Album / Blu-Ray Review: Roy Orbison - “Black And White Night 30”

Orbison’s family has completely re-imagined, re-edited and remastered the television program in HD.

Thirty years after coming back to the public with Black And White Night, legend Roy Orbison’s project has been revived with a companion 19 song BluRay (or DVD) and CD set that is anything but a Re-issue. While the show was filmed and broadcast on television, Black And White Night 30 is a wholly new work, expanded to include the whole show and sourced from seven separate cameras. Roy’s youngest son Alex worked with co-editor Luke Chalk have created an entirely new work out of the projec. The blu-ray, quite honestly, is stunning with attention to detail the foremost quality it possesses visually. The audio is magnificent as well.

The music, well, what’s there to say about the music other than it showcases the otherworldly quality Roy Orbison’s voice always had and why he became such a superstar in the 1960s and then had a revival at the time of this filming before his untimely death in late 1988. All of his classics are here, including the brilliant songs “Only The Lonely,” “Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream,” “Blue Bayou,” “Claudette” and of course “Oh, Pretty Woman.”

Roy Orbison was so revered that guests for this program included MC T. Bone Burnett, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, JD Souther, Tom Waits, Jennifer Warnes, Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen. The backing band was Elvis Presley’s TCB Band (James Burton, Glen Hardin, Jerry Scheff and Ron Tutt) and the original performance was broadcast on Cinemax in January 1988. Orbison passed away in December of 1988. The stars who performed with Roy that night didn’t do it for the spotlight, instead, they were there to sing with one of their heroes for one magical night.

If there were ever a concert film to own, Black & White Night 30 is certainly the one to own and the fact that it includes a bonus audio CD of the night is only icing on the cake.