To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the album for Roy Orbison’s renowned televised comeback concert at the Cocoanut Grove night club in Los Angeles, Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings has teamed up with Roy’s Boys LLC, the Nashville-based company founded by the late icon’s sons to administer their father’s catalog and safeguard his legacy for a special commemorative album release. Black & White Night 30,a 2LP vinyl set, including three tracks omitted from the original 1989 A Black and White Night Live album, will be released on October 18. The film Black & White Night 30 will be made available in its entirety on the Roy Orbison YouTube channel on October 23. This re-imagined, re-edited, remastered and expanded version of the original television special was released as both as a CD/DVD set and as a CD/Blu-ray set in 2017 by Roy’s Boys and Legacy Recordings.
By the mid-1980s, Roy Orbison had been out of the limelight for quite some time, but his song “In Dreams” was prominently featured in David Lynch’s landmark 1986 film noir Blue Velvet and helped reignite interest in the ‘Big O.’ On September 30, 1987, Orbison, then 51, staged a remarkable comeback with the help of guest musicians whom he had influenced: Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt, J.D. Souther, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and Jennifer Warnes. The all-star concert at the Ambassador Hotel’s Cocoanut Grove night club was filmed a television special and broadcast as Roy Orbison & Friends: Black & White Night on Cinemax the following January, less than a year before the icon’s untimely passing.
In 2017, Roy’s youngest son Alex Orbison and his co-editor Luke Chalk went back and re-edited the television special, using previously unseen shots from the hundreds of hours of footage that existed from the seven-camera shoot. They also restored the program to reflect the correct set order, so that viewers could see Roy, brilliantly backed by Elvis Presley’s TCB Band (James Burton, Glen D. Hardin, Jerry Scheff, Ron Tutt), blast through massive Orbison hits such as “Only the Lonely, “In Dreams” and “Crying” just as the star-studded live audience witnessed them on that very night. Black & White Night 30 was born.
In 1989, the audio from the original television special was posthumously released on CD, LP and cassette as A Black And White Night Live by Roy Orbison And Friends. This single disc album excluded the song “Claudette,” and it also left off “Blue Angel,” which was recorded that night, but didn’t air as part of the original television special. This new 2LP vinyl collection of Black & White Night 30 includes those tracks, as well as an alternate version of Roy’s smash hit “Oh, Pretty Woman,” in addition to the original version originally aired, now in the order in which they were performed. Housed in a gatefold jacket, Black & White Night 30 also comes with a download card for all 19 tracks.
When Black & White Night 30 becomes available on the Roy Orbison YouTube channel on October 23, so will “secret concert” footage of five songs performed by Roy and friends with the full band, filmed after everyone in the audience had gone home that night in 1987. This includes alternate takes of “Dream You,” “Comedians,” “Candyman,” “Claudette,” and “Uptown” with shooting stopped only after film ran out in the middle of the latter song. Sought after by diehard fans for many years, the “secret concert” will finally be made available on the internet for free.
Roy Orbison: Black & White Night 30 2LP vinyl tracklist
1) Only the Lonely
3) In Dreams
1) The Comedians
2) Blue Angel+
3) It’s Over
4) Running Scared
5) Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)
1) Mean Woman Blues
2) Candy Man
3) Ooby Dooby
4) Blue Bayou
5) Go! Go! Go! (Down the Line)
1) (All I Can Do Is) Dream You
3) Oh, Pretty Woman [(Live) [ALT Version)+
4) Oh, Pretty Woman
+First time on vinyl