Review: Black & White Night 30 - Roy Orbison & Friends

by Andy Snipper,

Along with the likes of Johnny Cash and Elvis, Roy Orbison defined the music of his generation and to many the beauty of his songs and the emotional presentation put him ahead of those two greats.

This concert came about because of David Lynch’s lifetime love of Orbison’s music; he featured In Dreams in Blue Velvet and suddenly Orbison was on everyone’s lips again. The concert features a line up of musicians who defined their own generations – Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Bonnie RaittElvis Costello, k.d. Lang, Elvis Costello – but head and shoulders above these superstars is the voice and the music of Roy Orbison.

It is actually very difficult to be objective about this concert because every track is another gem, another classic that set the music world alight.

He opens with the track that just about everybody associates with him, Only The Lonely, and then moves up a gear from there!

A fabulous version of In Dreams leads into Crying, a heartbreaking rendition of Elvis Costello's The Comedians, Blue Angel and his classic It’s Over presented with all the passion but without any theatrics. One of the standouts here is Uptown featuring Bruce Springsteen sharing vocals with Orbison and Elvis Costello on harmonica - magical.

The CD in this set features 19 tracks, closing on two great versions of Oh Pretty Woman and he is there, upfront and standing strong through all of them.

The DVD is entirely in black & white but the visual aspect definitely adds a huge amount to the experience, especially as the camerawork is so sympathetic and free of gimmicks – none of todays spinning cameras and shots from impossible angles, the music presented as simply as the visuals.

For the most part the band here is Elvis Presley’s TCB Band – James Burton, Jerry Scheff, Glen Hardin and Ron Tutt with all the superstars mentioned above but all paying homage to The Big O.

This is not a reissue although the concert has been released before – they had seven cameras working that night and it gave them the opportunity to pick some very special cuts, clearly enhancing the visual. It is loaded with bonus items including a 5 song 'secret concert' recorded after the main show.

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