Running Scared (Roy Orbison song)

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"Running Scared"
Single by Roy Orbison
B-side "Love Hurts"
Released March 1961
Format 45 RPM
Genre Rock, Pop
Length 2:10
Label Monument 438
Writer(s) "Running Scared":
Roy Orbison, Joe Melson
"Love Hurts":
Boudleaux Bryant
Producer(s) Fred Foster
Roy Orbison singles chronology
"I'm Hurtin'"
(1960)
"Running Scared"
(1961)
"Crying"
(1961)
Music sample

"Running Scared" is a 1961 American pop song written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson and sung by Orbison. An operatic rock ballad,[1] the song was released as a 45rpm single by Monument Records in March 1961 and went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "Running Scared" also reached No.9 in the UK Singles Chart. It sold over one million copies in the US alone.[2] The song was included on Orbison's 1962 album Crying as the final track on the album.

Noted for being a song written without a chorus, the song builds in the lyrics, arrangement, and vocals to a climax that, without vibrato, demonstrates the power of Orbison's clear, full voice. It is written in the bolero style; Orbison is credited with bringing this to the rock genre. Fred Foster producer of the session and of Monument Records did not want the powerful high note that ends the song to end in falsetto but in full or natural voice. According to Foster, the last note that ends the song is actually G above High C in full natural voice. Few female sopranos can hit High C in natural voice.[3] This note has been noted as A over High C.[4]

While "Running Scared" was an international hit, the B-side "Love Hurts" also picked up significant airplay in Australia. Consequently, chart figures for Australia show "Running Scared"/"Love Hurts" as a double A-side, both sides peaking at number five. This makes Orbison's recording of "Love Hurts" the first version to be a hit. "Love Hurts" later became better known in a version by rock band Nazareth, who had an international hit with it in 1975.[5]

Covers and popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Show 11 - Tennessee Firebird. [Part 3], Big Rock Candy Mountain. [Part 1] : UNT Digital Library". Digital.library.unt.edu. 2016-09-22. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 408. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Erick Trickey (2006-10-31). "Roy Orbison Revealed". Clevelandmagazine.com. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  4. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony (1992). Henke, James, ed. The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll (3rd ed.). Random House. ISBN 978-0679737285. 
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 388. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ "Glen Travis Campbell - Glen Campbell | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  7. ^ Joe Viglione. "Heavy Mental - The Fools | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  8. ^ Ned Raggett (1986-08-18). "Kicking Against the Pricks - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds,Nick Cave | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  9. ^ Kieran McCarthy (2001-01-23). "Morse Code in the Modern Age: Across the Americas - Brokeback | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  10. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (2012-10-09). "Long Wave - Jeff Lynne | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Travelin' Man" by Ricky Nelson
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
June 5, 1961 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Travelin' Man" by Ricky Nelson