Thursday 8 December 2016

Classic rocker Roy Orbison inspired Adele, says his son as hits anthology due

Published 27/10/2016 | 13:16

Roy Orbison with his son Alex
Roy Orbison with his son Alex

Contemporary artists such as Adele, Bruno Mars and Miley Cyrus can thank rock veteran Roy Orbison for inspiring them, the late music star's son has said.

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Alex Orbison has put together a definitive collection of his father's work with the help of his brothers, and it is the first career-spanning anthology to celebrate the US musician nearly 30 years after his death.

He believes Roy's distinctive rock and roll-cum-rockabilly sound is prevalent in current music, and even more so now than as recently as 10 years ago.

Alex told the Press Association: "If you listen to the Mark Ronson production and some of the bigger records that are coming out have this very lush sound, it's an homage to these greater things that happened in the '60s and '70s."

He likened his father's trademark appearance and sound to that of Grammy and Brit Award-winning singer Bruno Mars, whose debut album Doo-Wops And Hooligans was derived from several music genres including rock and pop.

He said: "If you look at - especially when Bruno Mars went through the big pompadour phase - and listening to the Adele record, it has a certain quality with the reverb on her vocal that has this very big full sound, and however different the vocal styles may be there is a big similarity.

"Miley Cyrus covered It's Over on the Chelsea Handler show in the States for the last episode. Listening to these things, you can hear the thread that goes through a lot of these contemporary musicians. There are more similarities now than I think there was 10 years ago."

Alex said that his father - who died of a heart attack in 1988 at the age of 52 - would be "very happy" with the musical landscape in 2016 and "the way people are staying true to themselves".

He said he knows "for a fact" that his father would still be making music if he were alive today.

"Unlike many of his contemporaries, he never took a year off in his entire life from making music," he added.

Roy Orbison - The Ultimate Collection spans four decades of Roy's impressive career, which saw him score global success with 22 singles in the US Billboard Top 40 chart and 10 top ten hits in the UK, including three number ones.

The collection of 26 tracks also includes two songs by the Traveling Wilburys, the supergroup formed in the late 1980s by Roy, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, the first time the group's songs have been used on a Roy Orbison compilation.

Alex is confident the hits record, which features popular tracks Oh, Pretty Woman, Crying and the Traveling Wilburys' Handle With Care, will appeal to a new, younger audience.

He said: "My dad's music has an element that is very much contemporary in the topic and the feeling, and my brother, Roy Jr, says the heartbreaks happen in real time.

"It doesn't matter what your age is, if you're going through these things that life throw at us and you're exposed to Roy Orbison and you listen to it, you realise he's singing about these things that define our lives.

"The aspects of the songs in the '50s and '60s that were hits have such a timeless quality, I think that - while they're not contemporary sonically - it's something that, honestly is very popular ."

:: Roy Orbison - The Ultimate Collection is released on October 28 and is available on CD and a double vinyl set.

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