of poignant guitar strumming and slow drum beats.

Orbison sings about how he still hangs out with the crowd, pretending he is fine. But it’s not the same as the heart of the crowd is gone. He remembers dancing with that someone and the fun they had - how they would sneak away from the crowd to be alone. The strings have kicked in at this point and are soaring with Orbison’s voice dragging open your tear-ducts, as he proclaims his dream that his someone was able to come back to him and be the heart of the crowd again.

This song can be taken in two ways - the obvious is that she left him. But I always have and always will believe that his Love has died in this song and she is physically unable to return to him.

A real emotional tearjerker.

8: BLUE BAYOU 2.29
(Orbison/Melson)

A solitary beat accompanies Orbison for the first few deep-throated lines of this number - it is so effective - he sounds so low and down:

‘I feel so bad, I’ve got a worried mind. I’m so lonesome all the time. Since I left my Baby behind on Blue Bayou’

The backing angels start their ‘oh bo bo de da days’ softly in the background, the drum beat speeds up as Orbison carries on throatily crooning about how he is saving every penny and working every hour to be able to see his Baby. The guitar strums quietly almost unnoticeable beside this gorgeous voice.

All of a sudden the full Roy Orbison high note comes into force, taking you completely by surprise. A lonesome harmonica joins him as he swears he will return someday to stay on Blue Bayou.

The mood of this number switches from slow and sad to high and optimistic continually throughout the song ending on a long drawn out high note as he declares one last time he will be happy when he is back on Blue Bayou - the harmonica hits the high with him and the angels trail off into oblivion.

Fantastic.

9: BORNE ON THE WIND 2.29
(Orbison/Dees)

The guitar strums away in a catchy little tune for this opener, Orbison almost saunters into the song declaring that the memory of you lingers on the wind, between the sunset and the dawn. The orchestra joins in and Orbison declares his memories are ‘borne on the wind’. Every time he sings this line it seems a flock of angels lend their voice in a beautiful rising crescendo only to fall away as he finishes the line.

I love the line ‘you don’t love me but you love for me to be in love with you. You led me on but when I fell you were gone’ Genius - and so true of so many people.

This song has an almost country and Western crossed with Spanish Flamenco feel to it, I know it sounds weird but it works.

This is another one to listen to through headphones - up loud.

10: LANA 2.16
(Orbison/Melson)

This is a real 60’s bouncy number. There is some weird instrument thumping along with a Shadows type guitar tune and a lot of “sha la la’s” and “ding a ling a ling’s” by the backing boys and girls. Orbison leaps in with an upbeat description of how he told his Mum and Dad he has the best girl in the world.

His voice bounces around cheerfully as he begs his Lana not to hurt him - doesn’t she realise he loves her so? Lots of high notes are reached cheerfully and with ease - you can positively hear the smile in his voice - it’s so obvious he enjoys singing this song!

A catchy little tune to tap your feet too.

11: ONLY THE LONELY (KNOW THE WAY I FEEL) 2.24
(Orbison, Melson)

We are greeted with male angels ‘dum dum dum dumby doo wah’ing the introduction to this song. Roy Orbison comes straight in over the top of the deceptively cheery orchestra, with a vocal assault on your senses. Switching from soaring high notes accompanied by flattering strings to falling low notes in an impossibly short space of time.

He tells how only the lonely know the way he is feeling, and only the lonely know the feeling aint right.
This is the story of his girl leaving and how he cries with the loneliness and sorrow. How he hopes for a new romance to end his sorrow and mend his heart.

As a teenager I played this to death.
Amazing when listened to over the headphones but totally awesome cranked up on the stereo.

12: IT’S OVER 2.47
(Orbison/Dees)

My mum told me once that Roy Orbison wrote this in memory of his first wife when she died. I don’t know if that is true but I do know it has always had a bad effect on me - I recall openly sobbing to it when I was younger!

Total silence accompanies Orbison on his first line -Your Baby doesn’t love you anymore.


The drum kicks in and a slow castanet clicks periodically - the angel backer’s oooh in the background eerily. The strings start up, rising and falling with the heartache in Orbison’s voice.

The words are almost wrenched from Orbison as he declares your Baby doesn’t want you anymore - she has been untrue. How will you cope when she says it’s over?

The rainbows weep, you wont see them anymore - you’ll only see lonely sunsets. The raw emotion and feeling is barely contained in the powerful voice, which vibrates out of this man. He does sound genuinely in pain.

Whether played quietly or at full volume, doing the dishes or concentrating on the song - you can’t fail to be moved by the magic of this classic.


13. CRYING 2.45
(Orbison/Melson)

If you aren’t already on your knees sobbing, this short little number will finish the job!

The drums start off slowly; gradually a guitar and piano build up the meat of the music. Orbison starts off quietly, saying how he was alright for a while - he could smile for a while. Gradually building his voice he tells how the meeting of his ex, her briefly holding his hand in a gesture of hello reduced him back to rubble. The voice soars to new heights as he wonders what to do, he still loves his ex, and will he always be crying over her?


Orbison holds the end note for an impossibly long time and the orchestra ends the song in a dramatic build up that stops suddenly

KD Lang does a nice tribute to Orbison with a version of this song.

Short but very bittersweet.

14: PRETTY PAPER 2.52
(MELSON)

Bells ringing and a chorus not unlike carol singers open this song. Roy Orbison tells of wrapping Christmas presents to his Darling in pretty paper and ribbon.

He tells of shoppers ignoring the old man on the street selling paper and ribbons. He can hear laughter in the distance, watches as people avoid him. He calls out to people to buy his wares but they are all in too much of a rush for Christmas.

This is an Orbison deep voiced song and although sad is so Christmassy - I think it’s the Carol type singing and the bells.

A truly lovely song - though a tearjerker.

15: ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM 2.22
(B. Bryant)

Again this is another orchestral song with a nice guitar overplaying the strings. Orbison doing what he does best - deep throated singing, surprising us with the occasional high note.

He tells us whenever he needs his Love, needs her hugs and kisses all he has to do is dream - but - he says, the trouble with that is he would dream his life away.

This ends in a beautiful stretched out high note.

16: DREAM BABY (HOW LONG MUST I DREAM?) 2.35
(C. Walker)

Was this placed after the last song deliberately? Orbison is asking his girl if she will make him dream forever in this number.

The guitar strums in a good Rock beat as Orbison growls the introduction to this song - sounding, I must say, very much like Elvis at first. The drums and piano pick up the Rock beat as Orbison bemoans his love and declares he has sweet dreams about his Baby and that she could make them all come true. This song fades away still rockin’ - leaving you tapping your feet into the next song.

An excellent interlude to the heartache.

17: BLUE ANGEL 2.50
(Orbison/Melson)

More “sha la la’s” and “doo be wah’s” as the male angels introduce us to this classic 60’s sounding number. Orbison is back to hitting those high notes almost constantly as he croons his way through this beautiful song.

He begs his Blue Angel not to cry because she has been dumped - he promises he will be around to wipe away her tears. He tells her she is not to blame, that her ex was playing games but that HE will be around forever.

The music ceases completely, justifiably, to allow Orbison his highest note yet as he declares his love for this girl - and manages to produce goose-bumps on top of goose-bumps for the listener.

An absolutely gorgeous little number to shiver away to.

18. WORKING FOR THE MAN 2.37
(Neil/Ross)

Orbison sings unaccompanied again for the intro to this song displaying his dazzling vocal abilities perfectly. Interspersed with manly grunts from his backing singers this guitar twanging number tells how Orbison is rallying the workers to pull their weight.

He needs them to work hard and meet the deadlines, how he hates his boss but all that doesn’t matter. He is seeing the Boss’s daughter and eventually he will have the daughter and own the Company too.

A toe-tapping number preparing you for the last Rock number of the CD...


19: CANDY MAN 2.48
(Neil/Ross)

This number is a cross between Rock and Blues. There is a lot of solo harmonica playing and Orbison uses a different voice to get his song across. Definitely a Bluesy note to it.

It’s almost like he is pressing on his throat to get the sound. He professes his love for a girl whom he declares is as sweet as honey and offers to be her Candy man. A great one to tap your feet to but not a favourite song of mine.

20: IN DREAMS 2.37
(R. Orbison)


This, however, is my all time favourite Roy Orbison song - yes they saved the best till last!
He is back to sounding almost like a young Elvis here.

He again sings the first line or so solo:

“A candy-coloured clown they call the Sandman tiptoes to my room every-night - Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper - go to sleep everything is alright”

Suddenly the guitar and drum pick up a slow beat as Orbison croons what can only be described as a lullaby. He finishes once again on an impossibly high note and the beautiful words he croons lovingly make this an exceptional song.

“A candy-coloured clown they call the Sandman tiptoes to my room every-night
Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper - go to sleep everything is alright
I close my eyes, and I drift away -
Into the magic night I softly say
A silent prayer - like dreamers do
Then I fall asleep to dream my dream of you

In dreams I walk with you In dreams I talk to you
In dreams your mine all of the time
We’re together in dreams - in dreams

But just before the dawn - I awake and find you gone
I can’t help it - I can’t help it if I cry
I remember that you said goodbye
To bad that all these things - Can only happen in my dreams
Only in dreams - Beautiful dreams”

When my partner and I first started going out we lived in separate Counties and this song held a special meaning for both of us.

Gorgeous.
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So to sum up what I am afraid has turned into a bit of an epic opinion:
This CD may sound like it is all doom and gloom but it is sung so beautifully and with such passion you can’t help but enjoy it. The man had an amazing talent that is now sadly lost to the world - if I can persuade just one person to buy his CD I will be a very happy girl indeed!



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Comments on this review

  • jmurray01 published 20/01/2013
    Great review! Roy is and will always be the best singer/songwriter to have lived.
  • pesky33 published 06/04/2004
    phew! that certainly was epic!! great detail and a lot of personal opinion, thanks for sharing
  • eve6kicksass published 02/04/2004
    One of the best reviews I've read by you...you certainly did the album justice...Roy is classic, hands down...and me and my mom love him...you and me and Jo have great taste...lmao...Chris xxx
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Product Information : Golden Days - Roy Orbison

Manufacturer's product description

1 CD(s) - '50s - Label: Monument - Distributor: Sony Music/Arvato Services - Released: 27/07/1998 - 5099747155529

Product Details

EAN: 5099747155529

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Listed on Ciao since: 20/09/2003