Roy Orbison - Big O

TJR says:

Not in my collection.

The Pro review:

As though to distinguish it from his previous ballad album (The Many Moods of Roy Orbison), Roy Orbison opened The Big O with a rousing, upbeat, rhythm-driven number, "Break My Mind." The Big O has the distinction of being the only Roy Orbison album never to get a U.S. release — it was actually a substitute for an intended live album that didn’t quite come off, recorded at the Batley Variety Club. That tape was eventually released as part of a live anthology on Orbison, but for the album, he made a series of studio recordings encompassing some of the same oldies, mostly in a rock & roll vein, including "Help Me Rhonda," "Money," and "Land of 1,000 Dances," that were part of his concert set, broken up by originals such as the highly charged and exciting "Down the Line." MGM in America apparently had no enthusiasm for the record and passed on it, which was a pity, as it turned out to be one of the best albums that Orbison had cut in years, and a superb vehicle for his rock & roll singing (as opposed to the ballads that he’d loaded onto his prior album). The only bizarre moment comes, ironically enough, with the single from these sessions, "Penny Arcade," which sounds more like the kind of song you’d hear at a beer hall than a rock & roll single.

3.5 / 5
Bruce Eder

Extra notes:

¹ In June of 1969 Roy Orbison had hopes for a live album while he was on tour in the UK. His record label was not on board with his plan, however, and Roy had to compromise. The resulting album is THE BIG O- recorded as live as he could make it with his touring band The Art Movement. While MGM Records chose not to release the album in North America, London-Decca opted to release it elsewhere in early 1970. ~

The complete “A-list” discography of Roy Orbison:

At The Rock House (1961) Lonely and Blue (1961) Crying (1962) In Dreams (1963) There Is Only One Roy Orbison (1965) The Orbison Way (1966) The Classic Roy Orbison (1966) Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson (1967) The Fastest Guitar Alive (1967) Cry Softly Lonely One (1967) Roy Orbison’s Many Moods (1969) Hank Williams The Roy Orbison Way (1970) Big O (1970) Roy Orbison Sings (1972) Memphis (1972) Milestones (1973) I’m Still In Love with You (1975) Regeneration (1977) Laminar Flow (1979) Mystery Girl (1989)