Silverwolf is growing hungry, for it is well past his oatmeal and banana, (with side order of boiled stinging nettles), breakfast time. But it can’t be helped because he has been captured by the necessity, now eighteen times repeated in a row, of listening to Roy Orbison’s masterful Masterpiece, “In Dreams”.
In some ways, this is one of the most amazing songs Silverwolf can recall. Firstly, because unlike many great rock songs, it begins with a conventional introduction so trite sounding, as if it were the beginning of a thousand other songs that were written in that era, that Silverwolf might easily have raised the stylus (he means hit cancel) before the 27th second, when the meat of the song begins. How many songs you strongly like begin with something you don’t like? We’d bet not many.
But once past this hurdle into musical paradise, one enters the Realm. Orbison writes a song like no other every written in pop-rock music that Silverwolf can ever recall.
Listen to it. What is so unique about it? Well, in the word “unique” lies the seed that produces the nutshell, for if you attend the song several times effortlessly, your consciousness may discern the fact that this song, unlike all others, really has no repeatable pattern to it. Virtually all rock songs one can think of, let’s say the first 98% of them, have a beginning chorus or verse, a middle break section, and then either a return to chorus or verse, or both. But in Orbison’s “In Dreams” you will notice that there is no repetition, but rather a growing, or constant movement or evolvement towards something else, always indefinable except as a vector in a certain direction, and that something else seems to grow in intensity and feeling as the song progresses. Towards the end, Orbison’s amazing tenor voice seems to redouble in strength and soar parabolically like a third Elliott wave, as pellucidly clear and penetrating as a bell tone, unwavering in its true pitch, and truly amazing in a man who had been singing from the time many of us were wolfcubs to the time we became “greytinges” (the first mark of wisdom, or rather the first recognition of foolishness, amongst aging silverwolves).
But what will really amaze you when you come out of the dream of listening to this song is that aforementioned lack of repetition or form in a song that could really be said to be one complete musical phrase or movement taking place over two-and-a-half minutes, raising the listener ever higher, ever higher, like Phoebus, until one burns out with the intensity of the song as it approaches its zenith. Can you recall another like it in Rock?
And lastly, if the creation of such a song, and its masterful arrangement, were not enough from the Genius Orbison, we get live performances from Orbison that sound as true to pitch, and as chillingly pellucid to the ear as a violin, as were the originals recorded long before. Perhaps no other rock singer has ever kept their voice so incredibly unaltered into old age as Orbison did (though Joe Cocker’s performance almost 40 years later of “The Letter” comes close), but when one hears him actually singing into the microphone with it, one realizes one is witnessing a miracle, a Mi Dori (child prodigy violinist) in reverse, a miracle that is a fact.
A song that is a miracle; a voice that is a miracle. And it is a fact before your eyes and in your ears: Roy Orbison
We can have the oatmeal, banana, and boiled nettles a little later, Silverwolf thinks to himself. Let’s hear it again!
Hooooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwww! — Silverwolf