Reissue: Roy Orbison’s ‘Mystery Girl’

Roy Orbison’s last major album, Mystery Girl, will be reissued in deluxe editions on May 20 via Legacy.

Orbison’s career resurgance started with the use of his song In Dreams on the soundtrack for David Lynch’s Blue Velvet and continued with the Black and White Night live concert and The Traveling Wilbury’s, Volume 1, his fictional group with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison and Jeff Lynne. Mystery Girl was completed in 1988 but Roy never saw it released. The album went to number 5 in the U.S. and number 1 in Australia, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

The Deluxe version of Mystery Girl will be a CD/DVD set with the ten original tracks plus nine previously unreleased studio and work-tape demos including The Way Is Love, featuring a newly restored Roy Orbison vocal track layered with contemporary guitar, drum and vocal accompaniment by Roy’s three sons (Roy Jr., Alex and Wesley).
The DVD includes Mystery Girl: Unraveled, a new one-hour documentary chronicling the song-by-song creation of Mystery Girl through rare and intimate archival footage and the memories of those who were there. In addition to the documentary, the DVD includes eight Roy Orbison music videos, four of which are previously unreleased including a piece documenting the renewal and rebirth of The Way Is Love.

An Expanded Version is a single CD with the original album plus five bonus tracks while the 2-LP set will have the same content as the Deluxe version CD.

Executive produced by “Roy’s Boys” (Wesley Orbison, Roy Orbison, Jr. and Alex Orbison) and directed by Alex Orbison, Mystery Girl: Unraveled features new interviews with Billy Burnette, John Carter Cash, Mike Campbell, Steve Cropper, Richard Dodd, Jim Keltner, Jeff Lynne, David Malloy, Tom Petty and Roy’s three sons. The film also incorporates never-before-seen interviews with Bono, Barbara Orbison, Jeff Ayeroff and others, all sharing insights into Roy’s life and work.

Archival footage includes revelatory sequences lensed, literally, in Mike Campbell’s garage (aka “Mike’s Garage,” where much of the album was recorded) in addition to breathtaking studio sequences and live footage shot around the time of the album’s recording.



Mystery Girl: Unraveled concludes with new documentary footage illuminating the creation of The Way Is Love, one of the previously unreleased tracks on Mystery Girl – Deluxe. Roy’s vocals were found on a previously unheard Roy Orbison/Bill Dees work-tape, originally recorded on a boombox cassette player, and meticulously stripped out for this extraordinary new recording. Produced by John Carter Cash and engineered by Chuck Turner, the The Way Is Love vocal was taken to Johnny Cash’s Cabin studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee in 2013, using the newly discovered Roy Orbison vocal as its core. Realizing a life-long dream to record with their father, Wesley and Roy Jr played guitars on the song with Alex handling the drums and all three sons bringing background vocals to the mix. “Cutting a track with my brothers was more incredible than I can describe,” said Alex. “I have been looking forward to this for my entire life.” Roy Jr. noted that “More or less the reason Alex and Wesley and I are musicians was to play in Dad’s band when we got older,” and Wesley summed it up nicely, “I think we really got something special.”

Roy’s core group of musicians on the original Mystery Girl recordings included Jeff Lynne (guitar, piano, bass, backing vocals), Tom Petty (acoustic guitar, backing vocals), Mike Campbell (guitar, bass, mandolin), Jim Keltner (drums), Howie Epstein (bass, backing vocals), and Benmont Tench (piano, organ, cheap strings). Contributing artists on the album include Barbara Orbison, Roy Orbison, Jr., Al Kooper, George Harrison, Bono, T Bone Burnett, Steve Cropper, The Memphis Horns, and more.

Mystery Girl: Deluxe Edition
CD (Same track listing for LP edition)
You Got I
In The Real World
(All I Can Do Is) Dream You
A Love So Beautiful
California Blue
She’s A Mystery To Me
The Comedians
The Only One
Windsurfer
Careless Heart
The Way Is Love (unreleased with new instruments and vocals)
She’s A Mystery To Me (Studio demo with Bono)
(All I Can Do Is) Dream You (Studio Demo)
The Only One (Studio Demo)
The Comedians (Studio Demo)
In The Real World (Studio Demo)
California Blue (Studio Demo)
Windsurfer (Work-tape Demo)
You Are My Love (Work-tape Demo

DVD
“Mystery Girl: Unraveled” Documentary
“New” videos
The Way Is Love
California Blue (new alternative version set to the studio demo bonus audio track)
You Got It (2014 version)
She’s a Mystery To Me (alternate Fincher version, unreleased)

“Old” official videos:
You Got It
California Blue
She’s a Mystery To Me
A Love So Beautiful
Mystery Girl: Expanded Edition
You Got It
In The Real World
(All I Can Do Is) Dream You
A Love So Beautiful
California Blue
She’s A Mystery To Me
The Comedians
The Only One
Windsurfer
Careless Heart

Bonus songs:
The Way Is Love
She’s A Mystery To Me
The Only One
California Blue
You Are My Love



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