Artist of the Month: Roy Orbison
November 1, 2017
Joining forces with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the late Roy Orbison releases ‘A Love So Beautiful’, a re-scored collection of classics from his inimitable songbook. And in April next year the record goes on the road, using cutting edge stagecraft to feature a holographic Roy Orbison alongside the Philharmonic.
We couldn’t be prouder to name America’s Maestro our Artist of the Month.
Roy Orbison not only broke the mould, he established a totally new pop archetype. While many of his early Sun Records contemporaries such as Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash boasted classical good looks with a swagger to match, Roy Orbison’s understated demeanour became one of his greatest strengths.
Underneath that everyman exterior was a tremulous and quavering voice that beautifully articulated the yearning and unrequited love that so many of us have experienced.
Orbison’s early years as a professional singer weren’t too kind, though his songwriting skills proved popular as he scored hits for the likes of The Everly Brothers with tracks such as ‘Claudette’. But, as with many of the originals that have helped shape popular culture, when Roy found his voice, it was inevitable that so many would respond to it and so quickly.
Indeed, his run of hits between 1960 and 1965 that included ‘Only The Lonely’, ‘Running Scared’, ‘It’s Over’ and so many more, would go on to alter the course of popular music in more ways than one. The appeal of his vulnerability, coupled with majestic production techniques that included grand, operatic orchestral sweeps, celestial backing vocals and the kind of rolling drums that rivalled Phil Spector, proved irresistible.
And yet for all that, Roy could also show a tougher side – as evidenced by the likes of ‘Dream Baby’, ‘Candy Man’ and, of course, the evergreen ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’, Roy could not only kick it up with the best of ‘em, he could also hold his own against the wave of the British Invasion bands making their way across the Atlantic in the early 60s.
Indeed, many of those British beat bands owe Roy a considerable debt. Take the case of a certain bunch of moptops from Liverpool called The Beatles. Were it not for Roy Orbison, its inarguable that their second single and first UK Number One, ‘Please Please Me’, would’ve sounded very different. And his influence stretched even further – artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Chris Isaak and The Mavericks among others have all paid tribute to the singer who, in his own way, helped them become the figures they are now.
This unassailable musical pedigree was firmly on display when Orbison emerged as part of The Traveling Wilburys – arguably the first ‘supergroup’ and featuring George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty.
It was there again on ‘A Black & White Night’, Orbison’s star-studded 1988 television special featuring, among others, Brice Springsteen, K.D Lang, Elvis Costello and Tom Waits.
And that unlimited influence is in evidence once again with ‘A Love So Beautiful’, a sumptuous, orchestral re-imagining of some of his most popular songs in collaboration with the greatest orchestra in the world.
This is the Roy Orbison that you know and love, but more so.
As we mark the 50th anniversary of ‘Band of Gypsys’ the mighty Jimi Hendrix is our Artist of the Month.Read more
Following our recent collaborations with the great one’s Estate, and with more on the way, we’re rather more than proud to announce that our Artist of the Month for February is Prince.Read more
With the career-spanning, epic box set ‘MODE’ released this month, we revisit the legacy of one of the most innovative bands in musical history. Depeche Mode are our Artist of the Month for January.Read more
With the new RomCom ‘Last Christmas’ out now in theaters, our Artist of the Month for the Yuletide season; the pop colossus that is Wham!Read more
As a very special edition of 1979’s ‘London Calling’ hits the shelves, and the accompanying exhibition is due to open at the Museum of London, punk legends The Clash are our Artist of the Month for November.Read more
We’re proud to announce the release of a special reedited, reimagined and remastered 2LP gatefold edition of one of music’s most iconic performances.Read more
With a new album, ‘Thanks For The Dance’, recently announced, we remember the life and genius of Leonard Cohen, our Artist of the Month for October.Read more
With the amazing ‘Grace’ turning twenty five this year, we’re proud to celebrate the work of Jeff Buckley, our Artist of the Month for September.Read more
With the ‘Foo Files’ digital releases delving deeply into the band’s history, a new series of ‘Live At Wembley’ videos hitting the internet and epoch-defining sets at Reading & Leeds taking place in a few weeks, the incomparable Foo Fighters are our artist of the month for August.Read more
Classic hits, seminal singles, infectious smashes and idiosyncratic sensations. This week in rock history as it happened…Read more
As that all-conquering paean to infidelity and heartbreak, ‘Careless Whisper’, marks its 35th anniversary we celebrate one of the most groundbreaking and versatile artists of the modern age. Mr George Michael…Read more
He just turned 70 but our Artist of the Month for June shows no sign of slowing down. With a series of massive shows this month, including a date at Wembley Stadium, it’s Mr Billy Joel.Read more
With one of the most powerful, diverse single catalogues in the history of rock – ‘Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Singles’ due out this month – our Artist of the Month for May is the unutterably incomparable Primal Scream.Read more
With their first UK shows in five long years kicking off in just a few weeks time, Daryl Hall and John Oates are our Artists of the Month for April.Read more
As Pop’s Premier Party Patriarch prepares to undertake yet another superb series of shows, we celebrate Billy Ocean, our Artist of the Month for MarchRead more
With their newly re-mastered album, ‘I Trawl The Megahertz’ out now, pop perfectionists Prefab Sprout are our Artists of the Month for February.Read more
As his unmissable, ground breaking one man show ‘Springsteen On Broadway’ streams on Netflix, The Boss is our Artist of the Month for January.Read more
With the ‘This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours’ 20 Year Collectors’ Edition released on December 7th, our final Artist of the Month of 2018 is Manic Street Preachers.Read more
Once again the incredible songbook of the great Roy Orbison is being given new life by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, ‘Unchained Melodies…’ is out now.Read more
With ‘In The Blue Light’ released this month, and with his final tour coming to a close, our Artist of the Month for September is perhaps the greatest contributor to the American Songbook, Paul Simon.Read more
Ten years since their rulebook-defying, multi-platinum eponymous debut, The Script are our Artists of the Month for August.Read more
With a new tour and a comprehensive set of vinyl reissues on the way, our Artist of the Month for July is cult alt. rock Glaswegian outfit Teenage Fanclub…Read more
As the former Kinks frontman turns his eyes back stateside on ‘Our Country: Americana Act II’, out June 29, we present Ray Davies, our Artist of the Month for June…Read more
As we revisit one of The Boss’ most urgent, powerful eras, our artist of the month for May is the one and only Bruce Springsteen.Read more
Far too prolific to have a single signature tune, ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)’ is nonetheless the track our Artists of the Month, Eurythmics, are perhaps best known for. but it wasn’t the first or last song about the popular nocturnal hallucinations. Here’s our dreams top ten…Read more
There are few bands that have not only come to define a decade, but also to transcend it, with music that’s inarguably timeless. Ladies and gentlemen, our Artists of the Month for March: Annie Lenox and Dave Stewart. Eurythmics.Read more
Legendary authors of countless Rock Classics and with brand new music surfacing shortly, our Artist of the month for February is the one and only ToTo…Read more
“His songs are the yearnings of the heart.”
We asked for your stories of how the music of Roy Orbison has touched your life, how the Big O soundtracked the good times and the bad.
Here are your stories. Here’s why you love him…Read more
40 years on from perhaps his greatest masterpiece – and in the year that will see War of The Worlds return to UK stages as well as turntables worldwide – we’re celebrating the orchestral genius of Jeff Wayne.Read more
For teaching a generation that ridicule is nothing to be scared of. Ladies & Gentlemen. Our December Artist of the Month. Adam Ant.Read more
He’s the singer/songwriter’s singer/songwriter, a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer, founding member of the Travelling Wilburys, ‘The Big O’, America’s Maestro.
He is Roy Orbison and we want to know why you love him.Read more
The legendary Roy Orbison has joined forces with the world-famous Royal Philharmonic to create brand new orchestral interpretations of some of the late genius’ greatest hits and most enduring rock ‘n’ roll classics.Read more
Joining forces with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the late Roy Orbison releases ‘A Love So Beautiful’, a re-scored collection of classics from his inimitable songbook. We couldn’t be prouder to name America’s Maestro our Artist of the Month.Read more
We’re thrilled to announce that in April 2018, ‘The Hologram UK Tour’ will see a holographic Roy Orbison perform live on stage with the Royal Philharmonic throughout the UK.Read more
One of the most groundbreaking, inventive and entertaining artists of the modern era, George Michael was also one of a handful of stars to successfully walk the line from Pop Sensation to Critically Acclaimed Artist.
For these and countless other reasons, George Michael is our Artist of the Month.Read more
With the seminal ‘Through The Barricades’ celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, the peerless Spandau Ballet are our artists of the month for September. Plus you can win a a pair of tickets to Spandau Ballet’s Through the Barricades Remastered/Revisited documentary screening and live Q&A on 12th September at The Soho Hotel.Read more
This month, we join the world in celebrating the life and music of Elvis Presley. The King is our Artist of the Month.Read more
Join us as we look back on one of the most incredible careers in pop…Read more
As Foo Fighters prepare to headline one of the biggest stages of them all, we’re proud to crown Dave Grohl and co our Artist of the Month for June.Read more
We’re thrilled to announce a very special collaboration – the soulful voice of rock ‘n’ roll backed by the world’s most preeminent orchestra.Read more
With his ‘Americana’ album out now, our Artist of the Month is Kinks frontman and international treasure, Ray Davies…Read more
Is it really 10 years since the release of Manic Street Preachers’ eighth studio album and muscular return to form, ‘Send Away The Tigers’? The Manics are our Artist of the Month for April.Read more
It’s 30 years since Roy Orbison’s iconic ’87 comeback gig – featuring appearances from Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits & K.D. Lang – and you can finally experience the show from hundreds of unseen angles with ‘Black &a White Night 30’.Read more
As one of the most original, influential and culturally fascinating artists to have emerged in the 20th century, the man born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota in 1941 has also proved to be one of its most divisive…Read More...
Discover the first career spanning Roy Orbison anthology, out now…Read more
Dr John Cooper Clarke and The Stranglers’ Hugh Cornwell run down ‘This Time It’s Personal’ – out now – one track at a time…Read more
Affectionately known as ‘The Bard of Salford’, performance poet John Cooper Clarke’s career has spanned some 40 years…Read more
A Run Down Of Buckley’s CoversRead more
Jeff Buckley is our Artist of the Month throughout March. This week we uncover 6 great videos that shed a new light on our hero.Read more
Take a look at Jeff Buckley’s musical influences…Read more
Watch the video for ‘I Know It’s Over’…Read more
Here are 4 rare and amazing performances from our Artist of the MonthRead more
Discover more about the Original Soundtrack…Read more
An intro to Janis Joplin’s biggest track and an insight into the 60’s with these 2 ultimate playlistsRead more
To celebrate the release of the film ‘Janis: Little Girl Blue’, Janis Joplin is our Artist of the Month for February.Read more
Listen to 3 tracks from the forthcoming Bootleg series now!Read more
Bob Dylan’s 5th album “Bringing It All Back Home” was released in 1965 and was half acoustic half electric. What’s the story behind this artwork?Read more
‘Bob Dylan – The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol 12’ is a deluxe 6CD anthology that will be released on November 6th.Read more
Did you not get a chance to see him live in Cyprus Avenue earlier this month? Then we’ve got a surprise for you…Read more
Last week, we brought to you 4 ultimate playlists… This week we give you 3 new playlists to rediscover overarching themes from the Van Morrison catalogue.Read more
An intro to Van Morrison’s amazing catalogue with these 4 ultimate playlists.Read more
Stop everything you’re doing and join the club of very famous Van-atics!Read more
Discover Paul Young’s life in music, from his influences to favourite live shows…Read more
In the UK alone, Van Morrison has earned over 20 top 20 albums, including an astounding 13 which were top 10… Van Morrison is our artist of the month for September!Read more
Don’t miss out on Paul Young’s Top Tracks and Ultimate Setlist playlists…Read more
Paul Young is one of the 80s biggest stars. Let’s take a look back at his performances on Top of the Pops…Read more
Paul Young became one of the 80s biggest pop stars, but how many of these facts do you know?Read more
Federico tells us the story of Miles Davis, with 10 chosen tracks which form “the ultimate soundtrack to a large part of the 20th century”.Read more
There are many miles of love for Miles Davis’ recently released Bootleg 4 reissue…Read more
Sadly the Foos won’t be playing Glastonbury this year, but here are our top 5 favourite videos of the band, including funny Dave Grohl moments…Read more
Time to revise all your classics before Glastonbury with the ultimate playlistRead more
They’ve been going for 20 years and headlining Glastonbury this month… How many of these facts did you know?Read more
The Foo Fighters are our artist of the month. Gearing up to headline Glastonbury, the band are set to have a great summer and have lots more to come.Read more
Big news from the Miles Davis camp…Read more
We’ve selected 5 videos you have to watch!Read more
Every month at Legacy HQ, we will be picking essential tracks from our Artist of the Month in this brand new playlist.Read more
Did you know our Artist of the Month turned his life around aged 32? Have you ever heard ‘Hallelujah’ in hebrew?Read more
As his new album ‘Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour’ is released this month, we will be looking back at Leonard’s finest throughout the month of May.Read more