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Buy White Ladder

Roy Orbison
Love Songs
label: virgin
released: 02.14.01
our score: 3.5 out of 5.0

Double Disc Overkill?
by: peter naldrett

When it comes down to truly great rock & roll legends, Roy Orbison is up there with the best of them. His trademark thick glasses and jet black hair are associated with some of the best romantic songs ever made, some quiet and sad, others loud and full of energy.

It's true to say that since his death, Roy Orbison's greatest hits have been released in a variety of forms, and that his popularity, like so many others, shot up after he passed on. But for Valentine's Day, Virgin Records released a double CD of Orbison's Love Songs, which is pretty much a greatest hits collection plus a few others thrown in for good measure.

Both CDs of the new release have great starts, hit after familiar hit reminding new fans and old just how talented the "Big O" was. Arguably the greatest track is the version of "Crying" with KD Lang, a fantastic duet with both artists on top form. After that, few can argue that "I Drove All Night," "You Got It," "She's A Mystery To Me" and "In Dreams" provide great listening. And CD2 kicks off with a similar line up, the original "Crying," "Only The Lonely," "Oh, Pretty Woman" and "It's Over". And yet, after the familiar songs are out of the way, there's not a great deal to hold the attention, especially a dreadful version of "Only You".

For all the lingering brilliance of Orbison, the wisdom of releasing a double album is at best questionable. He is an artist that can surely best be remembered on a single CD, packed with songs we remember, songs we can sing along to.