July 21, 2024

Unreleased Roy Orbison track resurrected by singer’s sons

This article is more than 10 years old

The late singer’s sons have rescued an old vocal recording taken from a home tape machine, and will release it on an upcoming reissue of Orbison’s final album, Mystery Girl

Roy Orbison’s sons have rescued one of the singer’s decades-old songs, lifting a vocal track from a home recording and adding their own drums, guitar and backing vocals. The Way Is Love is one of ten unreleased songs that will be included in an upcoming reissue of Orbison’s final album, Mystery Girl.

“More or less the reason Alex and Wesley and I are musicians was to play in dad’s band when we got older,” Roy Orbison Jr said in a statement. But the boys’ father died in 1989, before any of them were over the age of 35. “I have been looking forward to this for my entire life,” said Alex, the youngest brother. “Cutting a track with my brothers was more incredible than I can describe.”

To make The Way Is Love, Orbison’s family used a vocal recorded onto a boombox work-tape. As with the Beatles’ Real Love, which relied on an unreleased John Lennon demo, producers were able to extract the vocal line and layer new instrumentation. The Orbison sons’ 2013 recording session took place at Johnny Cash’s Cabin studio, with a suitably parallel producer: Cash’s son, John Carter Cash.

“It really brought us closer together in a lot of ways,” Alex Orbison told the Associated Press. “We were able to finish it up and get it out by Father’s Day, too, which was obviously special to us.”

The deluxe and expanded version of Mystery Girl is due on 20 May and will mark the 25th anniversary of its original release. Recorded with help from the likes of Tom Petty, Bono, Elvis Costello, George Harrison, the album was issued posthumously, two months after Orbison’s death. It reached No 2 on the UK albums chart.

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