Hal Leonard Rhapsody in Black
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He was blessed with a set of pipes that Elvis Presley claimed were the best in the business. His eyes hidden behind his perpetual Ray-Bans, Roy Orbison stood perfectly still onstage, singing songs of devastating heartbreak.
Bob Dylan compared him to a professional killer, claiming the intensity of Orbison's operatic tenor was enough to make him “drive off a cliff.” Neil Young stated, “It's almost impossible to comprehend the depth of his soul. There's something sad but proud about Roy's music.” And Bono later claimed he was not only enthralled by Orbison's “angelic voice,” but considered “In Dreams” to be “probably the greatest pop song ever written.”
Orbison's singing has inspired everyone who has heard it, from Springsteen to k. d. lang, and laid the very foundation for goth. While fascinating from a pop culture standpoint, it is Orbison's life's journey that makes a great story that has yet to be told to its fullest. Rhapsody in Black doesn't shy away from or trivialize the personal pain, alienation, and tragic events that shaped Orbison's singular personality and music. Roy Orbison wasn't merely a singer but a sonic alchemist who, in the end, transformed unfathomable human misery into transcendent melody and platinum records.
Rhapsody in Black contains new interviews with over 20 people who worked closely with Orbison throughout his life.