Crying (Roy Orbison song)

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"Crying"
Crying (Roy Orbison single).jpg
Single by Roy Orbison
from the album Crying
B-side"Candy Man"
PublishedAugust 16, 1961 (1961-08-16) Acuff-Rose Publications, Inc.[1]
ReleasedJuly 1961 (1961-07)
RecordedJune 26, 1961[2]
StudioRCA Victor Studio B, Nashville, Tennessee[2]
Genre
Length2:46
LabelMonument 447
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Fred Foster
Roy Orbison singles chronology
"Running Scared" / "Love Hurts"
(1961)
"Crying"
(1961)
"Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)"
(1962)

"Crying" is a song written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson for Orbison's third studio album of the same name (1962). Released in 1961, it was a number 2 hit in the US for Orbison and was covered in 1980 by Don McLean, whose version went to number 1 in the UK.

Composition[edit]

Dave Marsh calls the song a "rock-bolero" with "blaring strings, hammered tympani, a ghostly chorus, the gentle strum of a guitar, [and] a hint of marimba".[3] Billboard observes an "expressive reading" on the "country-flavored ballad."[4] The personnel on the original recording included Orbison session regulars Bob Moore on bass; Floyd Cramer on piano; Buddy Harman on drums; and Boudleaux Bryant, Harold Bradley,[5] and Scotty Moore[6] on guitar.

Release and reception[edit]

The song was released as a 45-rpm single by Monument Records in mid-July 1961[7] and reached No. 1 on the United States Cashbox chart for a week on October 7, 1961. On the rival Billboard Hot 100 it peaked at No. 2, where "Hit the Road Jack" by Ray Charles and his Orchestra kept it from No. 1.[8] Despite not reaching the summit in the latter publication, Billboard ranked the record as the No. 4 song of 1961.[9]

In 2002, "Crying" was honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award. In 2010, Rolling Stone ranked it 69th on their list of the "500 greatest songs of all time".[10]

Don McLean version[edit]

"Crying"
Crying - Don McLean.jpg
Single by Don McLean
from the album Chain Lightning
B-side"Genesis (In the Beginning)"
Released1980
Genre
Length3:35
LabelMillennium
Songwriter(s)
Don McLean singles chronology
"Since I Don't Have You"
(1978)
"Crying"
(1980)
"It's Just the Sun"
(1981)

Don McLean's recording of the song went to No. 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in early 1981.[11] His version of "Crying" also reached No. 2 adult contemporary and No. 6 Country. It fared even better in the UK, where it reached No. 1 in 1980, spending three weeks atop the UK Singles Chart.[12] McLean issued an album in 1981; however, "Crying" was taken from his 1978 album, Chain Lightning. It became his second biggest hit in America.

Charts[edit]

Sales and certifications[edit]

Certifications for Crying
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Netherlands (NVPI)[26] Gold 100,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Roy Orbison and k.d. lang version[edit]

"Crying"
RoyOrbisonKdlangCrying.jpg
Single by Roy Orbison and k.d. lang
from the album King of Hearts and Hiding Out soundtrack
B-side"Falling"
Released1987
Length3:48
LabelVirgin
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Roy Orbison singles chronology
"In Dreams"
(1987)
"Crying"
(1987)
"Handle with Care"
(1988)
k.d. lang singles chronology
"Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray"
(1987)
"Crying"
(1987)
"Honky Tonk Angels Medley"
(1988)

Orbison rerecorded the song as a duet with k.d. lang as part of the soundtrack for the motion picture Hiding Out and released it as a single in 1987. Their collaboration won the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. It reached No. 2 in Lang's native Canada but was a minor US chart hit for the pair, peaking at No. 28 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and No. 42 on the Hot Country Singles chart. It was a more substantial hit in the United Kingdom and Ireland in 1992, reaching No. 13 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 9 on the Irish Singles Chart. In 1993, the song re-charted on the US Adult Contemporary chart, peaking at No. 40.

Track listings[edit]

7-inch and cassette single (1987, 1992)[27][28][29]

  1. "Crying" (with k.d. lang) – 3:48
  2. "Falling" – 2:22

UK CD1 and Australian CD single (1992)[30]

  1. "Crying" (with k.d. lang)
  2. "Falling"
  3. "Oh, Pretty Woman"
  4. "She's a Mystery to Me"

UK CD2 (1992)[31]

  1. "Crying" (with k.d. lang)
  2. "Falling"
  3. "Only the Lonely"
  4. "It's Over"

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United States November 1987 7-inch Virgin
Canada
Australia February 1988
United Kingdom August 10, 1992
  • 7-inch
  • CD1
  • cassette
[44]
August 17, 1992 CD2 [45]

Notable cover versions[edit]

Appearances in film, television and other media[edit]

  • US presidential candidate Mitt Romney mentioned this song among his top 10 songs of all time in March 2012.[50]
  • In 2011, "Crying" was featured in the American comedy-drama film 50/50.[51]
  • "Crying" was featured in an episode of Only Fools and Horses. The episode "Stage Fright" featured Raquel and a guest character (Tony Angelino, played by Philip Pope) singing this song at a function. Angelino had a rhotacism, causing him to pronounce his Rs incorrectly.
  • "Crying" is featured near the start of the first of the Australian telemovie trilogy Small Claims starring Rebecca Gibney and Claudia Karvan.
  • "Crying" was featured in the 1997 dystopian art movie Gummo. After huffing glue, Tummler remarks that his transgender sibling used to sing "Crying". Tummler then proceeds to weakly sing parts of the song. The original version of the song is used during the last scenes of the movie.
  • The song is featured in the 1999 film Paperback Hero, sung by Hugh Jackman and Claudia Karvan.
  • "Llorando" was featured in a famous scene in Mulholland Drive and during the closing scenes of Prison Break in season 3.
  • In Ally McBeal, season 2 episode 6 "Worlds Without Love", "Crying" is sung by Vonda Shepard.
  • In Sports Night, season 2, episode 14 ("And the Crowd Goes Wild"), Casey McCall wears sunglasses during the course of a day following an eye exam. His colleagues ridicule him for this, one of them saying, "Hit the high note in 'Crying' and I'll be impressed," in reference to Orbison and his trademark sunglasses.
  • In Castle Rock, Season 1, episode 4 ("The Box"), the song plays over character Dennis Zalewski's shooting rampage through Shawshank Prison.
  • In AMC's The Walking Dead, "Crying" is used to psychologically break down Daryl Dixon in the Season 7 Episode, The Cell (The Walking Dead).
  • In Bates Motel, "Crying" is played over the end scene in Season 5 Episode 6, Marion (Bates Motel).
  • In Mindhunter, "Crying" (Don McLean version) is played in episode 1, season 1.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Library of Congress. Copyright Office. (1961). Catalog of Copyright Entries 1961 Music July-Dec 3D Ser Vol 15 Pt 5. United States Copyright Office. U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
  2. ^ a b Weize, Richard (2001). Orbison 1955-1965 (7-CD Deluxe Box Set) (booklet). Bear Family Records. BCD16423. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  3. ^ Marsh, Dave (1999). The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. Da Capo Press. pp. 75–76. ISBN 030680901X.
  4. ^ "Spotlight Singles of the Week". Billboard. July 31, 1961. p. 27. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  5. ^ Full Committee Hearing on Assessing the Impact of the Copyright Royalty Rates on Recording Artists and Webcasters. 2007. ISBN 9780160802638.
  6. ^ "RIP Scotty Moore". Royorbison.com. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  7. ^ Orbison, Roy Jr. (2017). The Authorized Roy Orbison. Orbison, Wesley,, Orbison, Alex,, Slate, Jeff (First ed.). New York: Center Street. ISBN 9781478976547. OCLC 1017566749.
  8. ^ "Top 100 Songs - Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard.
  9. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1961
  10. ^ "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time". Rolling Stone. April 2010. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  11. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 Chart History : "Crying" - Don McLean". Song-database.com. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  12. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 382. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  13. ^ "Don Mclean – Crying" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  14. ^ "Top 40-lijst van week 10, 1980". Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  15. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Nztop40.co.nz. October 19, 1980. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  16. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (M)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  17. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–2002
  18. ^ "Top 100 1981-03-28". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  19. ^ "Australian Chart Books". Australianchartbooks.com.au. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  20. ^ "Dutch Charts - dutchcharts.nl". dutchcharts.nl.
  21. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1980". Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  22. ^ "UK Singles of the Year" (PDF). Record Mirror. London: Spotlight Publications. December 27, 1980. p. 30. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  23. ^ The 1981 Top 100 Singles chart is identified by the RPM Year-End article "Top 100 Singles (1981)". RPM. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  24. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1981/Top 100 Songs of 1981". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  25. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1981". Cashbox Magazine. Archived from the original on September 18, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  26. ^ "Dutch single certifications – Roy Orbison – Crying" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved July 16, 2022. Enter Crying in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  27. ^ Crying (US 7-inch single vinyl disc). Roy Orbison, k.d. lang. Virgin Records. 1987. 7-99388.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  28. ^ Crying (UK 7-inch single vinyl disc). Roy Orbison, k.d. lang. Virgin Records. 1992. VUS 63, 7243 8 90012 73.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  29. ^ Crying (UK cassette single sleeve). Roy Orbison, k.d. lang. Virgin Records. 1992. VUSC 63, 7243 8 90012 42.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  30. ^ Crying (UK CD1 liner notes). Roy Orbison, k.d. lang. Virgin Records. 1992. VUSCD 63, 7243 8 90012 28.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  31. ^ Crying (UK CD2 liner notes). Roy Orbison, k.d. lang. Virgin Records. 1992. VUSCX 63, 7243 8 90025 22.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  32. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0941." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  33. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 8898." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  34. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 0945." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  35. ^ "Roy Orbison with k.d. lang – Crying". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  36. ^ "Roy Orbison Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  37. ^ "Roy Orbison Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  38. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia’s Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 161.
  39. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 9, no. 37. September 12, 1992. p. 15. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  40. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Crying". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  41. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  42. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 180.
  43. ^ "Top 100 Singles of '88" (PDF). RPM. Vol. 49, no. 10. December 24, 1988. p. 9. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  44. ^ "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. August 8, 1992. p. 19.
  45. ^ "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. August 15, 1992. p. 21.
  46. ^ Whitburn, p. 179
  47. ^ Whitburn, p. 279
  48. ^ Whitburn, p. 472
  49. ^ Taubin, Amy (September–October 2001). "In Dreams", Film Comment, 37 (5), p. 51–55.
  50. ^ "Mitt Romney names the greatest tunes off all time". Politico. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
  51. ^ "IMDB soundtrack list for the movie 50/50". IMDb.com. 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2014.

External links[edit]