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  • There are few images as riveting as Roy Orbison standing completely motionless at the microphone in his trademark dark shades as he climbs the notes of one of his haunting, operatic pop songs, sounding for all the world like an angel stranded on earth and yearning to get back home. From his first recordings in the mid-'50s for Sun Records through his unlikely comeback in the late '80s, Orbison never lost an inch of his astounding vocal range or his knack for writing concise and emotionally nuanced pop ballads that seemed for all the world like mini-operas. This 14-track (there's a 15th CD-R track as well) offers key sides taken from all phases of his career, including samples from his brilliant '60s output ("Oh, Pretty Woman," "Only the Lonely," "Blue Bayou," "It's Over," "Crying") and cuts from his 1989 Mystery Girl album like the well-written and sung "She's a Mystery to Me." It doesn't go deep into Orbison's catalog, but it's perfect for casual listeners looking for a condensed and succinct look at his long career. ~ Steve Leggett
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