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IMO, Mystery Girl by Roy Orbison is the most romantic rock album ever. I pitched this theory to Diane, my wife, right after “A Love So Beautiful” had played and she had a different take on it. She said, maybe not romantic, but certainly passionate. Her rational was that the song’s relationship doesn’t work out. Semantics aside, we agreed that Jeff Lynne’s gorgeous production coupled with Roy’s amazingly tortured vocals make this album a heart-grabber.
Lynne was at the height of his powers with recent productions for The Traveling Wilburys, George Harrison, and his own brilliant Armchair Theatre. He succeeds at producing luscious rock music without being overly schmaltzy. We all know Roy Orbison’s early ‘60s rock operettas, which were rivaled only by Phil Spector’s paeans in their angst-filled grandeur. However, some folks haven’t heard his later work with The Traveling Wilburys and this album, Mystery Girl. Unfortunately, Roy Orbison died right before the album was released.
Here’s what Wikipedia says about the album:
Mystery Girl is the last album recorded by Roy Orbison, posthumously released on the Virgin label in 1989. The album became a hit worldwide, reaching #5 on the US Billboard 200, and #2 on the UK Albums Chart. All the tracks were recorded in late 1988, and it was finalized for release in the weeks following Orbison's death through the collaborative efforts of several artists who were all friends and admirers. The album was named after the chorus from the track "She's a Mystery to Me," written for Orbison by U2's Bono and The Edge.
This is the tour de force:
“You Got It”
“In The Real World”
I also like “(All I Can Do Is) Dream You” and the title song, “She’s A Mystery to Me.”
Just for kicks, a cool video of the classic “Pretty Woman.”