- Number of Discs: 4
- Released: September 30, 2008
- Label: Sony Legacy
Rolling Stone - p.755 stars out of 5
-- "Roy Orbison was a superhero of song....He became someone extraordinary when his weeping tenor took flight....This is the only anthology that does justice to every stage of Orbison's career..."
Spin - p.114
"[H]is idiosyncratic songwriting drew from disparate genres, opening new vistas for early rock'n'roll."
Dirty Linen - p.60
"[T]his four-CD compilation will finally help you trace his development as one of rock 'n' roll's most soulful and preeminent singers from his early beginnings doing country rockabilly in the mid-1950s to the late 1980s..."
Blender (Magazine) - p.844 stars out of 5
-- "[Orbison was] a pioneer of jaw-dropping rock balladry that set his eerie tenor into woozy orchestral dramas that seem to have presaged the entire corpus of David Lynch."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.915 stars out of 5
-- "THE SOUL OF ROCK'N'ROLL might well be the nearest pop music ever gets to producing a Bible."
This lavish, four-disc box set is undoubtedly the definitive summation of the career of Roy Orbison, rock & roll's great drama king. Behind those dark glasses and cool veneer lurked a man with an operatic voice and a rockabilly heart, and this set expertly guides you through every phase of his discography. The first disc features Orbison the Sun Records rock-&-roll cat, turning out rollicking rockabilly gems like "Ooby Dooby," and there are a number of mouth-watering demo recordings from this period featured as well. Disc Two really begins to get into the meat of the Orbison discography. Tracks like "Only the Lonely," "Running Scared," and "In Dreams" are lush, otherworldly pop operas where Orbison's unearthly tenor soars above clouds of strings to cry out, sometimes in longing, sometimes in terror. These immortal tracks pierce the listener to the soul, and by the final disc in the set, Orbison is surrounded by younger artists who grew up on those tunes, like k.d. lang, who joins him in a tear-jerking remake of "Crying." If you want the full Orbison experience, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than this box.