Roy Orbison, like many pioneering rock & roll artists of his generation, has the dubious honor of countless greatest hits collections bearing his name — all of them of varying quality. I know this because I have owned several over the years. One of the more interesting of Orbison’s ‘best of’ collections is the 1987 greatest hits package In Dreams. What makes this set interesting is also what makes it so controversial among Orbison traditionalists.

In Dreams is indeed a collection of Orbison’s most beloved tracks, but, and this is a big but, they are all re-recordings of the originals. Admittedly, there is nothing on the package material that identifies this fact — but other than that you are left with a phenomenal set that I personally find myself listening to as often as the originals. The sound, and T-Bone Burnett’s production, of the ’87 set have more bottom to them without losing the ethereal feel of the originals.

But why re-record? Allegedly David Lynch asked Orbison to re-cut the song “In Dreams” for a scene in his film Blue Velvet , which he later decided not to use. The prevailing school of thought is that either a) Orbison liked the results enough to re-record all his old hits with modern technology, or, b) and more probable, Orbison and his team realized if they re-cut the tracks and repackaged them they stood to gain 100 percent of the profits. Readily available in record stores used section — if a fan of the haunting master crooner — do consider picking up Orbison’s late ’80s redux.

Below is the brothel scene in which Lynch used “In Dreams” in his early calling card film Blue Velvet. Dean Stockwell’s lip-sticked lip-synch is as disturbing as it is unforgettable. A classic Lynchian celluloid moment.

DOWNLOAD:
MP3: Roy Orbison :: In Dreams (1985)
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Amazon: In Dreams: Roy Orbison’s Greatest Hits

+ Roy Orbison catalog available through eMusic’s 25 Free MP3 offer.
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+ Visit The Hype Machine for additional Roy Orbison MP3s.

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