Roy Orbison / A Love So Beautiful: With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Sony’s Legacy Recordings is to release A Love So Beautiful, a new Roy Orbison compilation that sets the American singer-songwriter’s vocals to London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

After the massive success of the similar Elvis sets, I guess you can’t blame Sony for rolling out this franchise and A Love So Beautiful does have two things going for it: It has the approval of the estate, being released in partnership with ‘Roy’s Boys’ (the Nashville-based company founded by the Orbison’s sons to administer their father’s catalog) and with that voice this could sound quite good.

The 15-track album (unlike with The King, there appears to be no deluxe edition with bonus tracks) features the big hits and iconic songs you’d expect, such as Pretty Woman, In Dreams, Crying, Only The Lonely, and You Got It. Roy’s sons even contribute guitars/drums to a few tracks and amusingly allow 10-month old grandson Roy III  to ‘play’ some tambourine (fair enough) and guitar (really?) on Pretty Woman. If he can play guitar at ten months, then his grandad’s talent has definitely been passed down!

A Love So Beautiful is released on CD and vinyl on 3 November 2017

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Orbison, Roy

A Love So Beautiful - CD Edition


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Orbison, Roy

A Love So Beautiful - Vinyl LP Edition


track list:

  1. In Dreams
  2. Crying
  3.  I’m Hurtin’
  4. Oh, Pretty Woman*
  5. It’s Over
  6. Dream Baby +
  7. Blue Angel
  8. Love Hurts
  9. Uptown**
  10. Mean Woman Blues+
  11. Only the Lonely
  12. Running Scared
  13. I Drove All Night**
  14. You Got It
  15. A Love So Beautiful**

*featuring Alex Orbison- drums; Wesley & Roy Jr.- guitars; Roy III- guitar, tambourine
+featuring Alex Orbison- drums; Roy Orbison Jr. – guitar
**featuring Alex Orbison- drums

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Having now heard this “album” all I can say is what a load of codswallop!. These arrangements add nothing to the originals. Roy’s fantastic songs have been turned into MOR elevator music just to earn a bob or two. Have his sons no shame?
Truly dreadful

Boaz Halachmi

The cover pic on Amazon shows 17 tracks.
It adds:
16. Pretty Paper
17. I Drove All Night – with Ward Thomas

James Dougan

There are at least two more albums with the Royal Philharmonic treatment due for release.Aretha Franklin is getting the treatment and a Elvis Christmas album is also on the cards.

Kevin S

The Elvis + Philharmonic Christmas album is already out.

I’m intrigued to hear the Orbison orchestral album. The version of ‘I Drove All Night’ that’s been on the BBC Radio 2 playlist has amazing energy.


The thing is, the sets of The King, Elvis Presley sold so well because they were put out for the Christmas market. I would wager that the majority of copies bought were presents for Mum / Grandma. Is Roy Orbison going to catch a similar market?

Kevin Thomas

What is that I can hear? Oh, it is Sony scraping the empty Orbison barrel to make some more dosh out of The Big O. Seems like “Roy’s Boys” will allow and contribute to any load of unnecessary tat that Sony decide to release. Roy must be turning in his grave at the thought of this pile of old pony being released.


I heard rumors that a similar release with Diana Ross and The Supremes was in the pipeline. That I would buy in an instant!

Metal Mickey

I don’t see this “trend” as any different to simply remixing old tracks, though I agree with Pete’s comments above about the Elvis albums, that they simply weren’t different enough to get excited about, though they’re fine on their own merits.

As for interfering with tracks by deceased artists, it’s worth remembering that Buddy Holly had a whole host of hits which were “finished” in the years after his death, so this is nothing new!

Paul Elliott

With two Jeff Lynne-era songs on here, I’m interested to see if the mix of songs translate well as an ‘album’. However overall it seems totally unnecessary. Could you imagine if they did this with The Beatles? There’d be rioting in the streets!


If anyone had superb backing on his records it was Roy. The sound was perfect. Don’t think adding strings will do anything to his music. You just cant add anything to or change perfection! It also looks like a few tracks have been tinkered with.
£$£$ strikes again.

Randy Metro

I am a casual fan of Elvis and I thought the Royal Philharmonic versions would seal the deal; reel me in. I now know that my Elvis is best served rock N roll style preferably his early rockabilly. I tried…


i think his sons are just trying to keep his name fresh and alive, they have been fairly respectful of his legacy and it will be interesting to hear his songs in a different light.

Stevie B

I love Roy Orbison but this is not for me, unlike the expanded Black and White Night DVD/Blu Ray from a couple of months back. If anyone on here missed it, and has access to BBC iPlayer, there was a fine documentary on Roy (Leo Green Remembers… Roy Orbison) on Bank Holiday Monday, May 29th on BBC Radio 2 from 20:00-22:00.


I’m just throwing this out there, because it’s not directly addressed to the Roy Orbison release, but I have always had a problem with “new” releases connected to the vocals of people that have already passed away (in addition to Roy Orbison, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and of course Elvis Presley to name a few).

I can quite understand that it sells product, so they’re going to do it, but to me it just seems ghoulish and icky (was going to type obscene, but that’s maybe too strong?).

I’m an avid Annie Lennox and Alison Moyet fan to name just two, so it’s difficult to imagine how I would react to new releases after they had passed away (assuming that I’m still alive to listen to them lol). I would hope that I would be satisfied with what they had produced in their lifetimes and with their own artistic consent.

I don’ t want to start a firestorm of argument, it’s just how I see things.


Paul, I’m REALLY with you on the duets thing, ghoulish is definitely the word for that!


I’m with you Rick but there’s a line you can stay the right side of I think.
Elvis’ A Little Less Conversation remix is theoretically the same thing but doesn’t leave the same bad taste. It’s a remix, we all know what those are and we can identify one. But this ‘fake’ stuff doesn’t sit well with me. The duets thing is also pretty distasteful too.

But then you throw in Free As A Bird by the Beatles which is all of the above, and that one works for me. Post mortem duet? Tick. Newly recorded music over a song that was never, ever recorded for that purpose? Tick.

I can’t work out why I like one but not the other. Snoop and the Tupac hologram at Coachella should be the worst example but again, it works somehow. I guess the key word is tasteful. A cheap cash in vs a genuinely well intentioned ‘tribute’.

Matthew Langhorn

I was thinking the other day whether there would be a 3rd Elvis album or if they’d move on to someone else.

Who’s next? Bolan, Bowie, Prodigy (I would love to hear the last one!)

Randy Metro

Marc Bolan has had enough futzing around with his unreleased & unfinished tracks, not to mention modern remixes of his classics ( a real gong on Bang A Gong!!!). He & Tony Visconti were fond of a little touch of strings on their songs.

The full Children of Rarn suite was released in it’s demo and Visconti treated forms. A third version released with a full symphony sound (and a horse!) by a fan/producer was horrid. Bolan & his idiosyncrasies were swamped by the symphony. I think the same would happen with Bowie. I might like a listen to this Roy version. I will give it a try…


I live in hope that this will be more orchestral than the Presley albums. I wanted those to be truly orchestral but it was disappointing that it was basically an orchestra playing all the original instruments. If I wanted a Hawaiian sound, I’d listen to the originals. Hopefully, it’ll be different with this Big O set but mention of drums doesn’t bode well.