Marking the 30th anniversary of Roy Orbison‘s 1987 comeback TV special, Sony’s Legacy Recordings will release a re-edited, remastered and expanded version of the program, titled Black and White Night 30, on February 24th. The set, available on both CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray combos, includes an in-depth, 33-minute mini-documentary featuring rehearsal footage and pre-/post-show interviews. In the above clip, many of the rock legends in attendance at the show, including Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and Bonnie Raitt, praise Orbison’s unique vocal style and underrated songwriting talents.
“The gracefulness in his voice, the purity in his voice is something you don’t hear much at all,” says Springsteen, who marvels at Orbison’s consistency onstage. In a piece of charming, fly-on-the-wall footage, the two singers – accompanied by members of Elvis Presley’s legendary TCB Band (James Burton, Glen D. Hardin, Jerry Scheff and Ron Tutt) – rehearse Orbison’s 1962 track “Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream),” with Springsteen apologizing after flubbing a vocal harmony.
In a backstage interview, Costello called Orbison “the greatest,” explaining how he learned about the singer’s music second-hand through the Beatles. “The very first record I ever had by them was called ‘Please Please Me,’ and that was written for Roy Orbison,” he says. “If you slow that song right down, you can hear Roy Orbison in it, and that’s the story. That’s all she wrote.”
The funniest moment comes courtesy of offbeat rocker Tom Waits, who highlights the beauty of Orbison’s “$700” shoes.
The original Orbison special was filmed on September 30th, 1987 at the Cocoanut Grove night club in Los Angeles, marking the singer’s resurgence in popularity after his song “In Dreams” featured in David Lynch’s surreal 1986 neo-noir film Blue Velvet.
Roy’s youngest son, Alex Orbison, and co-editor Luke Chalk combed through hundreds of hours of unseen footage from the show and assembled this new version of Black and White Night, which features the correct set order from that night. Bonus features include an unused alternate version of “Oh, Pretty Woman” and an unseen take on “Blue Angel.” In addition, the set includes a near-mythical “secret concert” of five songs, which were filmed by Orbison, his band and various friends after the show had ended.
Other artists interviewed for the mini-doc include k.d. lang, Jackson Browne and J.D. Souther.