Tuesday, 24 May 2016

"In Dreams" by ROY ORBISON (2006 Monument/Legacy 'Extended' CD Remaster) - A Review by Mark Barry...

"...I'm Going Back One Day To Blue Bayou..."

Having established his vocal credentials with his December 1960 debut LP "Roy Orbison Sings Lonely And Blue" (a legendary Audiophile creation especially in Stereo) followed by sucker-punch number two – April 1962's "Crying" – the 'Big O' continued in that vein with a third classic platter of lusty growls and dignified pleading – August 1963's "In Dreams".

Re-listening to it in 2016 on this fab little CD and you’re struck by the awesome Audio, the sheer classiness of the songwriting and his battle weary persona – a strangely warm and accessible thing that seemed to straddle that thin line between young love's emotional highs vs. bottomless heartbreak and still come out smelling of roses. And like its two CD predecessors - this tasty Sony/Legacy 'Extended Edition' CD Reissue/Remaster does that old 60ts long player a solid by adding on four cleverly chosen bonus tracks actually worthy of the moniker (singles in and around the LP). Here are the dreamlike details...

USA released August 2006 (October 2006 in the UK and Europe) – "In Dreams" by ROY ORBISON on Monument/Legacy/Sony BMG 82876 85573 2 (Barcode 828768557327) is an 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster and plays out as follows (41:47 minutes):

1. In Dreams
2. Lonely Wine
3. Shahdarabo
4. No One Will Ever Know
5. Sunset
6. House Without Windows
7. Dream [Side 2]
8. Blue Bayou
9. (They Call You) Gigolette
10. All I Have To Do Is Dream
11. Beautiful Dreamer
12. My Prayer
Tracks 1 to 12 are his third album "In Dreams" - released August 1963 in the USA on Monument MLP 8003 (Mono) and Monument SLP 18003 (Stereo) and November 1963 in the UK on London HA-U 8180 (Mono) and London SH-U 8180 (Stereo). Produced by FRED FOSTER – the STEREO Mix is used for the CD.

13. Falling
14. Distant Drums
Tracks 13 and 14 are the non-album A&B-sides of a 7” single released May 1963 in the USA on Monument MO 815 and in the UK on London HL-U 9727. It peaked at No. 22 and No. 9 in the US and UK singles charts respectively. "Distant Drums" was also used as the B-side to "Let The Good Times Roll" in the USA on Monument 906 in October 1965 (peaked at No. 81).

15. Mean Woman Blues
Track 15 is the non-album 7” single Double-A with "Blue Bayou" released August 1963 in the USA on Monument 45-824 (written by Claude DeMetrius) and September 1963 in the UK on London HL-U 9777. It peaked at No. 3 in the UK and twice in the USA, first at No. 5 as the lead song in September 1963 and then at No. 29 as the B-side of "Blue Bayou" in October 1963.

16. Pretty Paper
Track 16 is a non-album 7” single A-side (written by Willie Nelson) released December 1963 in the USA on Monument 45-830 and November 1964 in the UK on London HLU 9930 with "Summersong" on the B-side.

GUITARS – Harold Bradley, Hank Garland, Fred Carter Jr., Ray Edenton, Jerry Kennedy, Scotty Moore, Wayne Moss and Joe Tanner
TRUMPET – Carl Garvin and Cam Mullins
SAXOPHONE – Boots Randolph
HARMONICA – Charlie McCoy
PIANO – Floyd Cramer and Bill Pursell
BASS – Bob Moore
DRUMS – John Greubel and Buddy Harman
VIOLA - Howard Carpenter
CELLO – Bryan Bach
VIOLINS – Brenton banks, George Binkley III, Aileen Fentress, Solie Fott, Lillian Hunt, Jane Norris, Vernal Richardson, Wilda Tinsley and Dorothy Walker
BACKING VOCALS – Joe Melson and The Anita Kerr Singers

Although it has three sepia-tinted Roy photos (smiling at camera) – apart from the repro of Boudleaux Bryant's liner notes – there is naught else by way of history or discussion (more's the pity). The booklet is pretty to look at admittedly but such a shame that Sony and compiler GREG GELLER didn't stretch out a tad with the info (he deserved more). There's a fourth sepia photo of Roy beneath the see-through CD tray.

But all of that is naught to the truly beautiful CD Audio you get the second you start playing the expertly crafted songs. VIC ANESINI did the Remasters at Sony Studios in New York – and he's a name I've sung the praises of before. Anesini has handled very prestigious SONY catalogue – Elvis Presley, Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds, Nilsson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carole King, Janis Joplin, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Santana, Paul Simon, Mountain, Lou Reed and The Jayhawks to name but a few. Clean – full of presence and warmth – this thing is a joy to listen too. And even if the strings and Anita Kerr Singers do tend to over dramatise some of the songs – Orbison's voice is a thing of wonder throughout. It's also one of those reissues that become vastly enhanced by the addition of four smartly chosen and apt bonus tracks - the two sides of the shuffling single "Falling" (with "Distant Drums" on the flip) and the fantastic 'shapely hips' dancer "Mean Woman Blues" double A-sided with the beautiful "Blue Bayou". When he does that 'grrrrr' growl in "Mean Woman Blues" it always raises a grin...

Like the "...Only The Lonely" LP – this album opens with a mighty epic – "In Dreams". Our hero only has to "...close my eyes and drift away..." and he's with his squeeze in some beach setting where the cruelty of reality is no more. The audio on this mini masterpiece is (if you'll forgive the pun) – monumental – and all the more impressive to see that like much of the album the song is penned by Roy with his songwriting buddy of choice – Joe Melson. Roy Wells wrote the lovely ballad "Lonely Wine" - a very classy affair with gorgeous Production values. The desert rhythms of the 'Nile' song "Shahdaroba" is probably a bit naff by today's reckoning but the rat-a-tat-tat marching beats of "No One Will Ever Know" is superb - another melodrama builder supplied by the great Tennessee songwriter Fred Rose. Another hidden nugget is the Side 1 finisher "House Without Windows" where the Big O has moved into a windowless home so he never has to see his heart's desire pass by (bit radical Roy).

Side 2 opens with a beauty - Roy's cover of the Johnny Mercer classic "Dream" strummed on a Spanish Guitar before that familiar drum shuffle kicks in (the audio is beautiful on this track). Linda Ronstadt knew the sheer songwriting class that filled every second of "Blue Bayou" when she covered it for her 1977 album "Simple Dreams" - her 7" single version peaking at a huge No. 3 in October 1977 on the US Pop charts. Roy's version features a very cool Charlie McDaniels Harmonica solo. Other highlights on the side include a cover of The Everly Brothers classic "All I Have To Do Is Dream" and Stephen Foster's ancient but gorgeous and haunting ballad "Beautiful Dreamer" (check out Raul Malo of The Mavericks who did a version of it for the "Songs Of Stephen Foster 1826-1864" CD project in 2004). The Extras really pump up an already great album - four winners in exactly the same vein as the album cuts - all forlorn singing ("Falling") and saucy 'grrrrrrs' ("Mean Woman Blues"). In fact of the three Sony/Legacy 'Expanded Edition' CDs – I'd have to say that "In Dreams" is probably my favourite (I've reviewed the other two also).

Done in conjunction with the Roy Orbison estate – this is a sweetheart of a release and one that boasts exceptional Audio too (classy like the great man himself).

"...I feel so bad...I've got a worried mind...looking forward to happier times..." - Roy sang on "Blue Bayou". Happier times are right here...

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