The Second Disc

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Legacy Expands Orbison’s “Last Concert” with Rare Video, Reissues “A Black and White Night”

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Roy Black and White NightRoy Orbison’s catalogue has been the subject of some interesting reissues of late from Legacy Recordings: the label recently reissued In Dreams: The Greatest Hits, a 1987 compilation of newly recorded versions of his old classics, and will reissue all three of his Monument Records albums (with a bonus “fourth,” posthumously assembled by his family) in a vinyl box set for Record Store Day. Legacy now adds two more latter-day archival projects to the schedule: a DVD reissue of the 1988 special A Black & White Night and a newly-expanded CD/DVD edition of the last concert Orbison put on from the same year.

Both sets help capture the magic of Orbison’s stunning late-career comeback in the late ’80s: the pop singer with the Ray-Bans and the chill-inducing tenor who propelled “Oh, Pretty Woman,” “Only the Lonely” and “Crying” to the uppermost reaches of the charts in the 1960s had been beset by personal tragedies for some time, including the death of his wife Claudette and two sons between 1966 and 1968. As the 1980s began, the rock world slowly but surely came back around to his talents, with Van Halen covering “Oh, Pretty Woman” to great success and director David Lynch using “In Dreams” for a pivotal scene in his 1986 classic Blue Velvet.

The stage was set for a massive, multi-pronged Orbison comeback, beginning with In Dreams: The Greatest Hits and continuing with inductions into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Then, on September 30, 1987 at Los Angeles’ Cocoanut Grove, Orbison and producer T-Bone Burnett assembled a galaxy of stars to accompany Orbison at a special concert event. Named for the colors in which it was filmed, A Black and White Night featured Orbison trading licks and vocals (and a whole lot of admiration) with Bruce Springsteen, k.d. lang, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits, Jackson Browne and others, all backed by Elvis Presley’s TCB Band. The special was broadcast on Cinemax in early 1988 and a resultant live album was a Grammy Award winner in 1991.

After the jump, learn how Legacy’s expanded Roy’s Last Concert with some rarely-seen performance and video!

Roy Last Concert1988 looked to be Roy’s year even more than the last one. With George Harrison, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Bob Dylan, he formed the Traveling Wilburys, a supergroup whose self-titled album was a smash hit, and recorded a new album for Virgin to be titled Mystery Girl. On December 4, 1988, Roy took the stage at Highland Heights, Ohio’s Front Row Theatre, wowing the crowd with his most enduring hits with the passion of a man half his age. It’s the power of that performance that makes the reality of history all the more tragic: just two days after that show, Orbison would be dead of a heart attack at just 52 years old. As this show well proves, the fire never left him, which makes Orbison still one of the greatest performers of the rock and roll era.

While the 14 tracks on the CD of The Last Concert have been released before (we covered it some years ago), Legacy’s CD version features a bonus DVD with some exciting video finds. In addition to an interview with Orbison taped right after the Ohio gig and a photo gallery from the concert, this disc features rare and unreleased video footage from two other concerts throughout the decade. The package is rounded out with a touching essay by Roy’s son Alex Orbison.

The new DVD issue of A Black and White Night is available now; The Last Concert: 25th Anniversary Edition is in stores December 3. You can order both below.

A Black & White Night (Roy’s Boys/Legacy 88883 78975-9, 2013)

Amazon U.S. (Region 1) / Amazon U.K. (Region 2)

  1. Only the Lonely
  2. Dream Baby
  3. Blue Bayou
  4. The Comedians
  5. Ooby Dooby
  6. Leah
  7. Running Scared
  8. Uptown
  9. In Dreams
  10. Crying
  11. Candy Man
  12. Go Go Go (Down the Line)
  13. Mean Woman Blues
  14. (All I Can Do is) Dream You
  15. Claudette
  16. It’s Over
  17. Oh, Pretty Woman

The Last Concert: 25th Anniversary Edition (Roy’s Boys/Legacy 88843 00678-2, 2013)

Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Disc 1: CD

  1. Only the Lonely
  2. Leah
  3. Dream Baby
  4. In Dreams
  5. Mean Woman Blues
  6. Blue Bayou
  7. Candy Man
  8. Crying
  9. Ooby Dooby
  10. Go Go Go (Down the Line)
  11. It’s Over
  12. Working for the Man
  13. Lana
  14. Oh, Pretty Woman

All tracks recorded live at The Front Row Theatre, Highland Heights, Ohio – 12/4/1988

Disc 2: DVD

  • The Last Interview (live at The Front Row Theatre, Highland Heights, Ohio – 12/4/1988)
  • Photo Montage (live at The Front Row Theatre, Highland Heights, Ohio – 12/4/1988)
  • Video excerpts from shows: Country Club, Reseda, California – 1981, Rockefeller Hall, Houston, Texas – 1986

Written by Mike Duquette

November 13, 2013 at 12:59

Posted in DVD, News, Reissues, Roy Orbison

5 Responses

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  1. Oh jeez. Just what we need. As if we haven’t seen and heard enough of this on those endless PBS airings.

    Zubb

    November 13, 2013 at 23:18

    • The special thing here is NOT the concert that has been on PBS, but the rare last concert.

      There are always new fans, as well

      Kevin

      November 14, 2013 at 09:44

  2. In your linked original review of the 2010 release of the final concert, I posted a comment quoting from a review on Amazon.com: “The mix on this recording puts everything but Orbison’s voice in the forefront–the supporting singers, the instrumentalists, everyone else.”

    Any idea if this has been fixed for the 25th Anniversary edition?

    Gary Dunaier

    November 14, 2013 at 02:03

    • “Roys Boys” please reply to….. “The mix on the original recording puts everything but Orbison’s voice in the forefront–the supporting singers, the instrumentalists, everyone else.”……will this be fixed in the 25th anniversary edition to be released early December?…..please let the fans know.

      Mick

      November 16, 2013 at 03:40

  3. I would like to know why “Blue Angel” is not on the DVD and yet you can find it easily on youtube?

    Brian McCALLUM

    December 21, 2014 at 12:08


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