Music: The MGM Years – Roy Orbison

Michael Buffalo Smith

Michael Buffalo Smith

Buffalo hails from Spartanburg, SC. Officially the "Ambassador of Southern Rock," he has written for many publications including Rolling Stone, Relix, Goldmine and his own Kudzoo Magazine. He is also a recording artist and author of six books, the latest being "Rebel Yell: An Oral History of Southern Rock."
Michael Buffalo Smith

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Roy Orbison in 1965

Roy Orbison, 1965 | Credit: Monument Records

Roy Orbison had already established himself as a superstar on Monument Records, but on July 1, 1965, he signed a lucrative deal, moving over to MGM. This massive set includes all of Roy’s 11 MGM studio albums, the soundtrack to The Fastest Guitar Alive (written by Roy and Bill Dees for the film starring Roy Orbison) and an album of B-sides and singles from that era.

The box set is available as a 13 CD box, a digital box, or as a special 14-disc 180-gram vinyl release. That’s 152 tracks in all, sung by the man with the golden voice himself. All this material has been out of print for decades. For us CD lovers, it’s pretty awesome. Each CD rests inside its own miniature recreation of the original album cover, and the discs are printed with that iconic blue and gold label with the roaring lion. I love the attention to detail. There’s also a very thick, informative, liner notes book included.

Also released in conjunction with the boxed set is One of the Lonely Ones – recorded in 1969, a completely new unreleased studio album. It’s a 12-track lost Roy Orbison album that was recently discovered by Roy’s sons. Recorded between January and August of 1969, the album includes a sensational version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic that charted for Britain’s Gerry & the Pacemakers in 1965. The Roy-penned, guitar-heavy, “Child Woman, Woman Child” can be considered the musical younger sister of “Oh, Pretty Woman.” And there are ten other never before heard Roy tracks. Truly a lost treasure! While available on its own, a copy will be included in the first 500 boxed sets as well.