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Archive for March 26th, 2014

You Got It: Legacy to Expand Roy Orbison’s Final Album with Unheard Audiovisual Content

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Roy Orbison - Mystery Girl DeluxeRoy Orbison, a.k.a. The Big O, a.k.a. Lefty Wilbury, a.k.a. “the Caruso of Rock,” never did anything small.  His big, booming voice gave life to a series of painfully heartbreaking yet irresistible ballads that sounded like nothing else in rock and roll or pop.  Orbison brought an authenticity and urgency to the dramatic songs he wrote and recorded, but when he cut loose on an “Ooby Dooby” or “Oh, Pretty Woman,” his voice could also be the sound of freedom and lust and excitement.   With the February 7, 1989 release of Mystery Girl, the music of Roy Orbison was riding high.  The album went Top 5 on the Billboard 200, propelled by the Top 10 success of “You Got It,” which returned the singer to the Top 40 for the first time in 24 years.  Unfortunately, the success of Mystery Girl was bittersweet, as Orbison had passed away a scant couple of months prior to its release, on December 6, 1988.  On May 20, 2014, Legacy Recordings and Roy’s Boys LLC will celebrate this triumphant posthumous comeback with the release of a CD/DVD Deluxe Edition, a 15-track Mystery Girl Expanded Edition on CD, and a double-LP set.

While Roy Orbison didn’t live to see the release of Mystery Girl, he did get to enjoy a resurgence of popularity.  David Lynch’s 1986 cult classic Blue Velvet prominently utilized Roy’s haunting “In Dreams.”  That same year, he reunited with old friends Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the Sun Records reunion disc Class of ’55, and revisited many of his seminal recordings on In Dreams: The Greatest Hits.  1988 was another monumental year for The Big O.  He began the year with the broadcast on Cinemax of A Black and White Night, for which he was supported by a band of admirers.  And this little band was the greatest in the land, featuring James Burton, Jerry Scheff, Ronnie Tutt and Glen D. Hardin from fellow Sun alumnus Elvis Presley’s TCB Band along with T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, J.D. Souther, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Warnes and k.d. lang.  (Whew!)  Later in 1988, Warner Bros. released the first album by the mysterious Traveling Wilburys.  Rumor has it that Nelson, Otis, Lefty, Charlie and Lucky were, in fact, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan!

Work on the album that would become Mystery Girl began during The Wilburys’ sessions.  Songs were contributed by Orbison himself along with Diane Warren, Albert Hammond, Elvis Costello, Wesley Orbison, and U2’s Bono and The Edge.  Jeff Lynne, T Bone Burnett, Bono, and the team of Orbison and Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell all produced tracks for the LP.  Campbell, Howie Epstein and Benmont Tench of the Heartbreakers all played on Mystery Girl, as did Al Kooper and George Harrison.  The infectious Orbison/Petty/Lynne “You Got It” became the lead track on the album.  As gleamingly produced by Lynne in the style of the Wilburys’ recordings, it became one of Roy’s biggest hits.

After the jump: full specs and pre-order links for all formats!

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Written by Joe Marchese

March 26, 2014 at 13:23

Posted in News, Reissues, Roy Orbison

She’s The Greatest Star: Barbra Streisand’s Broadway “Funny Girl” Goes Super Deluxe For 50th Anniversary

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Funny Girl Box Set

Attention people who need people! Funny Girl is turning 50, and that’s no laughing matter.   To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the classic Broadway musical that launched Barbra Streisand to superstardom, Capitol/UMe is releasing a CD/LP super deluxe edition of the original cast album of Funny Girl on April 29th.

The musical by librettist Isobel Lennart, composer Jule Styne (Gypsy, Bells Are Ringing) and lyricist Bob Merrill (Carnival, New Girl in Town) depicted the rise to fame of comedienne/Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice (Streisand, in her second Broadway role) and her troubled relationship with husband Nicky Arnstein (Sydney Chaplin, son of Charlie and star of Styne’s Bells Are Ringing and Subways Are For Sleeping). Kay Medford and Danny Meehan also starred as Mrs. Brice and Eddie Ryan, respectively, and future All in the Family “Dingbat” Jean Stapleton was featured as Mrs. Strakosh. Funny Girl, directed by Garson Kanin and produced by Brice’s son-in-law Ray Stark, opened on March 26, 1964 after 17 previews at the Winter Garden Theatre (today, home to the musical Rocky). It then transferred to two more theaters before closing in 1967 after 1,348 performances; Mimi Hines succeeded Streisand as Fanny.   The show earned eight Tony nominations, but won none of them thanks to the unstoppable competition from David Merrick’s production of Hello, Dolly!. Streisand would be awarded for her portrayal of Fanny, however, when she won Golden Globe and Academy Awards for the 1968 film version. It would be her first role in a film. The musical produced a number of standards, including “I’m The Greatest Star,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and, of course, “People,” not to mention one of the most electrifying overtures ever composed.

The original cast album, one of Streisand’s only recordings not on Columbia Records, was recorded over just one session (as was standard practice at the time) at the Manhattan Center studios on April 5, 1964 and was produced by Dick Jones. Longtime Broadway champion Goddard Lieberson, the president of Columbia, reportedly passed on the cast album but made a stipulation that Streisand record a number of songs from the score for Columbia which she did in December of that year. (Two – “Who Are You Now” and “Cornet Man” – still remain locked in the Columbia vaults.)  Lieberson might have rethought his passing on the album if he could have foreseen its success. In stores just a scant week after it was recorded, it went on to spend 51 weeks on the Billboard chart. It peaked at No. 2, kept from pole position only by The Beatles’ Second Album (illuminating how much the charts have changed over 50 years!). The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Funny Girl would eventually be certified Gold in September of 1964 and go on to win the Grammy for Best Original Cast Album. It was released on CD in 1987 on Capitol and in 1992 on EMI’s Broadway Angel Label, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004.

What will you find on the 50th Anniversary release?  Hit the jump!

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Written by Joe Marchese

March 26, 2014 at 12:32