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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 4 January 2012
This compilation does pretty much `what it says on the tin`. It gives fans of Roy Orbison - and can there possibly be anyone alive who likes popular music who doesn`t love The Big O? - a rare treat, gathering together all his singles, with their B-sides on disc 2, which he recorded for Monument in the early to mid sixties.
As such, it`s marvellous to have these precious sides available in one place for the price of a couple of pints.
If you already know Roy`s peerless voice and timeless songs, you won`t need my urging to buy this near-perfect anthology. If you don`t know this man`s glorious legacy, please do not waste time reading this review - just order the thing.
So many wonderful songs are here. Favourites of mine are the impeccable Running Scared, the lesser-known, desolately dramatic The Crowd, irrepressibly catchy Dream Baby, immortal Blue Bayou, utterly gorgeous Leah, the perfect It`s Over, his thrilling Mean Woman Blues, a fine version of the much-covered Love Hurts, his first masterpiece Only The Lonely, the superior early B-Side Here Comes That Song Again, and of course the enigmatic, unsettling, iconic In Dreams.
Even though it might have fallen outside the brief of this collection, I mourn the exclusion of the great Crawlin` Back (which I assumed was a Monument release) and a song that, mystifyingly, never makes it onto any Best Of, the glorious ballad Blues In My Mind, which featured on a slightly later album which contained The Actress, Belinda and Drifting Away, three terrific songs which are all included here. Now that would have made my day. Seek it out!
The sleevenotes are paltry, though there is a helpful list of the dates and US/UK chart positions for the A-Sides. One is left to assume that the B-sides on disc 2 correspond. Not mad about the cover photo, I must say. Couldn`t a clearer picture of the great man have been chosen? All in all, the packaging is just a little shoddy for such an essential back catalogue .
Nearly all the songs here are worth having, but even The Big O recorded the occasional questionable number, such as - no, I refuse to spoil what is for the most part a superb compilation.
With the passing of time - over twenty years since his death at the sadly early age of 52 - Roy Orbison sounds more and more of a giant, albeit a modest, unshowy one, of the pop music of the 60s to 80s. His influence is everywhere, from Bono to Richard Hawley, and his songwriting now seems revolutionary (he wrote or co-wrote many of his best songs). A great and good man, an irreplaceable loss.
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VINE VOICEon 12 July 2003
This has so much Orbison it is almost a crime. All the essential "a" sides are here, all the hits you really need and more. The b sides are good too but less essential. There is no Decca stuff, but really do you need "ooby dooby"? I think not. This was probably Orbisons best period and all the songs you associate with him are here. The recording quality is top rate and the sound is crystal clear.
If you only buy 1 Roy Orbison cd apart from Mystery Girl, then make it this one
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Must admit, took this one out to play it today, was pretty surprised looking on-site to find that it was indeed still available
for sale at an attractive price (though in truth, these days you can find most things on-line)
I bought this several years ago picking it up at a local Supermarket in a bargain basket, was delighted to get his 60's
A-Sides and B-Sides on the one collection (2-Disc)
Back then the B-Sides were often as good and sometimes better than the A-Side, of course when just starting out collecting
and building our vinyl we used to play both sides of the record.
Roy Orbison of course was a quality artist, great vocals (as i've mentioned before it was indeed my privilege to have seen
'Roy' perform live at a local venue back in the early 60's.
Among the B-Sides that can be found on-board that would easily have charted back then in there own right - 'Love Hurts'
(a song that became a singles hit for Nazareth and indeed Jim Capaldi and covered by artists such as Cher and the Walker
Brothers, first recorded by The Everlys) - The Actress (another well covered number) - Leah - Shahdoroba - Distant Drums
(a massive hit for Jim Reeves of course) and indeed - 'Indian Wedding' among those that had the quality to chart in the 60's.
Of course the A-Side disc includes his 3 number '1's' - 'Only The Lonely' (1960) - 'It's Over' and 'Pretty Woman' (both 1964)
Among some of the favourites to be found among the A-Side releases - 'Running Scared' (Chart '9' 1961) - 'Dream Baby'
(Chart '2' 1962) - 'In Dreams' (Chart '6' 1963) - 'Falling' (Chart '9' 1963) - 'Blue Bayou' (Chart '3' also 1963) and 'Pretty Paper'
(Chart '6' 1964) among the early hits on-board (must admit, there are so many favourites among those i've not highlighted.
Overall, if, a fan of Roy Orbison or indeed the 60's this is a great collectable.
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VINE VOICEon 13 April 2005
When I notice in the track list entries such as "Oh, Pretty Woman (Original single version) (Mono)" and later "Oh, Pretty Woman (Stereo) ('Come With Me' Lyric)", I feel that the compiler is exactly the kind of obsessive completist I want to be responsible for anthologies such as this one.
There is a fairly simple concept behind this 1998 UK collection: all 24 of the original Monument label singles, with the A-sides in chronological order on disc 1 and their B-sides on disc 2. A table in the booklet lists the highest chart positions and dates of chart entry where relevant, and there are cover shots of some of the record labels and sleeves. 
It isn't as simple as that, of course, and when it all unravels the sleeve information says nothing. All is well for the first 14 tracks, with the corresponding B-sides in order on the second disc, though track 14, Pretty Paper/Beautiful Dreamer, was a US-only release (not mentioned in the liner notes).
Borne On The Wind and its B-side, What'd I Say, complicate matters slightly by being released in the UK but not in the USA, but the notes cope with this. The collection also supplies the original mono variant of another single, (Say) You're My Girl, because it includes Roy Orbison saying "Mercy!" at the end, as is right and proper, except that it appears to have been transcribed from a well-worn vinyl single and has some distortion. All the other A-sides are presented in stereo, and the single version of Oh, Pretty Woman bizarrely bursts into stereo on the very final note. CD2 ends with a German-language single comprising two of his hit songs.
In 1965, Roy Orbison was disappointed with the commercial failure of Goodnight, and, blaming Monument Records, moved to MGM. Monument continued to release singles, but these were old recordings, either previously unreleased, like (Say) You're My Girl, Let The Good Times Roll and Sleepy Hollow, or album tracks like Lana, House Without Windows and Summersong (the B-side of the belated UK single of Pretty Paper, a Willie Nelson Christmas song which had been a festive US hit the year before). As these did not chart, it isn't possible to tell the year of origin from the CD, or that the A/B side parallels between the 2 CDs has gone awry for a few tracks.
In 1976, having run out of hits with MGM and after a brief spell with Mercury, Roy Orbison returned to Monument and recorded the LP Regeneration, from which three singles were taken. All of the 6 tracks involved are included, but as none charted there is no mention as to what they are, and no indication of a ten-year gap. The problem is mostly not with the compilation, which is more comprehensive than the notes claim, but with inadequate information.
Most of side one was very familiar and stands up well, apart from some over-production and dated girlie choruses, but there were some pleasant surprises on side 2, including The Actress, a ballad which surely should have been an A-side, and a sturdy version of Mean Woman Blues. 
Sound quality is good overall but on my copy at least a handful of the tracks suffer from some extraneous noise and distortion, notably on Crying, Falling and Candy Man. These faults are absent from the same tracks on the Definitive Collection CD, and rob this CD of a fourth star
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There have been many Roy Orbison compilations but this is certainly one of the best I've seen of his Monument recordings (the sixties music for which he is best known). Roy had a distinctive tenor voice that made him a legend. You can get most of his big sixties hits on a single CD and if that's all you want, perhaps you should buy one of those. This double CD has those hits but also explores a little further.
Of all Roy's many hits, Oh pretty woman, Crying, Only the lonely, Blue bayou, It's over, In dreams and the Christmas song Pretty paper are my favorites (not necessarily in that order). However, there were many other great hits including Running scared, Borne on the wind, Working for the man, Candy man, Leah, Uptown, Dream baby (previously a hit for Bobby Darin), Blue angel, Falling and Goodnight, all of which can be found here.
The set also contains a few of Roy's covers of classic songs like Distant drums, What'd I say. Let the good times roll, Beautiful dreamer and Love hurts. There are other notable songs here too, many of them obscure songs, all of which confirm what a talented singer Roy was.
After Roy left Monument, he had other big hits beginning with Too soon to know, but these are outside the scope of this set. Still, this is a great place to start a Roy Orbison collection.
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on 21 September 2010
I bought this for a second time as a prezzie for a friend. I reckon its one of the better compilations crammed onto just 2 cd`s. It does not have some of his later work on here but it does have all the hits he done with Monument Records, the B-sides are good also, several of these tracks are lifted from albums and give a good idea of what his albums were like... probably the best era of his career.
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on 18 August 2016
The big O's collection is an album not to be missed for fans of all ages. Great value.
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on 19 April 2016
arrived in really good condition exellent value
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on 5 August 2016
Even Elvis said he was the best singer
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on 27 September 2016
Good cd enjoyed listening to itb
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