Not Alone Anymore


 

This is one of Roy Orbison’s greatest vocal performances. It’s one of anybody’s greatest vocal performances, really. It crowns Orbison’s career in spectacular fashion, given that it was recorded only a few months before his death. It’s particularly poignant that the singer was enjoying a comeback after years of being all but forgotten, his late 50’s heyday far, far behind him. He was back in the spotlight thanks to exposure through David Lynch, who found Orbison’s otherworldly voice just right for his surreal vision, and partly because of Van Halen’s atrocious but popular cover of Pretty Woman. The Traveling Wilburys project was just further validation, a chance to be back on equal footing with big names like George Harrison and Bob Dylan, both of whom lifelong acolytes. Though Orbison had suffered from various health problems since the 70’s, including ulcers and heart disease, he was clearly still in top vocal form, his voice untainted by decades of heavy smoking. The heart attack that killed him was likely the result of a too-grueling schedule, another sad irony in a career marked by extreme ups and downs.

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