Black & White Night

Few early rockers were more gifted or less honoured in their prime than the late Roy Orbison, whose vaulting tenor and vulnerable love songs conjured heartbreak and desire with operatic intensity. This 1987 concert special came two decades after Orbison had retreated from pop's front lines, yet neither Orbison nor his music coasts on mere nostalgia: in every respect, A Black and White Night survives as a triumphant performance and a superb video production, as well as a first-rate retrospective of Orbison's hits.

Filmed in black and white against the streamlined art deco stage of the since-demolished Coconut Grove in downtown Los Angeles, the concert is buoyed by a remarkable cast of A-list Orbison fans who signed on as his accompanists. Under the direction of producer T-Bone Burnett, the stage band thus includes Jackson Browne, Burnett, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt, J.D. Souther, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and Jennifer Warnes, along with the rhythm section from Elvis Presley's fabled late 60s and early 70s touring band. That astonishing line-up is all the more noteworthy for the restraint with which they collaborate--it's evident that those superstars came to honour Orbison, not upstage him, resulting in a gratifying cohesion to the performances.

Orbison himself sounds as powerful as ever, his soaring falsetto cresting as dramatically as it did on the studio versions of the hits that inevitably dominate. Those songs meanwhile confirm that his blue-chip admiration society came as much for the calibre of his writing as for his ravishing voice: if he remains best known for the jaunty come-on of "Pretty Woman", Orbison was first and foremost a rock balladeer, capable of bringing lumps to our throats with such classics as "Crying" and "Only the Lonely", or conjuring romantic trances through such gentle charmers as "Dream Baby". On this night, he handled all of them with fervour and finesse. --Sam Sutherland, Amazon.com

Artist(s):
Roy Orbison
Format:
Blu-Ray

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Few early rockers were more gifted or less honoured in their prime than the late Roy Orbison, whose vaulting tenor and vulnerable love songs conjured heartbreak and desire with operatic intensity. This 1987 concert special came two decades after Orbison had retreated from pop's front lines, yet neither Orbison nor his music coasts on mere nostalgia: in every respect, A Black and White Night survives as a triumphant performance and a superb video production, as well as a first-rate retrospective of Orbison's hits.

Filmed in black and white against the streamlined art deco stage of the since-demolished Coconut Grove in downtown Los Angeles, the concert is buoyed by a remarkable cast of A-list Orbison fans who signed on as his accompanists. Under the direction of producer T-Bone Burnett, the stage band thus includes Jackson Browne, Burnett, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt, J.D. Souther, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and Jennifer Warnes, along with the rhythm section from Elvis Presley's fabled late 60s and early 70s touring band. That astonishing line-up is all the more noteworthy for the restraint with which they collaborate--it's evident that those superstars came to honour Orbison, not upstage him, resulting in a gratifying cohesion to the performances.

Orbison himself sounds as powerful as ever, his soaring falsetto cresting as dramatically as it did on the studio versions of the hits that inevitably dominate. Those songs meanwhile confirm that his blue-chip admiration society came as much for the calibre of his writing as for his ravishing voice: if he remains best known for the jaunty come-on of "Pretty Woman", Orbison was first and foremost a rock balladeer, capable of bringing lumps to our throats with such classics as "Crying" and "Only the Lonely", or conjuring romantic trances through such gentle charmers as "Dream Baby". On this night, he handled all of them with fervour and finesse. --Sam Sutherland, Amazon.com

Product details

Composer:
Handel
Label:
Telarc

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