The Big O (album)

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Big O
Big O - Roy Orbison.jpg
Studio album by Roy Orbison
Released 1970
Genre Rock and roll
Label London (HAU 8406)
Producer Ron Randall
Roy Orbison chronology
Roy Orbison's Many Moods
The Big O
The Great Songs of Roy Orbison

The Big O is a music album recorded by Roy Orbison for London Records in the United Kingdom, with the music and backing vocals provided by English group, the Art Movement on all tracks except for "Penny Arcade", which was a studio recording and released as a single in the UK in 1969, where it peaked at #27 and would be Orbison's last UK chart success during his lifetime. "Penny Arcade" was also his biggest hit in Australia, spending four weeks at Number One around Christmas, 1969. The second single, "Break My Mind", was Orbison's last Australian chart success during his lifetime, reaching #24 in March 1970. The album was released in Europe in early 1970.


In June 1969, Roy Orbison had plans for a live album while he was on tour in the UK. The project was to be called Roy Orbison Live in England. MGM Records were not happy with his plan, however, and Orbison had to compromise. Orbison and the Art Movement turned the Batley Variety Club in West Yorkshire, England into a recording studio. This was done by calling in a mobile studio truck that had all the gear in it and running the cords into the area in which they wanted to record in. Using this technique Orbison was able to achieve the polished studio sound his record label preferred in the most live sounding way possible. The Backup vocals and orchestra was overdubbed in Nashville over the stereo two-track mix. While MGM chose not to release the album in North America, London-Decca opted to release it elsewhere in early 1970.

Track listing[edit]

Side One
  1. "Break My Mind" (John D. Loudermilk)
  2. "Help Me, Rhonda" (Brian Wilson)
  3. "Only You" (Buck Ram)
  4. "Down the Line" (Orbison)
  5. "Money" (Berry Gordy, Jr., Janie Bradford)
  6. "When I Stop Dreaming" (Ira Louvin, Charlie Louvin)
Side Two
  1. "Loving Touch" (Terry Widlake)
  2. "Land of a Thousand Dances" (Chris Kenner, Fats Domino)
  3. "Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair)" (Evelyn Danzig, Jack Segal)
  4. "She Won't Hang Her Love Out (On the Line)" (Bill Dees, Mark Mathis)
  5. "Casting My Spell on You" (Edwin Johnson, Alvin Johnson)
  6. "Penny Arcade" (Sammy King)

All produced by Ron Randall, except for "Penny Arcade" (produced by Wesley Rose) arranged by Jim Hall


  • Roy Orbison - guitar, vocals
The Art Movement
  • Billy Dean - guitar
  • Roger Bryan - guitar
  • Keith Headley - piano
  • Terry Widlake - bass
  • Bob Munday - drums
  • John Switters - percussion