500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

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Roy Orbison, 'Crying'

69. Roy Orbison, 'Crying'

Writers: Joe Melson, Orbison
Producer: Fred Foster
Released: Aug. '61, Monument
16 weeks; No. 2

Orbison said he wrote this lush, dreamy ballad after an encounter with an old flame: "Whether I was physically crying or just crying inside is the same thing." His near-operatic performance culminated in a high, wailing note, which Orbison never lost the capacity to hit until his death in 1988. "He sounded like he was singing from an Olympian mountaintop and he meant business," Bob Dylan wrote in Chronicles. "He was now singing his compositions in three or four octaves that made you want to drive your car over a cliff. He sang like a professional criminal."

Appears on: For the Lonely: 18 Greatest Hits (Rhino)


The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time: Roy Orbison

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