"I purchased this album as an LP when it was first released in 1987. I was glad at the time that the original arrangements were retained for the new digital recordings of Orbison's biggest hits. As for the vocal performances, while the original 50's and 60's recordings capture a certain vulnerable quality to Roy's voice (especially in his ballads) that helped give those songs such atmosphere and urgency, these later recordings show him to be in the best voice of his storied career, stronger throughout his wide range and with richer timbre. If the ballads do not have quite the interpretive freshness of the originals, the sheer beauty of the vocals compenates. If anything, the up-tempo numbers are perhaps more infectious in these versions---Orbison sings with real verve; one gets the impression he really enjoyed this recording project. In the end, there is really little to quibble with between these recordings and the originals. In either case, Orbison is fully revealed as both a master songsmith and vocalist. Purchase both and be twice as happy!"
Not original recordings, but darn close
Candace Scott | Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA | 04/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I usually detest "Greatest Hits" packages that contain live or re-recorded music. So I was initially a little miffed when I realized these songs were not the original 50's and 60's recordings. But wait... incredibly, it really doesn't matter. The arrangements are nearly identical ans Roy's voice remains as vibrant and thrilling as ever. Roy Orbison is still curiously underrarted and under-appreciated. I was ecstatic when he went through a revival in the late 80's, but it was tragically cut short when Roy died, then his reputation again fell by the wayside. His voice remains the purest instrument in popular music in the last fifty years. Listening to these remastered recordings is an absolute joy because I'm accustomed to listening to these treasures on vinyl, with the typical pops, buzzes and surface scratches. All of that has been eliminated on this disc. The sound quality is exceptional throughout.Included are all of Orbison's signature hits, from the classic "Pretty Woman" to the haunting "Crying" with the poignant tenor cry at the conclusion. My personal favorite Orbison song has always been "Running Scared," a sort of mini-opera, replete with the soaring, rather syrupy arrangements his songs are noted for. I admit many of these arrangements sound dated, but the voice is the primary instrument anyway, and the only one you'll care about. If Elvis was blessed with a gorgeous set of pipes, Roy was in another league entirely and his gift never diminished. If you are an old Orbison die-hard fan, or a newbie to this incredible man, this collection will do you nicely. Just be forwarned that these are not the original recordings."
Go to sleep, everything is all right...
99 to Life | Los Angeles, CA USA | 04/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album is by far Roy's greatest album. In Dreams, Only The Lonely, Blue Angel, and many other great love ballads are re-recorded versions that match if not exceed the quality of the original hits. An improvement in sound mixing and engineering is noticed immediately when playing the track Ooby Dooby, where the "Sun sound" and its foreground echoes have been replaced with vibrant background reverb and not to mention his voice is louder than the other instruments, making his voice soar above the guitar riffs and drum beats. In Only The Lonely the background singers voices are much softer and the rhythm of the song is lead by Roy's smooth deep voice instead of the heavy beat found in the original. Blue Angel is maybe the best improvement from the original. His falsettos are better and he doesn't hesitate for one moment to hit those high notes that we all love. In Blue Bayou we hear how Roy's voice has become more relaxed and the beat has been slowed down somewhat to give you a soothing at home feeling. The background voices in Candy Man don't overpower Roy's voice as in the original recording. Overall, this is my Roy Orbison album of choice. Although many may argue that it can't compete with the original, but as soon as you hear them it beings to grow on you and after a while you stuff away the original recordings and play this album for countless days memorizing all the lyrics, beats, and background lines such as "dum dum dum dumdy doo wah" in Only The Lonely."
Greekfreak | Pusan Korea (South) | 12/27/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although I do agree there should be a disclaimer on the album cover stating that these are indeed RE-RECORDED versions of the classic releases, the only reason an artist does this in the first place is because of royalties, period.I'm not positive, but chances are Roy was getting stiffed for contractual BS back in the day, and he wasn't getting the royalties for his songwriting from the original master tapes that he should have been. Whoever's fault that is, I haven't a clue. But the point is moot--this is a 1987 release that actually improves on most of his classics, and my only complaint is the background voices.They sound more whitebread than usual, like mom and pop showed up for vocals. That being said, the versions of "Blue Angel", "Crying", and especially the title track just slay me every time. Lots of bang for your buck, too--the original cardboard packaging for this disc was nice."
Joni Huopana | Tampere, Finland | 06/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think these re-recorded versions really show the development of Mr. Orbison as a singer. When you compare these to the originals recorded about 25 years earlier, here you can hear a more mature singer much more comfortable of himself. The backing singers are better here too. I appreciate that he kept the arrangements practically identical to those of the old recordings.In brief: He just sings better!"