Released four years after Roy Orbison's sudden death on the cusp of a major commercial and critical comeback, the compilation KING OF HEARTS consists of Orbison's final recordings, primarily outtakes from his comeback album MYSTERY GIRL. While these utterly contemporary-sounding recordings don't have quite the same mystery and grandeur as prime Orbison, they're not bad.
A couple of tracks had been previously released, most notably a stunning duet with k.d. lang on Orbison's classic "Crying" which had been used on the soundtrack of the 1986 Jon Cryer film HIDING OUT. The highlight of the new material is a version of the Kelly-Steinberg effort "I Drove All Night" which shreds Cyndi Lauper's 1990 hit, but all of the material, recorded with the same band of all-stars which had graced MYSTERY GIRL, is excellent and well-chosen. And, of course, brilliantly sung.
Contains material from the MYSTERY GIRL sessions.
1."You're the One" - (Roy Orbison, Bill Dees)
2."Heartbreak Radio" - (Troy Seals, Frankie Miller)
3."We'll Take the Night" - (Roy Orbison, Will Jennings, J.D. Souther)
4."Crying" (duet with k.d. lang) - (Roy Orbison, Joe Melson)
5."After The Love Has Gone" - (Roy Orbison, Jerry L. Williams)
6."Love in Time" - (Roy Orbison, Will Jennings)
7."I Drove All Night" - (Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly)
8."Wild Hearts Run Out of Time" - (Roy Orbison, Will Jennings)
9."Coming Home" - (Roy Orbison, Will Jennings, J.D. Souther)
10."Careless Heart" (original demo) - (Roy Orbison, Diane Warren, Albert Hammond)
11. Life Fades Away - bonus track
Roy Orbison (vocals, guitar); k.d. lang (vocals); Dean Parks (guitar, mandolin); Mark Goldenberg (guitar, accordion, mandolin); Robbie Robertson, T-Bone Burnett, Brent Rowan, Larry Byrum, David Hidalgo, Reggie Young, J.R. Cobb, Josh Sklair, Steve Gibson (guitar); Joel Derouin, Berj Garabedian, Armand Garabedian, Charles Bicharat, Bruce Dukov (violin); Tom Talley (viola); Larry Corbett, Suzie Katayama (cello); Mike Utley, Sid Paige, Ezra Killinger, Pavel Farkas, Henry Corbett, David Campbell, Maria Newman (strings); Terry Lee McMillan (harmonica); Clarence Clemons (saxophone); Jim Cox, Larry Knechtal (piano); Bobby Emmons, Bobby Wood (keyboards); David Briggs (keyboards, synthesizer); Benmont Tench, Don Was (Hammond B-3, background vocals); Booker T. Jones (Hammond B-3), Larry Klein (bass, keyboards); Buel Neidlinger (acoustic bass), Larry Paxton, James Hutchinson, James Johnson, Mike Leech, T-Bone Wolk (bass); Alex Acuna (drums, percussion); Kenny Buttrey, Ricky Fataar, Jeff Porcaro, Gene Chrisman, Jim Keltner (drums); Lenny Castro (percussion); Tony Warren, Alex Brown, Jackie Gouche, Willie Greene, Everette Drake, Wayne Murray, Francine Reed, Andrew Gold, Diane Warren, Barbara Orbison, Albert Hammond, Doug Fieger, Michael J. Libow (background vocals)