Roy Orbison - Only The Lonely

First performance: 30/09/1987


Coverinfo

Bruce performed the song only once:
 

Bruce (and others) join Roy Orbison for the filming of Roy Orbison & Friends: A Black & White Night, shot in beautiful black and white and broadcast on Cinemax in January 1988. The film is shot in the Cocoanut Grove, a nightclub in the now-torn-down Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Bruce plays guitar and shares vocals with Roy on "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)", and he also plays guitar on the rest of the songs (sitting on a chair behind Roy on the stage). Backing group is the TCB Band (who accompanied Elvis Presley between 1969-77) including James Burton, who exchanges guitar solos with Springsteen during the show-stopping "Oh, Pretty Woman". This particular performance won the 1991 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.  The resulting film is later released on Roy Orbison & Friends, A Black & White Night (abbreviated to Black & White Night for the HD-DVD and Blu-ray releases) on multiple formats, including VHS, LaserDisc, DVD and in high definition on Blu-ray. Subsequently, an audio CD titled A Black & White Night Live is released in 1989. "Blue Angel" is cut from the television broadcast for time, along with "Claudette" and "Blue Bayou". However, the song is included as a bonus track on the HD-DVD and Blu-ray releases. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the concert Black & White Night 30 will be released on February 24, 2017 on CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray. The film has been completely re-edited and the concert restored to the correct order, which is represented in the setlist under. The set also includes a five-song "secret concert" performed by the full band after the show had ended, with no audience. Shooting only stopped after film ran out during "Claudette". Rehearsal footage and pre- and post-show interviews are also included. The crowd was mostly made up of music industry insiders. Billy Idol, Steve Jones, Patrick Swayze, Sandra Bernhard, Kris Kristofferson, Harry Dean Stanton, and Syd Straw were among the celebrities spotted in the audience. As the Los Angeles Daily News reported, hundreds of people, ranging from nightclub bookers and industry heavyweights to upcoming musicians, stood at the nightclub entrance an hour before the show waiting to get in.
 
Rehearsal: 
 
post show: 
 
Starring:
Roy Orbison – guitar, lead vocals
 
The band:
Alex Acuna – percussion
T Bone Burnett – guitar
James Burton – guitar
Elvis Costello – guitar, organ, harmonica, vocals
Glen D. Hardin – piano
Jerry Scheff – bass
Bruce Springsteen – guitar, vocals
Ron Tutt – drums
Mike Utley – Keyboards
Tom Waits – guitar, organ
 
Backing singers:
Jackson Browne – male backup singer
k.d. lang – female backup singer
Bonnie Raitt – female backup singer
Steven Soles – male backup singer
J.D. Souther – male backup singer, guitar
Jennifer Warnes – female backup singer
 
String section:
Pavel Farkas – violin
Peter Hatch – viola
Ezra Kliger – violin
Sid Page – concert master
Jimbo Ross – viola 
 
 
 

Songinfo

"Only the Lonely" is a 1960 song written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson. Orbison's recording of the song, produced by Fred Foster for Monument Records, was the first major hit for the singer. It was described by The New York Times as expressing "a clenched, driven urgency". In early 1960, Orbison and Joe Melson wrote one more song, "Only the Lonely", which they tried to sell to Elvis Presley and the Everly Brothers, who turned it down. (The song was subtitled "Know The Way I Feel" to avoid confusion with another song called "Only The Lonely", which Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen had written for Frank Sinatra in 1958.) Instead, they recorded "Only the Lonely" themselves at RCA's Nashville studio, using the string section and doo-wop backing singers that had given "Uptown" such an impressive sound. But this time, sound engineer Bill Porter tried a completely new strategy: building the mix from the top down rather than from the bottom up, beginning with close-miked backing vocals in the foreground, and ending with the rhythm section soft in the background. This combination was to become Orbison's trademark sound.
 
 
 

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist

 
" Then into my thirteen–year–old ears came 60's pop. Roy Orbison, besides Johnny Cash, he was the other Man in Black. He was the true master of the romantic apocalypse you dreaded, and knew was coming after the first night you whispered, I love you, to your new girlfriend. You were going down. Roy was the coolest, uncool loser you'd ever seen. With his Coke bottle black glasses, his three–octave range, he seemed to take joy sticking his knife deep into the hot belly of your teenage insecurities. Simply the titles, "Crying," "It's Over," "Running Scared." That's right, the paranoia, oh, the paranoia. He sang about the tragic unknowability of women. He was tortured by soft skin, angora sweaters, beauty, and death – just like you. But he also sang that he'd been risen to the heights of near unexpressable bliss by these same very things that tortured him. Oh, cruel irony. And for those few moments, he told you that the wreckage, and the ruin, and the heartbreak was all worth it. I got it, my young songwriters, wisdom said to me: Life is tragedy, broken by moments of unworldly bliss that make that tragedy bearable. I was half right. That wasn't life, that was pop music. "
 
Over the end credits of 'Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night' several of the featured musicians are shown saying some words about Orbison.
 
Bruce Springsteen says:
 
"I remember when I was a kid, his music took me out of my little town, you know. And... you don't always get a chance to sing harmony with Roy Orbison and play guitar next to James Burton, that's a dream."
 
 
 
more info : Springsteenlyrics 
 
 
"In 1970, I rode for fifteen hours in the back of a U-haul truck to open for Roy Orbison at the Nashville Music Fair. It was a summer night and I was 20 years old, and Orbison came out in dark glasses, a dark suit and he played some dark music. In 1974, just prior to going into the studio to record my album Born To Run, I was looking at Duane Eddy for his guitar sound and I was listening to a collection of Phil Spector's records and Orbison's All-Time Greatest Hits. I'd lay in bed at night with just the lights of my stereo on and I'd hear 'Crying', 'Love Hurts', 'Running Scared', 'Only The Lonely', and and 'It's Over' filling my room. Orbison's voice was unearthly. He had the ability, like all great Rock and Rollers, to sound like he dropped in from another planet and yet get the stuff that was right to the heart of what you were livin' in today, and it was how he opened up your vision. I carry his records with me when I go on tour today, and I'll always remember what he means to me and what he meant to me when I was young and afraid to love. In 1975, when I went into the studio to record, Born To Run, I wanted to make a record with words like Bob Dylan, that sounded like Phil Spector's productions, but most of all I wanted to sing like Roy Orbison. Now, everybody knows that nobody sings like Roy Orbison." 
 

Lyrics

Only the lonely (dum-dumb-dummy doo-wah)
Know the way I feel tonight (ooh yay, yay, yay, yeah)
Only the lonely (dum-dumb-dummy doo-wah)
Know this feeling ain't right (dum-dumb-dummy doo-wah)
There goes my baby
There goes my heart
They're gone forever
So far apart
But only the lonely
Know why I cry
Only the lonely (dum-dumb-dummy doo-wah, ooh yay, yay, yay, yeah)
(Oh, oh oh oh oh ooh-ah-ah, only the lonely)
(Only the lonely)
Only the lonely (dum-dumb-dummy doo-wah)
Know the heartaches I've been through (ooh yay, yay, yay, yeah)
Only the lonely (dum-dumb-dummy doo-wah)
Know I cry and cry for you (dum-dumb-dummy doo-wah)
Maybe tomorrow
A new romance
No-o-o more sorrow
But that's the chance
You've got to take
If your lonely heart breaks
Only the lonely (dum-dumb-dummy doo-wah)