the album, with my very favorite Springsteen tune ever, “Growin’ Up,” the perfect set up to talk about his life, followed by “My Home- town.” We learn all about the Springsteen family, large as it was, growing up on the same street in Freehold, New Jersey. He opens up his heart to discuss his father to precede “My Father’s House,” and sings the most heartfelt takes ever on “Thunder Road,” “The Promised Land,” and a blues smoked version of “Born in the USA.” “Tenth Avenue Freezeout” pauses be-

fore the verse about Clarence joining the band as Bruce talks about his friend. It’s a tear jerker to be sure, and a highlight of the show. His final statement on Clemmons is, “Losing him was like losing the rain.” Patti joins Bruce onstage for “Tougher

Than the Rest” and “Brilliant Disguise,” and Bruce keeps the music going with the monster hit “Dancing in the Dark” along with “The Rising,” “Land of Hope and Dreams,” and “Ghost of Tom Joad.” It was almost a given that the two-and-

a-half-hour show would end with “Born to Run.” Even knowing it is coming, it still hits you like an upper cut from Ali. Just before the song. Springsteen speaks from the heart about spirit. I personally was blown away to hear him recite “The Lord’s Prayer.” Truly a beautiful moment from a good Catholic boy. An amazing, one of a kind show, from an amazing, one of a kind artist.

-Michael Buffalo Smith

Unchained Melodies Roy Orbison with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (SMG)

Unchained Melodies is the fol-

low up to A Love So Beautiful, another collec- tion of Orbison vocal tracks married to a cur- rent recording of the Royal Philharmonic, recorded at Abbey Road Studios. Once again, Nick Patrick and Don Reedman produce, with the Orbison brothers acting as executive pro- ducers.

Additional accompaniment comes via

Roy's three sons and backing vocals from their wives and children. Roy’s haunting voice is front and center on 14 original vocal per- formances (both greatest hits and deep cuts selected with fan input) backed by London’s own orchestra, the producers created elegant and spirited arrangements to accompany some of the most beloved gems from Orbi- son's career - not only singles like "Blue Bayou," "The Crowd" and "Crawling Back," but fan favorites like "Heartbreak Radio" plus "California Blue," "Danny Boy" and "Walk On," three tracks that were included after Roy's estate reached out to fans for their feed- back.

The album features instrumental back-

ing from "Roy's boys," his three sons Wesley, Roy Jr. (on guitars) and Alex (playing drums). The album also features backing vo- cals on eight tracks from the "Orbison girls," Emily Orbison (Wesley's daughter), Jen Hicks (Wesley's fiancé), Åsa Orbison (Roy Jr.'s wife) and Erika Wolf Orbison (Alex's wife - their forthcoming daughter kicks along to the beat as well). Tracks like "Unchained Melody" and "Heartbreak Radio" feature as many as eight Orbisons, counting Roy himself. Every track is a gem, including the

Elvis Costello cover “The Comedians” and the Bono/Edge penned “She’s a Mystery to Me.” Mighty fine. Like the Elvis Presley albums that paired the Kind with the Royal Philhar- monic, the Orbison set is both original and compelling.

-Michael Buffalo Smith

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