Friday, April 23, 2010

"Running Scared" by Roy Orbison

On what would have been the 74th birthday of Roy Orbison - who died in December 1988 at the tragically early age of 52 - the Pop Culture Institute is proud to feature Running Scared, which is something of an oddity in pop music* - the song features no chorus, giving it a dramatic heft which is unique. Co-written by Orbison and his frequent collaborator Joe Melson, it is shown here on Orbison's 1988 HBO special Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night; an album of music rendered from this program, A Black & White Night Live, was released in November 1989 and featured a rare live performance of Orbison's last single, Crying - a duet with k.d. lang which they initially recorded in 1987 for the soundtrack of the otherwise forgettable Jon Cryer film Hiding Out.

Originally released as a 45rpm single by Monument Records in March 1961, Running Scared ran straight to Number One on the US chart; it would later be covered most notably by Jack Scott, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Brokeback.

*Not unlike Orbison himself...
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