30th Anniversary Reissue of Roy Orbison’s ‘King of Hearts’ Set for October Release

Photo courtesy Bob Merlis PR

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The 30th-anniversary reissue of Roy Orbison’s seminal album, King of Hearts, is set for release this fall. The forthcoming revamped LP will be available on October 14.

The new reissue, which is produced by Don Was, Jeff Lynne, T. Bone Burnett, Robbie Robertson, and others, will include a duet with k.d. lang on the track “Crying,” as well as the original version of “I Drove All Night.”

Fans can pre-order the new album here.

According to a press statement, “In celebration of the 30th anniversary of its initial release, King of Hearts—the posthumous Roy Orbison album lovingly assembled by his friends and family after his untimely death—will be reissued this October 14. Available on CD, digitally and as a limited-edition LP pressed on red vinyl, the new edition of King of Hearts has been completely remastered and is offered by 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, in partnership with Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings.”

“I literally think it changed my DNA. I think as a singer it literally shifted me somehow,” said lang on her collaboration with Orbison. “That was an epic moment in my musical career, in my life, I mean, in my being. I always carried that song with the utmost respect because it was given to me by him personally—literally handed to me on a silver platter by Roy Orbison… I will always be deeply, deeply humbled, and honored that I was given that song.” 

“It was really important to us that the posthumous sessions for King of Hearts avoided grief and sadness because Roy was such a positive and upbeat gentleman,” added Was about his work with the reissue. “We set up a live band and put a microphone in the vocal booth and, as Roy’s previously recorded performances boomed through our headphones, it was easy to imagine that he was in the booth singing along with the band. His spirit permeated every corner of the studio, and the tape captured the wistful transcendent warmth of the sessions.”

Barbara Orbison, who passed away in 2011 on the very same day her husband died 23 years earlier, wrote the album’s original liner notes that are also part of the King of Hearts reissue package. She wrote, “At times I could hardly bring myself to listen to the songs and definitely couldn’t think of finishing the album without Roy. I guess that was one of the reasons I arrived late at one of the first sessions. Don Was had booked the studio to put the rhythm track down around Roy’s voice. When I finally arrived at the studio, the musicians had already left. As I looked around the dimly lit studio – still full of empty cups and full ashtrays, I could just imagine the musicians telling one more funny story, the laughter of their camaraderie and Roy taking that last sip of Coca-Cola before saying “Okay, Let’s take it from the top.”

King of Hearts track listing

1. YOU’RE THE ONE

2. HEARTBREAK RADIO

3. WE’LL TAKE THE NIGHT

4. CRYING (duet with k.d. lang)

5. AFTER THE LOVE HAS GONE

6. LOVE IN TIME

7. I DROVE ALL NIGHT

8. WILD HEARTS RUN OUT OF TIME

9. COMING HOME

10. CARELESS HEART (Original Demo)

Written by:

1. Roy Orbison/Bill Dees

2. Troy Seals/Frankie Miller

3. Roy Orbison/Will Jennings/J.D. Souther

4. Roy Orbison/Joe Melson

5. Roy Orbison/Jerry L. Williams

6, 8. Roy Orbison/Will Jennings

7. Billy Steinberg/Tom Kelly

9. Roy Orbison/Will Jennings/J.D. Souther

10. Roy Orbison/Diane Warren/Albert Hammond

Photo courtesy Bob Merlis PR

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