A posthumous musical collaboration between Roy Orbison and his three sons will appear on the 25th anniversary reissue and expansion of Roy Orbison’s final studio album, Mystery Girl, due out on May 20.
Wesley, Roy Jr. and Alex Orbison, who are also musicians, found an old vocal track by Roy for a song called The Way is Love. The song was originally recorded on a boom box and they were able to reclaim it using technology. They then added new instrumentals and harmonies, with the help of another son of a music legend, co-producer John Carter Cash.
The cross-generational track will appear on the reissue, along with 10 original album tracks and nine previously unreleased studio tracks, as well as working demo recordings.
The reissue will also come with a “making-of” documentary Mystery Girl: Unraveled on DVD, which explores the making of the album and the new track.
“It really brought us closer together in a lot of ways,” said Alex Orbison, 38, who contributed drums and backing vocals to the track, and also the documentary.
“We were able to finish it up and get it out by Father’s Day, too, which was obviously special to us,” added Alex.
Orbison was experiencing a career resurgence fueled by his contribution to the rock group The Traveling Wilburys with Tom Petty, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, and Jeff Lynne when he released Mystery Girl in 1988.
The album included contributions from Lynne, Petty and most of the Heartbreakers, Elvis Costello, and Bono and the Edge from U2, among others. Orbison’s wife Barbara sang backup on the album, and his son Wesley wrote a song as well.
Orbison died of a heart attack on Dec. 6., 1988 at the age of 52, just two months before the album was released. Mystery Girl reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in 1989, and the album eventually sold more than one million copies.
“More or less the reason Alex and Wesley and I are musicians was to play in Dad’s band when we got older,” said Roy Jr.
“Cutting a track with my brothers was more incredible than I can describe,” Alex Orbison said in a statement.
“I have been looking forward to this for my entire life,” Alex said.
The album also will be released in an audio-only 15-track expanded edition.
Image via Wikimedia Commons